3 Lessons We Can Learn From Starbucks, Target and Apple


I think we can all agree that not only have we heard of these brands, but we LOVE them. We're sortof die hard fans, aren't we? Whenever I talk to people who love Starbusks, they REALLY love Starbucks.

Or, I have friends who love going to Target–just to wander the aisles and see the beautiful set-up in home decor. Now, that's some brand love. Or people who have Apple products–they don't just have an iPhone. They have an iMac, or an iWatch, or a Macbook Pro... typically more than one Apple product.

So why is this? How does each of these companies create such a loyal following? That's exactly what we're diving into today.



I'm sure there are a lot of activities these businesses put into place that deepen their customer base, but I want to go over 3 components that absolutely contribute to their success. Each company exemplifies all the qualities but I will highlight one quality per company that we can learn from and put into practice so our businesses can grow as well.


Consistency is key 


If you've ever gone to a Starbucks in New York City and ordered a Dulce de Leche latte with an extra shot of espresso, and ordered the same drink in Kansas City, Missouri, you will have the exact same experience.

Starbucks is a shinning example of consistency in their processes, in their undisputed quality of products, and in the decor of their spaces. Consistency is one of the most important parts of a business because with consistency you build trust.

Think about it, those who are consistent come to rely on your quality. But those who are inconsistent either in their product quality or in communication or service experience, will lose trust with their customer base.

Startbucks reigns supreme in the consistency category and it's something we can all learn from for our own businesses.

What we can learn:

Strive for consistency in the following areas: visual presentation, customer experience, product quality, and marketing. Here are some practical ways to become consistent: write down your processes / your client experiences. When you communicate with your tribe be consistent for when you share. Whatever your situation, strive for consistency. 


Invite into an experience 


Target does this SO well. Whenever you enter a Target, you're immersed in red and white accents, beautiful displays, a clean store and great visuals that allow you to immerse yourself in a beautiful, inviting, relaxing experience.

An experience is different than making a purchase. An experience is allowing the customer to feel something and be apart of something.

When you enter a Target store, or see a Target commercial, you feel welcomed, included, taken care of, excited, and playful.

Why do you feel these things? Because Target has mastered the art of the experience. You feel welcomed because of their advertisements of "Target run and done," easy to go, simple to shop. Included because they make a point to show different ethnicities, different shapes and sizes of and physical abilities of people. Taken care of because there are always Target employees around that can help you, a well-laid out store that makes it easier for you to flow from one department to another.

Excited because the color red is their main brand color. According to studies, the color red increases the heart rate and makes you hungry. It also feels passionate, dynamic, capable, powerful and brave. See this post for an in-depth look at color theory. And playful. The people on their ads and commercials are always moving and smiling. They are carefree and seem excited. These images invite you to reflect what they're feeling.

Target has also done a phenomenal job of displaying diversity and inclusion in their ads and commercials. 

What we can learn:

Improve your customer experience with an informed decision on your color choice, branding, marketing and design. But also be aware of your messaging and focus on the emotion you want your customers to feel. Make strides to position your messaging and branding to allow your customers to feel what you want them to feel, i.e. excited, calm, taken care of, powerful, etc.



Presentation is essential


Oh Apple. A true champ when it comes to high quality visuals and impeccable presentation. Apple has it down when it comes to looking the part of a reliable, trustworthy brand. Simplicity is their motto and they exemplify that in spades. 

Image source: Apple Inc.

Image source: Apple Inc.

Simplicity is their motto and they exemplify this in their color palette: white, silver and black, their commercials, advertisements and packaging. 

If you've ever purchased an iPhone, or any Apple product you will immediately recognize that their packaging is impeccable. Everything is perfectly fitted, and very efficiently laid out. All items are put together in such a way as to make a visual impact of care, thought, and strategy. And all the packaging pieces are white. Definitely not the most practical color for packaging, but one that exemplifies taste, sophistication, elegance and one that feels expensive. 

From the Apple logo to their commercials to their advertisements, to their glass-encased stores, to their perfectly laid out computers, to the white packaging–everything screams control, discipline, beauty, simplicity and quality.

Ways to improve your visuals:

Keep things simple. Brand your business with the feeling you want to convey. Allow every touch point in your business to exhibit the feeling you want your customer to feel from the advertisements to the presentation.

If you're new to business, I encourage you to consider starting your business off with a brand. In this post I share the 5 reasons it's valuable to brand your business when you're starting out. If you're at the point where you're ready to invest in your visual presentation I am taking on branding and website projects for the fall, fill out a contact form to get started!


Do you feel like your current brand and service exemplifies all 3 of these qualities? (Consistency, quality visuals, and inviting experience)

Which of these 3 do you struggle with?