It's no secret that Starbucks is one of the most well-known coffee brands in the modern world. Thanks to the internet and mobile devices, Starbucks has been able to expand its reach, marketing, and ability to service caffeine addicts, far by-passing their competitors. Online ordering services and apps have become very popular with the rise of remote work and social distancing. But what makes Starbucks, specifically, so successful? Let's dive into the components that give the Starbucks app the X factor, and how we'd achieve the same results.
#3. App Strategy
Before we can start dissecting the coffee apps, we need to talk about the over-arching strategy for your mobile app. This applies to all mobile applications, regardless of industry. No matter the app you're trying to build, this is a general checklist for all mobile app
A niche is your specific focus in the market. Your general category, in this case, would be a coffee shop. Your niche could be a coffee shop for nerds. It is important to define your niche before starting to develop the code or designing your app.
The best way to select your niche, is to define your target audience, research your customer base, and create a marketing strategy. Your niche will often times dictate your general design theme as well. For example if you decide to go for a bookstore and coffee shop, you'll most likely stick to earthier tones, with a homey feel, and warm clean vintage look. Whereas, a coffee shop for nerds might have darker colors with pops of bright colors, pop art, etc.
Starbucks emerged during the period when people were starting to become more health conscious and aware of the quality of foods they were putting in their bodies. The founders, saw that there was an untapped market. So, they opened the first location in Seattle and sold authentic coffee beans to coffee lovers'. Initially their niche was "Authentic Coffee Beans".
Since then, Starbucks now capitalizes on a law of marketing called the Group-Mindset. Similar to FOMO, Group-Mindset is formed by a group of friends or colleagues who follow the majority or a leader. For example, "All my friends get venti caramel frappes from Starbucks, but I go to Dunkin' and they tease me for it."
b. Style and Design
Your style and design will infiltrate all aspects of your business. It's best to create a style guide and branding guidelines document to ensure that your image is consistent across all forms of media.
User flow and wireframes: ordering item from Starbucks app
Important factors to think about when developing your brand style, are accessibility, color psychology, and brand uniqueness.
For Example, Starbucks uses the color green to symbolize "Balance", "harmony", and "growth"
Content is an important factor in your mobile app's success. Content can be anything from gift card designs, micro-animations, special offers, to holiday only menu items (Think Pumpkin Spice). For a Starbucks-like app, that's generally all the content you'll have to curate and manage.
The design of your app will be the first piece of content created. This will be developed in the "Design" phase [discussed in the "The Entire Process Explained" section]. Wireframes, visual mocks, and user flows will be created for your app to get a better understanding of how we expect the customer to flow through the app.
Your content organization and presentation play a pivotal role in your app's success. Take a look at the Starbucks app. The recognizable green mermaid logo is carried through all the content. But even if it weren't, each of the gift cards are easily recognizable as belonging to Starbucks, even if the logo wasn't there. This is because the colors, fonts, and look are "uniquely" Starbucks. Could you imagine what a Starbucks branded hotel might look like? This is the power of branding.
d. Android & iOS Platforms
Deciding which platform to push your mobile app live to is an important one. We recommend publishing to both app stores. Customers tend to get angry when they're favorite apps are only available on one platform and not the other.
There used to be reasons to pick one over the other (budget being the main one). But that's no longer the case.
When we develop a mobile application, our team utilizes a special technology called "React Native" that allows us to code once and it works natively on both iOS and Android. Tadaa! Magic*
Your audience will have been narrowed down when you created your niche profile. You'll need to define some of the specifics, such as your target demographic's age, gender, ethnicity, and hobbies. It is vital that your design and marketing, teams fully understand your customer profile. This will allow them to properly communicate your brand messaging.