What Starbucks Taught Me About Blogging

Must Have Ingredients For Venti Blog Success

Starbucks is undoubtedly one of (if not) the most popular coffee shops in the world. Is it because they have the best cup of Joe? Maybe… I mean their coffee is really good, but it’s popularity is more likely thanks to their branding technique. Starbucks knows good coffee, but they know how to brand and market themselves even better. Let’s look at how they did it, and how to better brand your blog for Venti blog success!

Starbucks isn’t just about coffee. It’s everything else! From the cohesive look, smell and feel of each store when you walk in, to the fun names of their drinks, to their social media presence and free wifi. It’s the experience.When it comes to branding- Starbucks is serving up a strong cup of mega success! There are over 30,000 Starbucks stores worldwide, that brought in almost $25 billion in revenue last year source.

For me, and most people, coffee is an every day essential so they picked a great product. But there’s a million coffee shops out there, so the competition is huge! You can create a better cup of coffee. I’m sure it’s been done, but to convince everyone else it’s better? That is all in the branding and marketing! The same techniques can be used for blogging success!

What Starbucks Taught Me About Branding

What sets them apart isn’t just their coffee. It’s their branding. Branding is not your logo. Your brand is how people perceive you and your blog or product. Perception is everything. How do you want people to feel when they visit your site? Let’s look at Starbucks and their branding.

  • Be Welcoming. Have you ever been served by a rude Starbucks employee? Not likely. Or felt out of place when you walked in? Not me! Being at a Starbucks alone has never made me feel awkward! I’ve been to many Starbucks- their color scheme, tables and chairs… their store layout, menu, even their staff presence, it all feels familiar and comfy.
  • Be Familiar, But Also Different. Starbucks revolutionized the way we do coffee. They created new terms like Venti and aren’t afraid to get a little complicated… extra ho,t non-fat, caramel latte, with 2 pumps cinnamon dolce, add salt and foam topping, anyone? They also made coffee and drinks fun and beautiful by introducing colorful ombre drinks and one of my faves- the pink drink! And, Starbucks managed to have us willingly market these drinks for them, as we post pics of these sweet drinks all over social media:)
  • Be Consistent. Most Starbucks stores have the exact same menu, the same color scheme, store layout and friendly employee types. Their product quality is also consistent, making it easier for people to choose them if their in an unfamiliar place and want a good cup of coffee.
  • Be Engaging. Starbucks staff members always seem friendly and welcoming. They take your name, usually spell it wrong, and try and engage in a little conversation. There’s also a perception that Starbucks is a great place to meet family and friends to enjoy a cup of coffee together.

How Do You Brand A Blog?

When it comes to branding and marketing, everything matters. Every. Little. Detail. The branding process is one of my favorite interests in marketing school because there’s a misconception that it’s focus is mostly on logo design and company name. Once you realize it’s so much more than that, you can really create a cohesive brand that gives the right impression to your target audience. Your branding is how your target audience will perceive your blog. It’s all in how your blog is being perceived.

When it comes to marketing your blog, there are two important factors- the blog itself and the brand. And you can’t really have one without the other, but which one should be your main focus? You can have the best blog posts in the world, but without the proper branding and marketing of that blog- you won’t likely get very far.

Being consistent is key. Not just in terms of when and how often you post. Consistency is key in your tone, your colors, your images, your social media tone and graphics etc.

What Starbucks Taught Me About Marketing

When it comes to having a lot of options for coffee you can’t really beat Starbucks. It seems that there’s virtually a store on every corner. Bad planning or an intentional marketing ploy? It’s been statistically proven that the more Starbucks stores there are in a – mile radius the better each individual store will do. So what does this mean for your Internet marketing campaign? It means that the more ‘stores’ you own, the better your main store will do. 

Here’s a real-time illustration: if you have a main website and five incoming links, you’ll get traffic to the main site from five places. Now this doesn’t mean you need five additional sites along with your main one, these five incoming links are from other websites that often won’t belong to you.

Now if we’re talking numbers let me say this: five is paltry compared to where you need to be. When we work with clients we like to double, triple, or quadruple their incoming links. What does this mean to sales? Well, let’s go back to our Starbucks example. Let’s say you;re scouring the ‘Net for a perfect cup of Joe. When someone Googles “perfect cup of Joe” the mentions of your site come up in excess of 5,000 times. Your competitors come in somewhere at 1,000 or less. So it stands to reason that someone searching on this topic will go to your site before they hit your competitor, right? 

How Do You Get Quality Backlinks?

Ok, so now that we have the incoming links thing down, how in the world do you go about getting all of these links? Well, sometimes the build is slow but that’s ok. What we’re looking for are high-quality, high-traffic incoming links to your site. Let’s break this down even further. 

Going after incoming links can happen a variety of ways. Not the least of which is a link you get from a site after your book is reviewed. That’s probably the most basic link you can get. Ideally you want links from sites that can drive readers (buyers) to your book. Links from other author sites might be a nice way to network but they don’t often leverage anything in the way of ranking or sales potential. 

Why? Well, readers shopping for similar titles often won’t migrate from one author site to another via a link, they’ll generally head over to Amazon and find a list of “similar titles” or the category: Readers who bought this also enjoyed this title. Which then refers you onto a list of their best-selling books in the same genre. Second, unless you’re getting a link from a celebrity author site, you’ll probably find that most author sites don’t have great ranking. Google looks at the ranking of the site that’s linked to you to determine how valuable this link is and in turn, how much it will matter to your overall site ranking. 

The ideal incoming link is from a niche site, meaning that if you’re pushing a WWII novel or a book on dieting, the link is coming from an authority site, i.e. a site that specializes in that topic. 

Networking Sites To Grow Your Blog

The next option for getting more real estate is to start your own social networking page. You can use sites like Facebook, LinkedIn Or Tumblr. These sites can all offer you a way to connect not just with other people in these social networking circles but also gain a valuable incoming link to your site. 

Here’s 11 Great Networking Sites To Join As A Blogger

Article syndication is another great way to get more links. Most of us know and understand the article syndication process. You write an article of 500-2,000 words and send it (called syndicating) to sites like: EzineArticles, ArticleCity and many others. Remember to include your byline in the article with a link back to your site. 

Commenting on blog postings is another way to drive links back to your site. The more you comment, the more links you’ll get. The secondary benefit to this is virtual networking: getting to know bloggers in your market is never a bad thing. 

Gaining valuable real estate and building your “stores” isn’t as difficult as you might think. It takes time, persistence, and some research skills to find the appropriate sites. In the end, the benefits far outweigh the amount of work you’ll do. Gaining exposure online will increase traffic, build platform, enhance exposure and grow your bottom line. So take a lesson from Starbucks and start building a store on every corner. You’ll be glad you did.

On that note- I’ll take a Grande iced caramel macchiatto with extra drizzy, while I sit back and enjoy the free wifi and bang out a few more blog posts and work on building some more valuable backlinks.

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Comments

  1. We each have our own way to look at a brand. But to me, the best way to branding is to treat it like bringing up a child. How to you want your child to be seen by outside people? Obedient, polite or naughty ?

  2. That’s an excellent lesson I learned about blogging from you. It’s so original and exciting. Good many thanks.

  3. Fun comparison but very effective. Starbucks, however, is not my favorite coffee shop. Here in my country, many coffee drinkers use it as a status symbol.

  4. i was amused by your analogy using starbucks to explain blog marketing. one of the things that makes it hard to get back links through ‘mentions’ by other bloggers (for me personally), is that it is sometimes hard to find bloggers in your niche who are willing to collaborate.

  5. what a great article that was well written. With true facts about branding your blog. I really enjoyed it. And yes consistency is the key to success, also enageing too.

  6. Fun article. I had never thought to compare a blog with a successful company and try to emulate it. As a new blogger, I’m still trying to iron out the kinks and the tips are useful.

  7. Starbucks is a great example of good branding. When you think of their name or see their logo, you know exactly what they represent and what they have to offer. It’s something to aspire to as a blogger.

  8. Backlinks are such tricky things to get. And you want ones where they are follow links and not no follow links if at all possible. You have to do a lot of networking and relationship building.

  9. Interesting concept. I’m personally not a huge fan of the franchise, but I definitely get your point. To keep with the metaphor, perhaps it is better to be a one off coffee shop- something people can’t get anywhere else. 😀

  10. Starbucks should sponsor you for this post! Brilliant! And now I want an iced drink LOL

    XOXO
    CarnationDreams.com

  11. I was expecting you gonna be like Carrie in the Sex in the city…😂
    Fun article, not a fan of Starbucks personally, but I like blogging in other coffee venues.🙂🙂

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