Every so often CCTV ( the national Chinese broadcaster) launches a TV reports trashing down companies, some say (righty so ?) that it os orchestrated to put pressure on brands. Last year Apple suffered the almost comical disinformation campaign…and now it is Starbuck’s turn.
The report showcased an exceptional display of ignorance, simplified conclusion, blatant lack of basic business understanding ( especially for a customer report program) and more importantly an apparent disregard for the implications of implementing national level regulations.
The base of the trashing session was that a starbuck cup of coffee is more expensive in China than it is in the USA and of course that is immoral ! The evil foreign brand is taking advantage of the Chinese customer.
Let’s put some perspectives:
1. China is flooded with coffee chains: costa coffee, pacific coffee, cafe been ( korea)…not just starbuck
2. the cost of the similar cup of coffee in ANY coffee shop ( branded or not) is essentially the same around China.
3. starbuck, unlike its competitors is actually withdrawing from the market. In Beijing alone they have closed several outfits including their airport flagship, the san li tun ( hippest place in town) one and the historical Guo Mao ( WTC)…all of which were always packed and you’d have to always queue ( no matter the time of the day)…One reason: RENTAL COST is off the roof.
4. the price of coffee has not raised in Beijing over the last 10 years, but the purchasing power of client has increased and the cost of rent is off the roof ( seriously it is ridiculous).
Well, so the mindless bashing of the brand took on the web and I think this weibo user has it right
“@作业本: Purchasing the most expensive housing in the world, driving the most expensive cars in the world, filling up with the fastest rising gasoline prices, eating the least safe food in the world, enjoying medical care where one serious illness can bankrupt several families, using an internet that is simultaneously expensive and slow and disgusting, posting microblogs [in a country] that receives the most express delivery parcels in the world… These you completely turn a blind eye to and yet you come tell me that a cup of coffee I drink less than five times a year is the most expensive coffee in the world? That’s interesting!”