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Pour Your Heart Into It

How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

By Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang
  • Read in 15 minutes
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang

Pour Your Heart Into It takes you on the enthralling journey of how Starbucks came to be a success story. It sheds light on its beginnings, reveals how the quick growth rate was possible and sets out to explain how businesses can learn from its strategies and principles.

Key idea 1 of 9

Success in business comes from selling an authentic product.

If you bring up Starbucks in conversation, chances are pretty much everyone will know what you’re talking about. You know Starbucks as a successful business, but have you ever wondered how it came to be?

The secret to Starbucks’ success is, for founder Howard Schultz, no secret at all. Plain and simple, the success of Starbucks lies with the brand’s authenticity, achieved by selling only the highest quality coffee.

Back in 1981, Starbucks was just a small retail store. It sold exclusively dark-roasted Italian style coffee, which may be ubiquitous today, but was still a novelty back then. By roasting the coffee dark, the coffee grows in strength, gains a more powerful aroma and has the distinct taste of authentic Italian coffee.

Starbucks never compromised its beans, and became known for its premium-quality, dark-roasted flavor profile that its founders were so passionate about. Because of those early business decisions, Starbucks had an undeniable feeling of authenticity about it since the start.

The company has held true to its authentic coffee profile, in tough times to the present day. In 1994, coffee prices shot to an all-time high on the world market, from $0.80 to $2.74 in a matter of days, after a frost that destroyed much of Brazil’s coffee plants.

During this coffee crisis, a lot of shareholders promoted the purchase of cheaper beans, to keep the price of a cup of joe stable. But Starbucks was unwilling to compromise quality and continued to sell the highest quality coffee they could, instead reducing other costs to account for the higher price of beans. When the world coffee market recovered, Starbucks had an even stronger customer base because its quality remained consistently high.

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