Starbuck´s brand effects - distinguishing unconscious ´wanting` and conscious liking in consumers’ choice of coffee brand: A consumer behavioral study based on marketing and consumer neuroscientific measuring methods

Imane Bouzidi

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis presents a behavioral and consumer neuroscientific analysis of how the Starbucks brand affects the Danish consumer mindset. It specifically looks at how Danes relate to the Starbucks brand in terms of their emotions and behaviors. The intention is first of all to explore the main theoretical factors that have a general relation to brand effects on consumers and their motivations leading to final coffee brand choice. Among several psychological brand aspects and consumer neuroscientific theories, the main focus in this study is on two of the consumer´s motivational systems: unconscious ´wanting` and conscious liking. The hypothesis being proposed throughout is that the measurements of the Danish consumer´s pre-assumptions (liking) towards the brands will be connected to their final brand choice. In addition to this, it is assumed that they will prefer the taste (which points to liking) and consume more (which points to ´wanting`) of the high quality coffee than of the low quality coffee, even though they are blind tested. Finally, based on their high brand equity, diversity and popularity, it is expected that Starbucks will be the most highly preferred brand among its Danish competitors. The findings derived from these results serve as a supplement to the theoretical foundation of the hypotheses. These are tested in an experimental coffee tasting set-up in Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg plads. The structuring of the experiment process and the subsequent analysis is primarily based on the marketing consumer-based-brand-equity model, the neuroscientific value-based model of choice and finally an integrated ´wanting` and liking perspective. The test was conducted on 122 randomly chosen participants, age: 20-40, living in Denmark and equally distributed between male and female. The respondents were asked to taste four different brands; Starbucks, Baresso, Ricco and Waynes. The branded coffee samples did not contain coffee from the original suppliers. It contained two different qualities of coffee, a high and a low, sponsored by the supplier ´Kontra`. In the first part of the experiment, the respondents were exposed to a chronological order where the brands contained: Starbucks: High quality, Baresso; High quality, Ricco; Low quality and Waynes; Low quality. In the second part, the qualities were reversed in order to optimize the statistical results. Overall, the findings demonstrated that the Starbucks brand had a high positive effect on the Danish consumer´s taste experiences, amount of consumed coffee and on measurements of how well they liked the taste. Compared with the competitors: Baresso, Ricco and Waynes, the Starbucks brand had a very strong positive bond to the Danish consumers and was associated with several positive statements.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages128