Zenoti works with large brands in the beauty and wellness world. Naturally, we think about what leads businesses to successful expansion and success. In this article, Sudheer Koneru, CEO at Zenoti, shares Starbucks’ journey and their most critical aspect of success to scaling the business.
As I sit here at Starbucks, very close to the original cafe in Seattle, I can’t help but be amazed at the transformation of Starbucks. From a single store selling coffee beans, to a giant lifestyle brand and ultimately, a technology company.
20 years ago, Starbucks wasn’t any different from the many cafes that catered to Seattle’s coffee culture. The brand’s leader, Howard Schultz, broke away from his competitors and did the unthinkable – built an $80 billion company. How was he, of all the contenders, able to scale his business and why do they continue to be wildly successful today?
Strategy, certainly played a significant role in Starbucks’ wild success and there are obvious reasons why consumers love Starbucks, like their free wi-fi and warm ambiance. However, I’d like to focus on the infrastructure that is core to Starbucks as a business. The thing that makes it possible for them to execute so efficiently and make decisions that build deep customer loyalty. And in doing this, I’ll also make the case as to how spa and salon chains can follow a similar path to be wildly successful with their expansion goals.
Starbucks’ growth today is all about the effortless customer experience. This keeps customers coming back frequently and spending more. As a regular customer, I know what keeps me coming back. Quite simply, they’ve made it incredibly easy for me to:
Any Starbucks customers would have the same assessment as above. As a business head, it’s clear to me that Starbucks also benefits from an elegant business model and it’s streamlined, consistent processes in the back-end. For example, their consistency in processes makes for a mobile workforce. Employees can move between locations without missing a beat. I’m certain the talent acquisition team at Starbucks certainly appreciates this aspect!
In order to achieve success at scale, Starbucks became a technology company. I’ve shared examples of how software impacts the customer experience as these examples are easy to appreciate by any reader. But, at the core Starbucks relies on a solid IT infrastructure. This is true for all large-scale businesses from retail giants like Walmart to service companies like FedEx. These companies understood early in their expansion that they could not create, deliver and market their products and services effectively without enterprise-class technology.
At Zenoti, we serve the enterprise beauty and wellness market. In the last few years, we’ve seen these companies waking up to the importance of tech investments. Similar to the Starbucks customer experience, we see technology transforming our industry’s customer experience, whether it’s through things like:
The technology backbone also redefines business operations with things like:
I see an opportunity in every market segment, and certainly in the spa and salon market, for a new competitor to surprise the industry by redefining the customer experience. And, in doing so winning big in the market.
The key, I believe, is that companies need to think and act in equal parts a technology company and wellness company. Starbucks serves as a good role model. Business owners looking to expand their brand must recognize that they need true enterprise-class technology solutions and be willing to take a step back and challenge themselves on what they can do to enable their business for true success.
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