Starbucks Brand Versus Their Competitors in Canada
Based on brand rankings in Canada, Starbucks is ranked in the 105 for trustworthiness, and even higher for its company values and its consumer-company relationship. While Starbucks does not shine as one of the top brands in Canada, Canadians associate Starbucks with high-quality that worth the higher price.
Starbucks' Brand Affinity
- The University of Victoria provides an annual ranking of the most trusted brands in Canada. The ranking analyzes five factors: brand trust (the brand's perceived trustworthiness), functional trust (how the brand carries out its goals), the brand's values, the brand's relationship with its customers, and word of mouth.
- Based on the 2019 rankings, Starbucks was ranked 102 of 313 in brand trust, up from 109 in 2018. However, in 2017 and 2016, Starbucks was ranked significantly higher at 46 and 87 respectively.
- For comparison, Walmart was ranked 273, Nike was ranked 136, Google was ranked 230, Costco was ranked 3, Amazon was ranked 15, and Tim Horton's was ranked 136.
- Starbucks excelled in the values (56th) and consumer relationships (52nd) categories, but faltered in the functional trust (143rd) and word of mouth (168th) categories.
- Ipsos, a global market research firm, annually presents a list of the top ten most influential brands in Canada. While Tim Horton's occupied the tenth spot in 2018, Starbucks has never appeared on this list.
- In a survey in 2018, Canadians were asked which coffee brands they preferred to utilize while at home. Starbucks ranked 3rd overall with 16% of respondents selecting the brand, placing it behind Tim Hortons (30.5%) and Folgers (19.4%). Following behind Starbucks was Nespresso (9.6%), McCafe (8.8%), Van Houtte (7.4%), Lavazza (3%), Timothy's (2.7%), and Melitta (2.6%).
- Starbucks has fewer locations and sells its products for higher prices than Tim Horton's. Based on these two factors, Tim Horton's is cheaper and more accessible to most Canadians. Yet, more Canadians prefer Starbucks, implying that many are willing to pay more or go further distances to purchase from Starbucks.
- Another 2018 survey revealed that 13% of Canadian consumers believed that Starbucks coffee's quality had improved, compared to 14% for Tim Hortons. However, when asked whether the brands' coffee had worsened, merely 7% said yes for Starbuck, while 19% said the same for Tim Hortons.
- In regard to the level of service provided, 13% of Canadian consumers said that the quality of service at Starbucks had improved, compared to 8% for Tim Hortons. Moreover, only 13% say Starbucks' service has worsened, compared to 25% for its competitor Tim Hortons.
After extensive investigation, our team was unable to find a survey that explicitly delved into the Canadian consumer's perception of Starbucks. We found one source from Medium that compared Canadian perception of Starbucks to Tim Horton's, but only twenty people were interviewed, which we felt was not sufficient to present as evidence. Nonetheless, in this survey, the general finding was Tim Horton's was better for convenience and Starbucks was better for quality. Our findings above support this notion.