It’s Okay to Like Starbucks, Damn It.

When brands hit the “big time” they often become polarizing. Such is the case with Starbucks, a company that is loved and hated by millions and millions, respectively.

This is where I editorialize the heck out of this story…

Starbucks, for me, is consistency. It’s convenience. It’s knowing that I’m not getting the best coffee in the world but I’m definitely not getting the worst. In my youth (all those decades ago) I was one of the original anti-Starbucks snobs. The first one was built in Oklahoma City and I instantly hated it. What was this coffee-variation of Wal Mart or McDonald’s doing in my city trying to get me to try their mass-produced coffee so I’ll abandon the hand-packed, experienced barista love that I was getting at the local joint?

Who did they think they were?

And then I tried one. It wasn’t bad. There were better coffee shops around Oklahoma City (many of which have closed down now) but it was smooth and high-enough quality to drink.

When another one opened closer to my house, I started going there and noticed something – consistency. That consistency has translated into Starbucks being my “go to” coffee shop whenever I travel. Why? Because I know what I’m getting.

There’s nothing wrong with liking Starbucks. Hipsters hate it. Bloggers rip on it. Environmentalists try to find its evil ways hidden behind a veil of eco-conscientiousness. It doesn’t matter. It’s still the place where I and millions of others go to get our fix.

How big are they? How have they grown? This graphic by our friends at Online MBA put together a nice timeline and factographic (I’m getting so tired of the term “infographic” but I doubt “factographic” will take off) that puts the Starbucks journey into perspective.

Enjoy, and click to enlarge.

The Scale of Starbucks
[Source: Online MBA]

Embed this Image on Your Site:

Leave a Reply


  1. I agree that Starbucks coffee is not that bad, and in fact I frequent there myself. However, the fact that it has consistency going for it – is not limited to itself. I’ve found most other coffee shops to be consisten as well – and in fact serve better coffee – with more emphasis on local beans and flavors. Anyways, Starbucks is not as “evil” as people make it out to be. Here in China, it provides a very comfortable space to sit, chat, read, work in an environment that previously was almost impossible to find here.