Starbucks: An Analysis of the Company's Competitive Advantages

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Starbucks has a number of different strengths on which it can draw in order to see its vision come to fruition. The company has a great brand, and this brand allows it to enter new markets and to add new products to its lineup. For example, the power of the Starbucks brand allowed the company to enter into a worldwide deal with Pepsi for bottled drinks in the supermarket. Also, when Starbucks enters new markets, its brand value usually precedes it. It can attract expats immediately and will pique the curiosity of the locals. Considering the value of the brand in high growth Asian markets like China, Starbucks has tremendous potential to bring its vision to reality. Another key strength lies with the firm's financial condition. Starbucks has a lot of free cash flow, a low amount of long term debt, and a healthy balance sheet overall. If there's one thing that can hold a company back from achieving its vision, it is a lack of money. Starbucks already has the financial wherewithal to finance its own rapid growth, but it is also worth mentioning that the company has access to capital markets, in part because of its strong history of financial management excellence and in part because of its low debt load. Lastly, the leadership of Howard Schultz is a critical asset that will help Starbucks to continue to grow in the future. When Schultz left the company, its standards began to slide and its ideas were not as good. It was weak in the competitive marketplace and eventually
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