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American Culture

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The American culture has its interesting history and features. The circumstances, which created the current American culture, are connected to such important the nation questions of gender and identity, success of the whole nation, as well as the each citizen. A long time ago, when America was discovered, it became an extremely popular place to move in. The same charm has most of the American brands; they become popular not only in the borders of the country, but also far away abroad. The brands create the culture and the general image of Americans and their country. They show the main features of the American soul, its strivings, feelings and experience. The traditional view of freedom and success has changed. Now this idea involves “self-realization” (Samuelson). However, it is impossible without some attributes which go along on this road. The Forbes rate includes such brands as Apple, Starbucks, Facebook and many others. They are on the different places in it, but even though they represent the American culture very clearly. These brands help this “self-realization”. Starbucks is a symbol of freedom and independence. Who drinks Starbucks seems to be a person who knows what he or she wants.

Every day in the world, people drink more than two billion cups of coffee. Every fifth cup of beverage is consumed in USA, so it is the world’s largest consumer of coffee, and the International Coffee Organization recognized American Seattle “coffee capital of the world” because it is the largest amount of the coffee stores in Seattle. Coffee is the second most popular after the oil commodities in the international market and the largest U.S. agricultural imports section. Paradoxically, recently coffee that Americans drank that experts considered as the most tasteless in the world. However now, American style coffee consumption winning tradition of the whole culture. First Coffee in the U.S. did not receive a wide distribution. America, being a British colony, preferred to drink tea. In 1773 in the North American colonies of the British Empire, King George the Third has established a tax on tea. This was the beginning of the American Revolution that led to the formation of the independent United States.

Coffee for a while was the drink of the most wealthy and respectable American public. Currently coffee is available to everyone, but this trend remains. Drinking coffee, especially Starbucks, is the symbol of wealth and respect. Gradually, it “went to the people” under the influence of three unrelated with each other processes. One of the factors, in which coffee has won the U.S., was the introduced in the early 20th century Prohibition. Coffee for a while replaced alcohol. The ban on alcohol in the U.S. was canceled, but the habit of coffee remained.

In 1971 in Seattle, a small coffee store was opened. It called “Starbucks”. Starbucks did for American coffee the same as McDonald’s for another achievement of American cooking – hamburger. Starbucks has become a new national symbol of America and one of the most successful examples of globalization initially local businesses. As a result, Starbucks is now the world’s largest chain of coffee shops. Starbucks is mostly liked coffee in the world. This drink is available to every American who likes coffee.

The secret of the Starbucks success is not only the quality of coffee. Howard Schultz, the CEO of the company gave Americans a new fashion – “look at coffee as a process rather than a drink”. Starbucks announced a real culture of coffee. Next to the Starbucks, the U.S. created more new net coffee bars that follow the same policy. The success of Starbucks became an inspiration for consumers and competitors as well. The similar coffee stores appeared everywhere all over, but they offer coffee with lower price. The other cafes offer now “espresso”. It is available even at the gas stations and the fast food restaurants. The typical customer of “brand new generation” coffee bar is generally well educated, well read, follows the fashion trends and has a good taste. He strives to comfort and respectability. He always knows what he wants and how to achieve this. He chooses a quality service. He comes at the cafe to rest, work or exercise in a relaxed atmosphere, chat with friends, read a newspaper or book. In addition to that, Starbucks equips its cafe with the computers with Internet access and offers to connect laptops to the WIFI as well.

Starbucks fundamentally changed the understanding of coffee. According to the National Coffee Association of the USA, at the beginning of the 1990s, the average consumer of coffee was very unpretentious. Now he carefully chooses between dozens of varieties. If in 1991 throughout the United States were only 500 cafes, where they prepared coffee for the gourmets. After ten years, the number of coffee store has increased to 8.5 thousand. Americans drink more coffee and prefer to use big cups.

In America, Starbucks became the embodiment of democratic coffee shops for a new generation of visitors – educated and with good taste. It became the symbol of success and leadership. Moreover, it fits to the quickly lifestyle of Americans and is cheap. It became the “third place” between work and home for the whole country. Starbucks coffee store is a place to socialize. Till now, it is also one of the reasons of people gathering. It is so comfortable to come to the Starbucks store with friends. Even though, it is overpriced, it is not so expensive, as restaurants, but it is quite available for common people.

Besides, the price includes the “coolness” of the place.  It is quick, so if the time is strictly limited, Starbucks allows saving a little time. In addition to that, the obvious huge amount of people likes coffee, so the problem of the “do not like” excludes itself. That is why, beside the coffee Starbucks have been selling the lifestyle since the beginning. The aim of Howard Schultz was to make his chain of coffee stores not just selling coffee. He wanted to create a special atmosphere while making it the “third place” between work and home. For example, the music which sounds in the Starbucks store is the same in each store over the country. In addition to that, Howard Schultz underlined that his business is “not to fill stomachs, and to fill the soul”. It is a simple, but brilliant secret of Starbucks success.

The best proof of the connection between Starbucks and American is described in the book Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks written by Bryant Simon. The secret of Starbucks success is in its marketing strategy. Except the various types of cold and hot coffee, Starbucks offers the “coolness” of its product. It means that cup of Starbucks coffee in the hand accomplishes the whole style. It became the symbol of American popular culture. It is “advertised” even in movies where the characters usually drink coffee of this brand. That is why, the foreigners often associate the Americans with holding the Starbucks cup in the hand or taking a break with friends on the Starbucks store or café. It is also part of American image. The perfect cup of coffee plus the “third place” plus customers’ satisfaction and innovative ideas what to add to their products or services, all of these create the general Starbucks and its image on the market. They create the Starbucks community and people join it. It is important because it means the concession. This fact proves the significance of this coffee in the lives of American. The icon of Starbucks is now the first association with the word “coffee”. The former the emblem contained the brand name Starbucks. Today’s cup of coffee does not need the word anymore. The Siren, depicted on the logo, is known to every one all over the world. In mythology, Siren is a mermaid who sings in the sea for travelers in order to pull them out of the route. The Siren of Starbucks has the other aim. She “sings” to the travelers of life and encourages them to have a little break. Starbucks Company claims that their first aim was to provide qualitative beverages. However, with the development of the company, their goals also developed. Now the huge role plays the connection of people. Not only Americans, but this nation first of all, is connected by their common love to coffee in general and to Starbucks drink in particular. Moreover, they are part of the coffee fans communities. They are like huge coffee families. The American dream of being free, successful and having good luck in every case is part of Starbucks strategy and its production provided to customers with the same mood.

It is not the coffee. The point is in the culture, in the spirit and the principles laid down in the brand. For example, the buying a Starbucks-branded chocolate supports the principle of fair trade and helps the poor farmers in Ghana to support its own business, which in turn allows standing up the whole country. This information is written in small gray text on the back of the pack bars. It seems to be a trifle, but such attention to detail and build brands.

In the interesting article Becoming American, Dinesh D’Souza wrote about America as a place where poor people live “comparatively well”. It is true. Most of the Americans can allow buying Starbucks coffee every day for several times. Sure, part of coffee fans cannot allow drinking it every day, but they still can purchase it. He also mentions the ability to “write the script of your own life”. He meant the possibility to choose at the global level, but nothing is global without local. This is an American culture: being independent in communication, successful and stylish.

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