Starbucks: Entering Australia

Category: Business
Date added
Pages:  4
Words:  1111
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Background Information

Starbucks is an American coffee market and a famous coffeehouse chain. In the past ten years, the company has been struggling to make inroads into the Australian market, with most of its initial attempts failing miserably. It is easy to find Starbucks coffee shops almost everywhere in the United States, Europe, and Even parts of Asia, but not in Australia.

Such a situation may have been motivated by the fact that the company had once in 2008 tried to establish its outlets in Australia, but unfortunately, its ventures failed to maneuver because of the lack of cultural differences between the United States and Australia. Starbucks, which is famous for its high-quality Arabica coffee and specialty coffee, was forced to close over 70% of its underperforming outlets in Australia after the company tried to push its cultural worldview on the Australians, who already have a thriving coffee culture that they love.

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Early this year, Starbucks continued with its journey of Australia by reinventing several aspects of its brand features, business model and communication approaches to attract the Australian coffee customer who has remained adamant to shift from the Australian coffee culture to the American coffee culture. Starbucks is still offering its Arabica coffee but now with a different approach that requires a systematic strategy that would assist the company to gain moment and break the cultural conflict that had initially affected its start-up operations back in 2008.

While settling in Australia, reports revealed that Starbucks was even unable to integrate a suitable working team that blends well with the American communication and workplace norms. At one time, native Australian workers who worked for Starbucks were in constant disagreement with their American counterparts. In an organization with such a cultural blend, communication differences may arise due to cultural differences.

As a communication and business consultant, the company has contracted me develop a nonverbal approach to help address communication problems in the lower service-line workers, who have persistently demonstrated communication misunderstandings between the American-born workers and the Australian-born workers. Most of these workers have had little opportunities to explore the communication differences that exist between them.

However, Australia is an egalitarian society, and each member of the community feels equal to any other members of high rank. In several occasions, the Australians working in Starbucks have often received the direct commands from those Americans in higher ranks within the service line negatively (Buttrose 25). As a communication expert who has interacted with the American and Australian workers on various occasions, my expertise is essential in addressing the communication dilemma that is bewildering Starbucks in its service line.

Explanation of the Non-verbal Communication

A Non-verbal communication is the use of elements or behaviors, other than the speech itself, that transmit meaning from one person to another (Riggio and Feldman 22). It involves the use of facial expressions, gestures, haptic, proxemics, body language and posture, and eye gazes, among other non-verbal cues to transmit a message from one person to another (Key 12). My expertise is needed in Starbucks Australia because nonverbal communication may prove significant in addressing or complementing the verbal communication that most of the Australians do not seem to understand when the American workers speak in their twang.

Most of the Americans working at the Starbucks are still influenced by the American twang, while their verbal communication seems rather commanding to most of the Australian workers working in the same business environment (Buttrose 25). Cultural and communication differences have fueled relational differences in this organization.

As an expert in cross-cultural and non-verbal communication, I would wish to address five areas of importance, which when carefully considered in the operations of Starbucks, can lead to a successful communication culture in this company. These topics will include communication and non-verbal behavior, physical appearance, gestures and body movements, functions and facial expressions, and personality differences. While trying to understand the problem in Starbucks, it is essential to consider communication and non-verbal behavior in the communication challenges experienced at the service line of Starbucks’s Australian outlets (Riggio and Feldman 22).

Communication and non-verbal behavior are intertwined, and when carefully considered, Starbucks can manage to achieve a successful communication culture (Riggio and Feldman 22). Non-verbal communication uses non-verbal cues to send and receive messages and it allows communicators to share ideas through actions, facial expressions, gestures, haptic, proxemics, body language and posture, and eye gazes, among other non-verbal cues to transmit a message (Key 12).

In the situation of Starbucks, this kind of communication helps correspondents to send simultaneous messages that can result in positive reciprocations. Physical appearance is an essential element in communication (Key 12). People’s physical appearance creates the first impression, has a strong relational development among individuals and significantly influences our willingness and unwillingness to communicate (Krueger 32). If Starbucks realizes this influence, communication between the native Australians and the Americans may get easier along the way. Gestures and body movements are also important in non-verbal communication.

Australians are familiar with facial expressions and the meanings they deliver between individuals. When carefully considered and incorporated in Starbucks and regularly practiced, facial impressions may be important in signaling acceptance or disapproval, disbelief or even sincerity (Krueger 32). Australians are egalitarian and autonomous, and such expressions can help to improve communication in Starbucks by changing their sense of being in Starbucks. Finally, personality differences can change the communication and interaction between the Australian workers and the Americans working at Starbucks.

Eye Contact- Australians are highly egalitarian, value democracy and openness. The best way to communicate to an Australian is through eye contact, which often increases trust and an individual’s perception of the message being conveyed (Buttrose 17). At the Starbucks, employees must utilize eye contact while addressing their Australian workmates to improve their understanding of sense, message and the ideas that the communicator is seeking to pass across.

Facial expressions- Individuals working at the Starbucks Australia may be experiencing communication differences due to the verbal difficulties experienced in accent and message interpretation between the Australians and the Americans. Facial expressions are important because apart from the message carried through verbal communication, the face can send important clues to what is required of a person. Experts believe that the eyes are the window to the soul and the face is a marque that advertises the emotions, moods and attitudes of a person.

Tones and Sound in gestures- Australians believe in democracy and their communication involves pleas and not commands (Lewis 8). In an organization such as Starbucks, where Australian-born workers and the American-born workers are getting some difficulties in their verbal communication, the tone and sound that comes with gestures must show respect, humbleness, and love for a workmate (Lewis 8). When carefully used, the tones can influence interactions between these workers.

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Starbucks: Entering Australia. (2020, Jan 03). Retrieved from