Starbucks: Recession proof?

I am by no means a financial analyst. I can’t tell you how to read the stock exchange or if we’re coming out of this lovely recession we’ve been stuck in for far too long. However, that doesn’t leave me without financial analysis capabilities, because I still have my eye balls.

Eye balls, you might ask? I’ll explain. Being graphic designers we are often privy to a companies financial budgets in regards to marketing. Projects that we work on can quickly become expensive depending on special things that we add, such as a special die cut or the use of metallic inks. It is because of this knowledge that many graphic designers, we can easily look at a piece and say, “Oooo! That must have cost a pretty penny! So many special processes added!” It’s in the same realm that a general contractor can look at a kitchen and realize that the wood used is high-end walnut and that the countertops are marble that runs at high prices per square foot. Everyone in a specific line of work knows what their work costs.

It is because of this knowledge and capability that while I was standing in line at Starbucks the other day I noticed their Pick of the Week cards. Starbucks teamed up with Itunes to bring a free song each week. It looked different though. So I picked it up and really started looking at it. SILVER INK! SILVER INK! The design had gone much more streamlined from it’s previous version and they had added the silver ink. It seemed like a bold move, especially since I knew it can’t have been cheap to add silver ink. They’re not just sending a few to each store either. These cards are sent to over 17,000 stores in 55 countries.

The logical side of me knows that they are probably getting price cuts because they print so many, but still. While the rest of the world is going more digital just to try to keep up with marketing needs, while cutting back 10%-20% of their marketing budgets, Starbucks is marching right along, printing in silver and not looking back. All I can say is congratulations Starbucks. I’m glad my morning late is keeping you recession proof.

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