Experience design at Starbucks

From global brand management to local spatial experiences


  • Amani ALAALI Northumbria University
  • Irini PITSAKI Heriot Watt University




spatial experience design, local identities integration


This study explores the question: Within the context of global brands management and the need for integrating local identities, how does Starbucks achieve global consistency and meaningfully localised experiences? Through a review of literature and a series of interviews with store designers, design managers and brand concept experts at Starbucks, we compiled the most commonly applied branding and design methods, with an emphasis on the locally relevant spatial experiences the global brand delivers. Moreover, we set out to classify our findings in a way that can assist other brand and experience design teams in overcoming shard challenges. Our findings focus on the management of the grounding brand concept, as well as operations and real estate teams. Through presenting some tools, manuals, guidelines and sample checklists, we suggest that store design teams in different locations can build strong, locally relevant spatial experiences that tie in successfully with the brand’s global principles.




How to Cite

ALAALI , A. ., & PITSAKI , I. . (2019). Experience design at Starbucks: From global brand management to local spatial experiences. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management, 2(1), 893–907. https://doi.org/10.33114/adim.2019.02.305