Purpose: Design and UX are effective means of embodying value, but if marketers couple these with an ambiguous concept, the product/service loses its uniqueness. Starbucks exhibits strength in creating value based on concepts. Various studies report factors that contribute to brand loyalty, but the underlying idea remains unexplored. This study comprehensively verifies the contribution of four factors to Starbucks’ loyalty in Japan: concept, product, place, and staff.
Methodology: Using an online survey, a question was framed about the brand image to identify loyalty-related factors, since consumers form brand image through brand experience. To avoid bias, the responses were based purely on recall. The contribution of each derived factor to loyalty was evaluated using structural equation modeling.
Findings: When asked about the Starbucks brand image, respondents mostly recalled its products (related words), but the brand concept was the most effective factor for loyalty. In addition, places were more significant than products. However, product superiority was confirmed in terms of both frequency and contribution compared to place.
Implications: Companies should reaffirm the importance of brand concepts. Thus, emphasis should be placed on the index of concept recall in brand management.