Starbucks : Spilling The Beans On Conspicuous Consumption Essay
Spilling the Beans on Conspicuous Consumption
“Starbucks does not owe it’s success to the superiority of it’s coffee […] as much as it relies on it’s aesthetic experience.” (Grazian, 179) An aesthetic experience that has caused brand recognition worldwide, while changing the historic significance of the coffeehouse into the commercial “coffee shop” that can be observed through customer interactions. But while the company has brought a familiar coffee shop experience to the world, consumers of the Starbucks brand are joined together in conspicuous consumption and isolation.
Coffeehouses to Coffee Shops
Coffeehouses can be traced back to the early 1500’s Middle East, the first one opening in Damascus in 1530 (Standage, 2015). These establishments served as a social gathering point of the community where neighbors were met, friends were made, and stories were told. Despite differences in social standings, a simple poet or a distinguished preacher could draw an audience and discussion with other patrons. During the next two hundred years, coffeehouses began to appear in Europe first in Venice, then London, Vienna, Paris, and Bucharest. Depending on the area, women were prohibited to visit coffeehouses in places such as England and France. However, in what is now Germany, they were welcome. (Coffee History) By the Victorian era, English coffeehouses were seen as an alcohol free alternative to the pub. (Beatty-Kingston,1892) Coffeehouses were soon brought to North…