Taking brand localisation one step further

Everywhere around the world, Starbucks’ look and feel is quite consistent.
In the outside the logo stands out and in the inside most of the stores have a similar coffee shop-style design.
Despite that, in some countries (as part of Starbucks’ product localization strategy) local food and beverages are added to the menu or some of the stores are adapted to fit in with local cultural conventions. But always making sure that every Starbucks doesn’t lose its brand consistency.

In Japan the brand has presence since 1996, with already more than 1,200 stores. A few or them are “concept stores” in Japan’s tourist destinations, which reflect the local characteristics of the neighbourhood or have a very innovative design (like the one in Fukuoka Prefecture).
In the latest store opened in Kyoto, Starbucks has decided to try something new. They have just opened the world’s first Starbucks coffee shop with tatami rooms, emulating the environment of a traditional Japanese house, but not only that…

The new store is located in a 100-year-old, two-storey traditional Japanese townhouse, near the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kiyomizu temple, a popular tourist destination.
Starbucks has done its best to make sure the coffee shop blends in with its traditional surroundings. There are no neon signs and no big green Starbucks names or logos. Instead, there is a traditional dark-blue curtain hanging over the front door. The coffee shop’s logo is printed on the curtain in black.
The first floor includes the coffee bar and is decorated with paper lanterns. Windows and hallways throughout feature views of the building’s surrounding gardens and stonework.
Before heading up to the second level, keeping with the custom in Japan, visitors are expected to remove their shoes to access to an area that has been divided into three sitting rooms with tatami reed floors and cushions.

A new experience that combines Kyoto’s traditional vibe with the modern Starbucks coffee culture.