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Starbucks has shared a letter sent by Kantar Millward Brown – a leading multinational market research firm – to Starbucks chief strategy officer Matt Ryan. The letter from Brian James, the firm’s President, Brand and Communications practice, highlighted findings refuting information in the marketplace based on research reports and speculative data about Starbucks’ performance.

“Over the past week, there has been misinformation widely disseminated in the market about our brand, and stakeholders need the facts,” said Mr Ryan. “The following note came from the president of Kantar Millward Brown – our long-term partner in providing brand and consumer equity research – clarifying current Starbucks brand perception. Reports suggesting anything other than this should be viewed sceptically and do not reflect the customer satisfaction and perception trends we are seeing so far in 2017.”

Mr James’ letter stated: “Kantar Millward Brown has provided Brand Equity measurement for Starbucks since 2013. Following the recent release of results from a YouGov Brand Index Survey, several news organizations have reported that Starbucks is suffering from consumer backlash related to its announcement to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years.

“Such backlash or declines are not substantiated in our own measurement of Starbucks Brand Health and Consumer Sentiment. Kantar Millward Brown has conducted on-going monthly measurement of Starbucks Brand Perceptions and Consumer Sentiment toward the Brand and saw no such impact in February 2017. In fact, in February 2017 – after the announcement – we did not observe any substantive impact on Customer Consideration, Future Visitation Intent or Brand Perceptions or any other key performance metrics for the Starbucks brand.”

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