Wisdom From the Starbucks Land Baron
By Michael V. Copeland

(Business 2.0) – Want to grow like Starbucks? Arthur Rubinfeld can help. As Starbucks's real estate guru for over a decade, he led its expansion to more than 4,000 stores before founding AirVision, a consulting firm that works with Adidas and Omaha Steaks. This month he shares his secrets in Built for Growth (Wharton School Publishing), but first he gives us the highlights. -- MICHAEL V. COPELAND

Focus on what makes you special. "Set the points of differentiation very early," he says. For Seattle's Blue C Sushi, that meant giving conveyor-belt cuisine a hip look. Now it's poised for expansion.

Think big from the beginning. Even with just one location, make sure the architecture is easy to duplicate. "Most people leverage everything they have on the first store," Rubinfeld says.

Innovate, but don't alienate loyalists. Starbucks is "very sensitive to what their core customers are giving them license to expand into," Rubinfeld says, pointing to F.A.O. Schwarz as an example of what not to do. "Wal-Mart beat them at price, and they had nothing," he says. The retailer should have taken cues from Burberry, a stodgy brand that expanded into new price points.