Americans like bitter, weak coffee, served from stores like 7-11 and in as large a mug you can find. Change the flavour dramatically with sugar and syrups, and you have your americano-coffee.
Australians love espresso, and they love supporting the independents.
McDonnalds would probably suffer the same fate, if they hadnt grown slowly like they did. Can you imagine Ronald McDonnald arriving in Australia, big red shoes, goofy smile and destined to plant a 'restaurant' in every town across Australia? No, we Aussies prefer the organic approach. If we like you, we will continue to support you, but don't go telling me it's your way or the highway.
Probably the biggest mistake Starbucks made, was when they marched down Lygon St in Carlton near Melbourne, big arse neon signs under their arms and thought they would take on the sacred birth place of coffee in Australia! I dont think it was confidence so much as plain old arrogance.
Then they told us, to order a coffee here - you need to quote lines like "Venti Mocha double frappa crappa latte"!