The Starbucks Experience: It’s More Than a Cup of Coffee
The Starbucks mission is, “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” It’s easy to say Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. That’s because it’s more than buying a cup of coffee, it’s experiencing a good cup of coffee.
With experience as their primary focus, Starbucks employees are given the responsibility to make their customers feel important. When a customer walks into a Starbucks store, anywhere in the world, it’s guaranteed:
- Baristas say the customer’s name when their drink order is ready
- Employees know their customer’s previous orders if they ordered on the mobile app
- Customers’ voices are heard by listening to feedback and surveys
- Each Starbucks store has a similar feel, while still customized to its local community
- Drinks will taste the same no matter where in the world it’s ordered
Their marketing tactics advanced in 2011 when Starbucks launched their mobile app, harnessing Big Data to provide a more personalized and enjoyable customer experience. The mobile app delivers exactly what customers desire: a seamless experience.
The biggest selling points for downloading the app:
- Efficiency. Skipping the line altogether and having orders ready at the counter
- Convenience. Customers can set up a credit card or even link gift cards for payment
- Loyalty Rewards. Active app users earn rewards like discounts and free food and drinks
- Personalization. Marketing promotions are personal and based on customers’ previous orders
Starbucks marketers have notable strategies to make their beverages go viral. We’ve witnessed several memorable campaigns, such as their holiday cup seen every winter and their various frappuccinos.
Most recently, Starbucks tried to recreate the successful 2017 Unicorn Frappuccino campaign with their Crystal Ball Frappuccino, a mystical turquoise peach-flavored frappuccino. One of three different candy gems supposedly revealed customers’ fortunes: blue foretells adventure, green foretells luck, and purple foretells magic.
Our LMS team put the Crystal Ball Frappuccino campaign to the test. First, we downloaded the Starbucks mobile app, and then linked a credit card. We ordered four Crystal Ball Frappuccinos, which were featured as a promotional item. As promised, within minutes, the frappuccinos were ready for pick up at our local Starbucks. Upon our arrival, the barista greeted us and asked for the name regarding our order. The drinks were already made and prepared in a drink carrier. Because of this, we were able to skip the line and had a flawless and efficient experience from start to finish.
Although the customer experience we received was seamless, the Crystal Ball Frappuccino campaign didn’t prove to be as successful as the Unicorn Frappuccino campaign. According to Marketwatch, the Crystal Ball Frappuccino drove an incremental 0.4% of the social media mentions for the quarter, compared to the Unicorn Frappuccino that gained 6.5% of mentions during the third quarter of 2017.
Analyst Chris O’Cull noted that limited time offer frappuccinos are losing its spark. Starbucks profits the most by selling frappuccinos during their promotional happy hour, rather than with specialty drinks. As our team taste-tested the drink during the campaign, the consensus was the Crystal Ball frappuccino tasted average. One out of four team members enjoyed the drink.
The Future of Starbucks
The Company has always been efficient in responding to feedback and surveys, allowing their customers’ voices to be heard. Starbucks marketers admit they were too focused on promotional campaigns like the Unicorn and Crystal Ball Frappuccinos, which are no longer profitable. According to Marketing Week, Matthew Ryan, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Starbucks said:
The long-term strategy is something that is going to build over time, and it’s part of an ongoing shift in our marketing, from a short-term ‘one and done’ focus to a sustained platform, ongoing relationship focus with our customers.
Their future focus is to target customers in a more personalized way.
LMS as a company looks forward to keeping an eye on Brands like Starbucks, who drive continuous efforts with innovative marketing and personalizable customer experiences.
Our Brand focuses on helping our partners deliver a seamless customer experience, just like our team witnessed with Starbucks. LMS is dedicated to innovation and the customer experience. Our experts manage high-quality data for personalized marketing campaigns and we make sure our partners target the right customers and share the right message. Contact us today to design a seamless journey for your customers and guests.