How marketing helped Starbucks become the world’s most popular coffee chain

71 views 19:26 0 Comments 14.06.2021

Starbucks marketers are constantly generating brand promotion ideas and using various marketing tools. We will tell you what exactly the company s specialists do to promote their brand.

Missed opportunity syndrome

One of the most popular marketing tools used by Starbucks is fear and missed opportunity syndrome. For example, during the New Year period, Starbucks offers exclusive drinks in red cups (by the way, their design is never repeated). And customers are in a hurry to drink mocha with fried white chocolate or a Gingerbread latte and know that they have little time for it. The company places limited promotions for breakfast or sets a clock on the site to show users when the promotion ends.

Green initiatives

Starbucks has a strong focus on environmental issues. At the beginning of the year, the company unveiled an updated sustainability agenda that encompasses the goal of reducing waste and emissions, reorienting customers to reusable tableware, investing in green projects, and continuing to build their own.

However, as for any company, it is just as important for Starbucks to make a profit. This means that any initiative is thought out from the point of view of brand promotion.

A good example of the combination of eco-engagement and marketing is the special glass ring that Starbucks uses. The coffee paper cup gets hot very quickly, despite the low thermal conductivity of the paper. And so Starbucks began putting an extra corrugated ring on their glasses years ago. This is an aid so that you can hold the drink calmly and not burn your hands.

Subsequently, the corporate position of the brand “do it all for the environment” suggested an interesting solution that would also work against competitors.

When buying coffee, you could choose: take a free corrugated cardboard ring or pay a little extra and get a good polyurethane ring with the Starbucks logo. And do not throw it away with the paper cup, but carry it with you for the next coffee purchase. It doesn t matter if you buy coffee from Starbucks or not, the glass will contain the logo of the cult chain.

By the way, thermo mugs, which have been sold in cafes for several years, are a solution from the same series. They feature the Starbucks logo and lettering. A person uses a mug anywhere, and this is all additional communication.

Also look for 10 inspirational Instagram accounts that we wrote about in our other article.

Loyalty program

Starbucks has its own loyalty program that customers love. Specifically, the company rewards customers for purchasing products. Offers them free drinks, extra discounts, promotional codes and certificates. And the Starbucks mobile app allows customers to place and pay in advance to pick up a drink at a nearby coffee shop without waiting in line. By the way, over the past two years, more than 40% of sales in the United States have occurred through the mobile application.

Starbucks also recently launched the augmented reality mobile game Starland. It is similar to catching Pokemon, but here you have to catch the stars that fly. The game has an opportunity to win coffee, desserts and even valuable prizes. The use of the gaming tool is aimed at increasing participant engagement and interest from young buyers.

This isn t the brand s only gaming initiative. The company traditionally hosts the Starbucks Summer Game, where the main prize is a trip to Costa Rica.


Starbucks is one of the few coffee shops where customers ask for a name and write it on the glass. The company says they are doing this in order to establish contact between the buyer and the barista. Sometimes employees make mistakes in names, and these are not isolated cases.

It even got to the point that a few years ago a video was published on YouTube “Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong”. According to video blogger Paul Gale, the barista writes Gessika instead of Jessica or Soozee instead of Susie in the glass to laugh and encourage the client to post a picture of the Starbucks glass on social networks. And this, by the way, is another brand communication.

In February of this year, Starbucks launched the #whatsyourname social campaign to help transgender and gender-diverse people adapt to their new images and names.

Starbucks #whatsyourname campaign gives them the ability to publicly use their new names, without fear of judgment or misunderstanding. The campaign is inspired by real life experiences of people who have changed their sex. Employees have found that transgender people see Starbucks as a safe place to accept their new name so they feel like who they are.

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