Starbucks using social networks

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Starbucks using social networks

Post  Okechukwu Chika on Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:29 am

Starbucks launched a massive marketing effort, the first Starbucks campaign to truly take advantage of the power of social networking. The company has put up new advertising posters in six major cities, and is challenging Twitter followers to be the first to post a photo of one on the microblogging social network.
The Starbucks VP said that they are launching a colossal social networking campaign because: “It shows a level of connection to our brand that we wouldn’t have concocted on our own,” . Some people inside the Starbucks brand are very skeptical about this idea. "Although I think social media will be a good thing for the coffee powerhouse, I'm not sure it's going to win over customers in a big way.:"
I personally think that it is a very good idea because it is introducing to its brand a new set of young customers that are into Twitter and social networks. By doing this, Starbucks is expanding its customer base and showing to the the world a different face of the company that it is also young, forward-moving and modern.

Okechukwu Chika

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Post  Lalith Polepeddi on Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:08 pm

A lot of companies are utilizing Facebook and Twitter to keep up with Web 2.0. As you mentioned, it is useful for companies to refresh their brand as young and modern.
As more companies do this it would be interesting to study how their presence affects behavior of their target consumers. Perhaps these companies could use diffusion of innovation concepts to target microcommunities to spread the popularity of their product. For instance, Starbucks could target a cluster of well connected consumers (in the form of promotions, coupons, discounts, etc) so that this cluster will spread their interest in Starbuck to their friends.
Since companies have started social networking recently, it may be too early to study this idea now, but it could be an interesting topic and a powerful marketing tool in the future.

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Post  Lauren Victory on Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:32 pm

I like when I see companies taking measures to target the younger generations. It not only shows their tech-saavyness, but also their efforts to tap into their future hard core consumers (yea I buy starbucks every now and then, but when I get older and have more money, maybe I;ll buy it more often). I think a good marketing campaign for them is to have a student discount or something too.

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Re: Starbucks using social networks

Post  Kevin Kao on Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:13 pm

i'm not exactly sure why starbucks feels like it needs to cater more towards young people; younger people are the ones who frequent starbucks the most often anyway. at least where i went to high school, everyone was like in love with the place and it was always packed with kids.

in fact, this weird version of wikipedia says starbucks' primary targets are "yuppies, teens, and general".

if anything, they need to start reaching out to a more general audience.

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Re: Starbucks using social networks

Post  patrickmccoy on Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:50 pm

I don't think that they are only a brand for teens, etc, and that is why they have started this campaign. I am sure that they realize that their brand is not getting to younger people as much as it could, and thus they launched a campaign aimed at this category. I also think they realize that this is the future of communication and wanted to jump on board as soon as possible to get a good foothold in the market.


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Re: Starbucks using social networks

Post  Vanessa Huerta on Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:24 pm

I do think that Starbucks is trying to reach to a broader audience, especially with their print ads that focus on the coffee rather than just the Starbucks experience which the article explained is what most of their costumers go in for. Starbucks is trying to show customers who prefer the cheaper alternatives that the quality of their coffee is worth the extra price. This idea doesn't seem very youthful to me though and I do not know if they can really attract those people who care more about the price that the Starbucks experience. I agree with what another poster said about including coupons with the social networking idea in order to bring in these new customers.
I guess that with this social networking campaign they are trying to shed the image of being a yuppie, more elitist brand of coffee.

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Re: Starbucks using social networks

Post  Eric Chang on Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:48 pm

The reason why Starbucks would launch such a campaign is one word:


Word has spread out that McDonalds coffee is genuinely better than Starbucks coffee in many blind taste-tests. McDonalds marketing has slowly sold this through a variety of clever ways.

One was offering it on the morning shows like Good Morning America. Most of the coffee drinkers in America often watch the morning news to catch the weather, traffic, and a brief overview of today's headlines to wake them up. Something like breakfast food is easily mentioned on these shows, and it probably is a great way to mention something different that would benefit you in life.

Also, people, especially the coffee aficionados, say that Starbucks coffee is overroasted, burned, and very acidic. They have been trying alternatives like Peet's Coffee or even their local cafe places for a good cup of Joe. A brand name like McDonald's that has drastically changed its health image over the years to provide many healthy food alternatives.

Not to mention, McDonalds is still well known for it tasty breakfast meals. By providing coffee, they can also have their customers spend on something they would like to enjoy over and over again and keep them from turning to their competitors like Starbucks.

One clever thing that I thought made people change the way they thought about McDonald's coffee was by offering free coffee on Monday. This was a way to allow people to try coffee and spread the word about it. Since it seems to be better and since people are talking about it, McDonalds has had great marketing success on this.

Now we're seeing its competitors like Starbucks to lure their old customers back.
Eric Chang
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