Starbucks’ Integrated Marketing Endeavors

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It is no secret that Starbucks is making great strides in the positive progression of their brand. Many of these efforts are based in digital marketing, while others are taking a more grass roots approach, with new brick and mortar designs. Over the past several months, Starbucks has been aggressively and successfully increasing brand awareness via online networks. In an effort to keep up with their multitude of recent marketing efforts, we will outline the latest endeavors.

1. “Meet Me at Starbucks” global branding campaign
In a past blog, we took an in-depth look at the introduction of Starbuck’s latest campaign, “Meet me at Starbucks.” This world-wide campaign is (surprisingly enough) Starbucks’ first global branding campaign. The campaign features real-life stories of people meeting at a Starbucks location around the globe. The 30-second mini-documentary has 1.1 million hits on YouTube in less than one month since it was originally published and the hashtag #HowWeMet is trending worldwide.

2.  Mobile payment
Starbucks wants to be seen as a major contender in the mobile payment space. So much so, that they were willing to scrap a $25 million project called Square Order. The payment solution platform project started two years ago with a significant investment from the coffee giant. But Starbucks is willing to accept a sunk cost when they see it, and scrapped the project when it did not provide enough scalability and adaptability. Starbucks eventually opted to design their own coffee-payment app, which will be revealed later this year. The new app will have sufficient scalability and support customer loyalty programs.

3. New store concepts
In early September 2014, Starbucks announced two new store designs that will be tested in Seattle later this year, with plans of opening 100 more throughout the coming year. The Starbucks Reserve Roasting and Tasting Room design will feature more small-batch coffee varieties. These fine coffee blends will only be available in select locations, and in short supply, so coffees can sell out in a matter of 24-hours. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Starbucks will be introducing an “express” model, featuring a limited menu designed to quickly move a high volume of people in and out.

4. Advertising on Tumblr
Starbucks was the first brand to appear as the “Sponsored Tumblr Dot” on National Coffee Day, giving them a valuable position with Tumblr’s majority demographic of millennials. The change to the commonly seen logo sparked conversation about coffee, and what better place to get a cup of Joe, than Starbucks?

5. Instagram’s hyperlapse video
Starbucks has been very successful at leveraging Instagram’s latest video functionality, hyperlapse. Anyone who has recently been to a Starbucks knows that PSLs are the name of the game. Despite what your weather may be, it is in fact Fall at Starbucks. To support their latest Fall beverages, Starbucks is producing Gen-Y friendly imagery of Fall leaves and pumpkins to inspire the feeling Fall. And what goes better with Fall than tasty Pumpkin lattes?

Starbucks understands that it takes an integrated approach to effectively brand a global company. Through digital, brick and mortar, and social efforts, Starbucks is ensuring that all levels of their audience are being reached and a consistent marketing message is being shared.

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