Starbucks Puts a Little Love in Your Cup

Article by Melissa Andrews | esPResso Committee Member

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Starbucks struck a sweet spot this year for Valentine’s day, using consumer insights and fun details to garner buzz and share some love. Starbucks aligned with online dating site Match.com to host the “world’s largest coffee date” after learning from research that the coffee shop is a common first meeting spot for online daters, according to a statement from Starbucks. Starbucks invited customers to have a date at Starbucks on Feb. 13 as part of its overall Valentine’s Day “Share the Love” campaign. Moreover, Starbucks and Match.com had an underlying interest: to help fight the stigma of online dating and create an environment that makes people feel more comfortable asking someone out on a first date. According to an article from AdWeek, more than 3 million Match.com members use coffee-related terms in their profiles, so the collaboration is a great fit for the two companies. The event was promoted on social media and then implemented with date-ready food and drink specials, converting social buzz into income.

Meanwhile, Starbucks made a small change to its iconic cup design as a reminder of the holiday. The simple gesture of replacing the cup’s regular check boxes with hearts built up to Valentine’s Day and made for numerous Instagrams. With baristas and coffee-drinkers alike decorating the holiday cup and posting on social media platforms, the tactic integrated with Starbucks’ image as a place of creativity and also created social buzz for its “Share the Love” campaign using #StarbucksDate.

Starbucks has shown that you don’t always need a grand gesture to win over your audiences. Sharing a little love was all it took for Starbucks to steal its customers’ hearts this Valentine’s Day.

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