Starbucks Wants You to Look Up From Your Screen

As a college student, I struggle with balancing my social life, academic responsibilities, and work schedule. Like most students, my sleeping patterns are not very consistent and I always feel like I need something to get me through the day. Whether it be as soon as I wake up or during my afternoon grind, I always want my daily coffee. Anyone who walks through the UMass campus will surely notice the vast amount of kids with a backpack on their back and a coffee in their hand. In order to grab a quick coffee before class, it is expected to wait in a long line full of kids preoccupying their minds with their phones as they wait. Even for those who are not college students, I am sure their day feels relatively similar as they sit and wait in the drive-through of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Starbucks has come up with a way to satisfy their customers’ needs as well as differentiate from the usual coffee experience. Sure, Starbucks may be a bit pricier — trust me when I say I understand as a college student — but the coffee chain has come up with a way to help costumers see that the cost of ordering a venti iced caramel latte is outweighed by the benefits of their brand experience.

Starbucks has been experiencing growth in same-store sales for the past 18 quarters, because they have been able to establish an emotional connection between their customers and the brand that they have built through social aspects which is reflected in their first global brand campaign called “Meet me at Starbucks”.

This idea is featured in their mini-documentary that lasts about 1 minute long and was shot in 59 different stores across 28 countries all in the same day.

According to EMEA marketer, Ian Cranna, there was a trend of people arranging to meet at Starbucks stores on social media. With this in mind, the chain is hoping to even further engage with their customers all over the world by attempting to create a mass crowdsourcing platform through consumer generated content with the hashtag #HowWeMet throughout social media channels such as Instagram and  twitter during the upcoming months.

We live in a world bombarded with rapid technological innovation—especially in the way we communicate. As someone from the generation to experience this first hand, I commend Strabucks for conveying the values of their brand in a way that gets people to put down their electronics and take part in face-to-face interactions because according to Cranna; “[it] is an important aspect for daily life” and “human connection is driving human happiness and those experiences are entwined in the Starbucks brand.” Starbucks wants to be a solution to the epidemic of people hiding behind their screens by serving as a location where people can share moments and make memories—big or small.

I know I would love to take a break from school, meet up with some friends, utilize free wi-fi to get some homework done, and then chat over some coffee. What would you do?


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