Starbucks and Digital: A Match Made in Heaven

Besides being one of my favorite customer brands, Starbucks is also one of my favorite social brands. Again and again, I see articles and posts talking about Starbucks’ social media campaigns. Why are they such a popular case study?

Because they get it right, pretty much every time.

Yes, even my favorite coffee brand slips now and then, but overall, they are a great example of how brands should do social, here’s why.

Tall Starbucks Cappuccino

They listen to customers.
Listening is the BIGGEST aspect of social. Read any social media best practices article and they’ll tell you that listening is key to creating and maintaining a community.

They fight fire with fire.
This is one of the best ways to handle crisis management on social media. Recently, Starbucks came under fire for using crushed cochineal bugs as a natural coloring in several of their drinks and snacks. Instead of sending out a stale, corporate statement, Starbucks let people know they were listening through their social channels. Besides just letting people know they were listening, they actually took customer concerns to heart and have decided to no longer use cochineal as a dye in their drinks and pastries.

They aren’t afraid to try new things.
So many companies are afraid of change. I can’t say that I completely blame them. It’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown; however, in the business world, this can mean being left behind.

My Starbucks Idea is an open forum where customers can submit ideas for products, improvements, etc. And guess what? Starbucks actually takes their customers’ advice and a lot of ideas submitted to change or improve their product offerings. You may have heard about where Mickey will be now be getting his morning cup o’ joe – a request from customers. Most companies do all they can to not let their customers take control of their brand. Starbucks has given control to their customers – and it has lead to innovation and happier patrons.

Their digital brand matches what you find in store.
Last, and very important, their online brand matches the brand you find when you walk into a Starbucks store. So many times companies have amazing experiences when you walk into their stores and then leave you less than impressed when you visit them online or visa versa (i.e. a very popular discount store that has a great brand website and another great site devoted to the not-so-classy people who shop there). Your website is just as critical to your business as your brick and mortar store. Make sure you invest the time and resources to reflect the same brand from your physical location to your digital space.

For me, Starbucks and social media go together like a caramel cappuccino and three petite vanilla scones. A delicious combo that always leaves me satisfied, yet I can’t wait to have more!

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