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Pick Up Some Wise Shots From Starbucks’ Digital Marketing Strategies

Being Starbucks is not so easy in the digital world. Holding a strong brand image and having a stable corporate identity, Starbucks is coping up with digital transformation in between the lines.

Of the 75M monthly Starbucks visitors, Starbucks wants to have digital relationships with 60M because virtually all the company’s comp growth comes from the digital relationships with Starbucks Rewards members. In fact, more than one-third of all Starbucks sales are connected to Starbucks Rewards, with mid-to-high single-digit growth quarter over quarter.


• Create Animated Series for Powerful Storytelling

Frequent LA-Starbucks visitors, John Frink, Joel H. Cohen and Rob LaZebnik have come together to create1st & Main,” a series of animated shorts highlighting warm and familiar everyday moments that happen in Starbucks stores across the country. The seven-episode series is set in Starbucks and stars a cast of animated animal characters. The LA store, its customers and baristas are the inspiration for Starbucks first-ever animated series.

LaZebnik tells about the creative process,

As much as we are supposed to be working, we are even better at procrastinating. Looking around, you can’t help but see the vibe in there – the partners (employees), the regular customers, the flow of morning traffic. We thought we could bring that to life in a really fun way.

Cohen also comments,

Starbucks talks about the ‘third place’ between work and home. That’s ultimately the theme of the series: every person at every table has a story. At our table, we are the three weird guys watching the other tables.

The series’ cast of characters will seem familiar to those who’ve spent time in Starbucks. There’s Julie, “1st & Main”’s store manager and matriarch who fittingly, is a bear. Chet, a beagle, is a contractor who seems to know everyone in his store community and has a kind word for everyone; and Diego, a barista cat with a man-bun, takes pride in creating the perfect beverage for his customers.

• Provide Headspace Subscription for Partners

Mental health needs are diverse, and in fact the mental health crisis is incredibly complex, with 1 in 5 adults experiencing some form of mental illness each year. Partners and customers experience it first hand every day – in their personal lives, in their stores, and in the neighborhoods that Starbucks serves.

At an event Starbucks held in 2019 for store managers and field leaders from Canada and the US, the company laid out their commitment by declaring that at Starbucks, that mental health matters and partners can subscribe to the app Headspace to support daily meditation and mindfulness.

As the company’s Chief Partner Officer, Lucy Helm commented,

Together, we’re on a mission to take a stand, help break the stigma, and get even more partners and their family the support they need.


• Launch Voice Ordering and Delivery with a Tech-lead Company

Starbucks is taking another step toward evolving the digital experience for customers in China by launching voice ordering and delivery capabilities within Alibaba’s smart speaker.

Visitors can order their beverages and food simply by using their voice for delivery within 30 minutes. Leveraging Alibaba’s on-demand food delivery platform, Eleme, the voice ordering capabilities for Starbucks further extend the customer experience within the digital ecosystem.

Miffy Chen, General Manager at Alibaba commented,

We are thrilled to provide our cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technology through Tmall Genie to serve Starbucks digitally-savvy customers in China .Earlier this year, we launched food order and delivery service through Ele.me in response to our users’ needs for on-demand local services. We’re excited to introduce an even more diverse and enriched experience on our platform through Starbucks voice ordering and provide a direct benefit to Chinese consumers within their daily routine.


• Use Big Data, Analytics And AI To Boost Performance

With 90 million transactions a week in 25,000 stores worldwide the coffee giant is in many ways on the cutting edge of using big data and artificial intelligence to help direct marketing, sales and business decisions.

With the rewards program and mobile app, they dramatically increased the data they collected and could use to get to know their customers and extract info about purchasing habits. The Starbucks mobile app users create an overwhelming amount of data about their product consuming habits and that can be overlaid on other data including weather, holidays and special promotions.

Just some of the ways that Starbucks uses the data it collects are the Flywheel Program and Virtual Barista, they can successfully practice targeted and personalized marketing.


Starbucks’ digital marketing strategies that have contributed to the company’s place and still are valid and effectual throughout the globe. To see more, you can view more Starbucks projects.

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