Tag Archives: starbucks

Starbucks’ Secret Sauce to Becoming the Most Socially Engaged Company

Starbucks Facebook Page 4-2-2012

Advertising research and consulting firm, PhaseOne, recently released a proprietary study on social engagement that ranked Starbucks as the most socially engaged company. The study looked at 75 brands across six verticals: Automotive, Dining, Food/Beverage, Retail, Services and Technology and assessed them based on earned media (social media engagement) across paid (i.e. TV ads) and owned media. (i.e. Facebook brand page).

PhaseOne researchers discovered that the most socially engaged brands provide a social benefit. Users engage with the brand because they hope that their connection with the brand

enhances other’s perceptions of them. The report indicates that by associating with the brand, users are making a “Me Statement” to express their “Idealized Self” which is how they want the public to perceive of them as opposed to their “Private Self” who they’d rather keep to themselves.

Some pretty fluffy stuff, I know, so I had to check this out for myself. However, watching TV to catch a Starbucks TV ad sounded like searching for a needle in a haystack, so instead, I checked out Starbucks’ owned media. Starbucks has nearly 30 million likes on their timeline Facebook page and everything they put up seems to get at least 500 individual comments (x 130 average Facebook friends per user = reach of 65,000). Their Twitter feed which reaches 2.3 million followers is brimming with responses to Tweets from other users.

What’s their secret sauce? Starbucks acts like more like a person than a brand. It tells you not to worry your mom by talking on the phone while driving—sneaking a message in about its newest drive-thru. Additionally, it responds to customers using colloquial language and emoticons
—more of a cool friend than a customer service rep. From all the research I’ve looked at, responding is the strongest action a company can take to retaining a customer and making him feel special.

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Augmented Reality Really Augmenting Your Reality?

What is it? Augmented reality is a term used to describe computer generated sounds, videos, graphics or GPS data used to enhance the real world environment.

The one I am talking about here is sound and graphical images that generate when your camera recognizes a “barcode” and uses your background as the setting.

Now this concept isn’t new, GE was using this type of technology to generate interest for its Smart Grid product in 2009, but it’s back again because Starbucks has recently introduced an app that recognizes pictures on your paper cup or bag and creates a holiday scene out of it. We all know that Starbucks coffee sells because they have a culture that people buy into, but is this app really adding to the coffee experience?

The most brilliant application I’ve seen of augmented reality is Tissot’s, when they gave customers barcoded bracelets so that their customers were able to try on watches without having to enter to the store.

However, in its current use, I can’t help but feel that augmented reality is like 3D television*; it never fails to make an appearance every few years, but there’s no real demand for it.

* First patent for 3D television came up in 1890 (motion picture film made its debut in the early 1860’s).