Starbucks opened its first U.S. sign language store in D.C. that’s ran by deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing employees. The store is located next to Gallaudet University, the world’s only university designed for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The designs are also adapted to the deaf community and cultures.
The name is spelled out in the hand symbols of American Sign Language
All employees are conversant in American Sign Language
Store decor is designed to celebrate deaf culture
Why it’s hot: As one of the more accessible brands in terms of store location, Starbucks is a great pilot store to start embracing the deaf community into regular workforce.
Starbucks announced that it has created a third-party skill for Amazon Alexa, which allows their customers to reorder their favorite drinks and food through the voice recognition technology when you state, “Alexa, order my Starbucks”.
This Alexa skill works through the Starbucks Mobile Order and Pay feature and give customers the benefits of placing an order on the go and pick it up at a nearby location without the hassle of waiting in line.
This summer, Ford will add Alexa to vehicles with its SYNC 3 in-car technology. Ultimately, this will allow drivers/passengers to press a button to ask for directions, sports scores, weather updates and everything else Alexa would normally do or answer. This also means that Ford drivers will be able to place Starbucks orders while they are in their car in a hands free way!
Brands are finding new ways for consumers to purchase products, making it more accessible for them. Considering Starbucks doesn’t deliver and customers must drive to their locations to purchase products, this partnership with Ford is such a great opportunity for the brand to capture more sales and mitigate time for costumers waiting in line to place an order.
Alexa voice technology is becoming increasingly popular so it is interesting to learn about how brands will create “skills” within their tool to connect themselves and the consumer through voice.
It’s cold and flu season, and we all hate the sniffling, sneezing, and congestion that comes with it. What would make you feel better – walk into Starbucks and order from their Secret Menu – the Coldbuster, also known as “The Medicine Ball.” This tea drink combines a powerful punch of antioxidants that work as a cold remedy.
Starbucks took notice of all the photos posted on Instagram and just this week the company formally added the cult-favorite tea-based drink to its menu. It now has a standard recipe card and ring code, which helps create a more consistent experience for customers. Starbucks commented that the decision to add a new beverage would have taken weeks or months, but corporate was able to make it happen in one day.
The beverage is a Venti cup with a bag of Jade Citrus Mint Tea and a bag of Peach Tranquility Tea filled half with hot water and half steamed lemonade. It’s finished with a little honey and an pump of peppermint.
The Medicine Ball’s journey into the formal Starbucks system began when a store manager posted in the company’s internal messaging system that his baristas were making more than 20 of the drinks a day. Customers were coming in and requested it after seeing the drink posted on Instagram. The problem was the manager wasn’t sure if his team had the right recipe. The company decided to make the Medicine Ball an official beverage after nearly 40 other managers responded, saying they were selling anywhere from one to four dozen a day.
Why It’s Hot
Instagram has a lot to be excited about – There are now more than 1 million businesses that advertise monthly on its platform – a 400% increase year-over-year. Instagram’s global community now exceeds 600 million users. More than 8 million businesses have profile pages around the world. The impact of Instagram – In just the last month, more than 120 million users visited a business’s web site, retrieved directions, called, emailed or direct-messaged a business via its Instagram page. These are the metrics to win valued, engaged followers who care about your business. As Starbucks shows, their loyal followers on Instagram created enough conversation (and sales) that the Coldbuster was added to their menu.
Starbucks in Japan has teamed with the a Japanese-based clothing company called Uniform Experiment to create a case for the iPhone 6 that can make mobile payments by nothing more than a tap. The program is called Starbucks Touch.
iPhone-toting loyalists first purchase their Starbucks Touch case (really, it’s not free?). Then they install an accompanying mobile app. After entering their payment information, the case is ready to complete mobile payment at specially designed in-cafe kiosks.
Cases come in two designs:
The primary, meant to look like the iconic Starbucks cup and sleeve
The secondary, a colorful tiled mosaic
No word on if/when the case will make it to more countries (or devices).
Why It’s Hot
With Starbucks Touch, the company has found a way to monetize its brand loyalists even further. First, they’re charging for the case itself. Next, each case is emblazoned with the Starbucks logo… free advertisement that reinforces the brand to loyalists and promotes to those around. And finally, there’s the word-of-mouth effect that will likely ensue from explaining to others what this Starbucks phone case is really all about.
If Starbucks wants to reach a wider audience, perhaps they forgo the charge for a case and instead give it away for essentially the free advertising and proximity to customers. In a grander scheme, Starbucks Touch is away to reach a niche group of customers, and reinforce the brand with them in an even more intimate way. If Starbucks has figured out a way to make even more money off of them, more power to ’em.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Match users looking for a date will be able to now suggest coffee shop dates meet at Starbucks. The “Meet at Starbucks” feature is the first branded-product feature that allows Match users to directly send an invitation to set up a coffee date. Using the “Meet at Starbucks” feature, members can can also find a location for their Starbucks date using the Starbucks store locator.
The company’s research shows that the endeavor could be quite successful: 1 in 3 singles rank “having coffee together” as a favorite first-date activity, and Starbucks says that “hundreds of thousands” have added their brand badge to their Match.com profiles.
“Meet Me at Starbucks” borrows from the coffee company’s global campaign launched in September, designed to connect consumers through Starbucks experiences across the world.
Why It’s Hot
As platforms like Match and the burgeoning app marketplace embed themselves intimately in the lives of consumers, co-promotions such as “Meet Me” are enabling brands like Starbucks to forge new personal connections with consumers. Journey mapping and other strategic assessments may uncover a host of partnership opportunity to create richer, more natural brand experiences. The key for brands will be to discover how they can add value for consumers. Are they unlocking a special feature or streamlining a process? Is their brand experience welcome or are certain activities “off limits” to marketers? This convergence requires that brands, advertisers and consumers “figure out” a new set of social norms to moderate brand activities… even if those attitudes shift quickly amid more and more incorporation of digital into consumers’ lifestyles.
Starbucks is known for serving piping hot wi-fi to people who want to stare at their phones and laptop screens while sipping coffee. But in its new campaign, the chain is encouraging people to embrace the pre-internet roots of coffeehouse culture. The tagline: “Sometimes the best way to connect is to get together.”
The campaign, by BBDO, is rolling out on U.S. national television.
Why It’s Hot
Starbucks is appealing to consumer’s emotions in these simple but powerful TV spots. Anyone who grew up before cellphones became mainstream can remember life before people became so attached to them and could share in Starbucks’ nostalgia. While the brand isn’t pushing any product in particular, I think they did a good job in making the ads very memorable and are helping to create positive brand association for the company.
In the most recent update of their mobile application, Starbucks integrated a specific Uber button, allowing customers to order a ride to their local coffee shop.
For the process to occur, the user simply clicks the button from within the Starbucks app and requests which store they want to visit. The Uber app launches and prompts a car request so both services’ software must be installed to the user’s phone. The integration makes it simple to hail a car for a coffee and lunch run simultaneously.
The entire process mimics the normal black car experience, except the end game leads you to a cup of coffee with your name on it. Users can get a caffeine hit at the tap of a button.
The integration stemmed as a result of Uber’s API launch for third-party developers. The startup opened its software platform to twelve high-profile partner companies such as United Airlines, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and TripAdvisor to include the on-demand transportation service into their own apps.
Why It’s Hot:
Uber seems to be taking over the world, and big brands now have an opportunity to create better experiences for their customers (while increasing business for Uber) by findings ways to creatively integrate the API. We are watching behavior change before our eyes.
This also goes back to our “laziness” discussion — why can’t you open Uber’s app and then go to Starbucks and order a coffee? I understand the utility for other travel brands and hotels to make a seamless experience from A to B, but this one seems a bit excessive.
Starbucks and Duracell Powermat will begin a national rollout of wireless phone chargers in Starbucks and Teavana locations. Starting at stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, consumers will be able to set their cellphones down on designated spots on their tabletop, and their batteries will charge as they eat, drink, read or chat. No plugs. No cables. No cost.
Over the next three years, more than 100,000 table chargers — built-in Powermat charge pads — will be installed in Starbucks’ 7,500 company-owned stores in the U.S. That’s about a dozen per store.
Powermat has been already chosen by such global leaders as Starbucks, McDonalds, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Madison Square Garden, and dozens of airports around the world to supply wireless power, creating a wireless power network anyone can connect to (check poweruphere.com).
Starbucks | Access to power has become one of the most important factors in people’s choice of where to visit, what to do there, and how long to stay. When most retailers are struggling with store traffic, this example shows how “in-store experience” outperforms awareness drivers. This is a strategic move that gives consumers yet another reason to waltz into Starbucks. The coffee maker might not be a first mover on this one, but a smart mover for sure.
Duracell | The power maker has decided they are not going to be the next Kodak.