When industry professionals ask me what I think about Starbucks my response is fast and clear, they are a food marketing juggernaut. Starbucks is that best at consumer-focused interactive participatory marketing. Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® says, “Amazon wants every employee every day think like it is day one. Starbucks, what’s everyone one to think each customer is number one.”
Starbucks has rolled out a new beta test that allows select digital customers to order secret menu items popularized on social media via an invitation from Instagram and Facebook, including the Pink Drink Remix and mixed Iced Matcha Latte/Iced Chai Latte. This is but another great example of consumer-focused interactive participatory food marketing.
Knowing who and where your consumers are is important and now leaning into social media trends — often led by influencers — that come up with new ways to customize Starbucks drinks that you can’t find on the menu board, is a success clue other should be taking note of.
So, the new Matcha/Chai latte combination for example, was popularized on TikTok earlier this year, and even rapper Lizzo got in on the trend, uploading a video of herself trying the combo drink.
That said, the Pink Drink Remixed is a version of the Pink Drink topped with vanilla sweet cream cold foam, which was popularized several years ago by customers substituting water for coconut milk in the coffee chain’s Strawberry Acai Refresher. The Pink Drink was officially added to the menu in 2017. Listening to customers works wonders if you want to garner incremental buy-in.
Press accounts noted comments from the company; “Starbucks is always exploring innovative ways to enhance the customer experience,” “Our customers and partners often come up with creative customizations and we look forward to hearing feedback on their experience using this digital ordering feature.”
This test is only for a limited time, but it would not be surprising if Starbucks finds more ways to incorporate personalized drinks and social media trends into their digital strategy in the future.
While a Starbucks spokesperson said “At this time, we look forward to hearing feedback on our customers’ and partners’ experiences using this digital ordering feature for these two beverages,” according to Johnson grocerant niche interactive participatory food marketing has provided positive results time and time again.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow? Visit GrocerantGuru.com for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.