Point of View: Why you should ‘like’ Starbucks

John Woodward

Since I'm writing this from Seattle, Starbucks springs to mind. Its social media presence, particularly ‘My Starbucks Idea’, have limited creative visibility, yet they are a vital signifier of where marketing will likely go in the future.

Starbucks has created a community of 19 million members (up from 13 million in mid-2010), with whom it can communicate, at minimal cost, every day and (perhaps most importantly) two-way. To see why this is important, compare Starbucks’ marketing plan with that of McDonald's. Both live in categories that are deemed ‘low interest’, and hence where ‘news’ has been thought vital to creating footfall. This was usually thought to mean a heavy media budget, advertising new products and promotions via a weekly ‘retail-style’ calendar – reaching out and grabbing people.