Starbucks is one of our favourite brands here at Zulu. Not only do we enjoy the 'coffee culture' (…some of us more than others!), we appreciate the success Starbucks has had through digital marketing strategies, particularly social media.
Starbucks becomes most popular brand on Facebook
Recently, the company has overtaken Coca-Cola to become the most popular brand on Facebook, with over 10 million fans. What's more, Starbucks also has a very healthy presence on Twitter, and was in fact, one of a select few companies to trial the 'Promoted Tweets' advertising platform which Twitter introduced earlier this year. So, how has a company which had a poor website and no idea of how to use digital channels 4 years ago, become a social media heavyweight?
The answer is simple.
How has Starbucks created it's social media success?
Firstly, Starbucks employed Alexandra Wheeler as Director of Digital Strategy. She spent a substantial amount of time conducting research into how the company could use digital media, and explaining to the business how it could help drive customer satisfaction and sales, as well as saving money.
Once convinced, Starbucks entered the social media scene with the 'My Starbucks Idea' site, which gave employees and customers a chance to suggest ways of improving the company's services and products. Not only did the music played/sold within the Starbucks stores originate from an idea submitted through this site, but also, the now infamous Frappuccino drink was also launched as a result of the co-creation culture which is now a strong theme running throughout the company.
Since then, Starbucks has made use of social media channels to promote events and initiatives such as the 'free pastry day' (based in the US) which successfully drove around 1 million extra people in-store to buy a coffee and claim their free pastry.
How can co-creation help increase brand awareness?
A key concept which Starbucks, and a number of other companies are now looking to capitalise upon is that of co-creation. By giving customers and employees the ability to convey their own ideas to the company for them to consider, they feel like they've had some say on how products look and/or how services work. Microsoft's advertising campaign which it has run to promote it's Windows 7 operating system is heavily based around the co-creation theme ('I'm a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea').
Of course, whilst Starbucks is doing phenomenally well in the US, the company is planning to invest significantly in the UK market too. With a UK-based website, Starbucks will be able to gain a deeper understanding of local consumer behaviour, which is sure to increase their number of fans even further.