If you’re anything like me, you enjoy analyzing what the big brands are doing when it comes to marketing campaigns. A recent online video marketing campaign that caught my attention for the Starbucks global branding campaign – Meet Me At Starbucks. This is essentially a high quality, HD video production that was shot in 28 countries in a single day. While it’s one continuous video that’s about 6 minutes in length, it’s broken down into several mini vignettes each telling it’s own story. There are 2 important reminders in this video First, take a look at this 1 min video recap (you can watch the full video here) before I share my thoughts…
1. It’s not about you, it’s about your customers.
“It’s never been just about the coffee.” This line really encapsulates the entire Meet Me At Starbucks online marketing strategy of putting the customer first. One thing you will notice when watching the video is that while most of the scenes take place at a Starbucks, the product placement of Starbucks’ drinks is actually very subtle. And while it’s very subtle at the same time it’s incredibly effective.
You see, this online video marketing campaign demonstrates to me that Starbucks “gets it.” Sure, the coffee is good, but even more important is the customer experience. For the most part, people don’t meet people at Starbucks to drink coffee. People meet people at Starbucks to do business, share stories, and build relationships. Drinking Starbucks coffee is just something that happens as a part of that experience, but it’s never been just about that.
By creating an extraordinary customer experience, Starbucks has been able to position itself in a way to where they don’t always have to “sell” their coffee. The customers and their experiences have become a big part of the Starbucks brand. So much so that this entire campaign focuses primarily on the customers, yet will likely still help them sell more coffee than if it were the other way around (focusing on the coffee).
2. No technology can ever replace face to face communication.
“Good things happen when we get together.” This line really hits the nail on the head if you ask me. I have been a marketer for a long time. I have seen a lot of changes in technology over the years. These changes include things that have made what I do easier and things that have, quite frankly, made things more difficult. I must say, I couldn’t agree more with this particular statement used in the Starbucks video marketing campaign.
The reason why I love this particular point is that I think as a society we hide behind technology too much. It’s easier to send a text than to call. It’s far easier to just FaceTime or Skype instead of driving or flying to meet in person. Or at least we perceive it that way. The list goes on and on. Yet with all of the great advances in technology, most will admit there’s still something about meeting face to face that adds to the whole BLT factor (believability, likeability, trust). Think about it…no matter how comfortable you become with technology, there are probably still a few things that you’d much rather do in person. That’s because there’s just something about getting together that no technology can replace.
As good as Starbucks is with their online marketing strategy and social media marketing campaigns, they still understand that at the end of the day it’s about people coming together. This is what made their business grow into what it is today and what will ultimately continue to drive their sales. No technology will ever be able to change that.
How Can You Apply This to Your Business?
Think about the customer experience you have created with your business/brand. It might have been awhile since you’ve taken the time to do something like this, but I assure you it will pay off. Consider the whole process of doing business with your company/working with you. Is it a smooth, enjoyable experience? Is it something people are likely to tell others about? If it isn’t, why not?
Going off the second point, I would just urge you to take the time to see your customers in person whenever possible. I take great pride in the friendships and partnerships I’ve built over the years through networking. I love meeting with my clients face-to-face and feel that’s truly when we do our best work. As Starbucks reminds us, “great things happen when we get together.”
So, now I guess there’s only 1 thing left to do: Let’s get together at Starbucks some time soon.