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August 5, 2008

Starbucks' Treat Receipts Some Sweet Naming and Branding

scan.jpgStarbucks, which has been hit hard by the economy's downturn (a cause of some levity in the blogosphere), has decided to offer Treat Receipts to morning customers.

These green receipts allow customers to come back to the store after 2 PM to get a $2 (half price) grande cold drink.

What interests me is the fact that a deft, elegant marketing move like this allows Starbucks to offer value to customers without using that particular word; or the words sale, cheap, or half-price."

With Treat Receipts, Starbucks is not giving out cheap cold java, they are rewarding loyal customers with a treat, and that small difference reframes the offering beautifully.

However, I do not think this will be a game changer for the struggling giant, although it is a great way to preserve the brand's equity in the face of mounting financial pressures. starbuckscoffee.png

As Starbucks continues its fight to stay afloat amidst the slowing economy, its main naming and branding challenge for the next year or so becomes getting rid of its image as a daily indulgence. I've read many articles making the point that you can save enough money to put the kids through school, pay off the mortgage or even settle the credit card debt simply by skipping Starbucks and making your own coffee.

I cannot speak to the validity of these claims, but the Treat Receipt offers loyal customers more value without trying to reposition Starbucks' brand name as a budget or low cost option.

Now that's a real treat.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 5, 2008 8:07 AM
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