Yesterday was the launch of the International Starbucks Christmas promotion. Tuesday the stores looked like… well… a typical Starbucks location. Wednesday, the stores were refreshed and re-merchandised… dressed for Christmas.
And the traditional Christmas Red Cups are back.
In Paris this marked the launch of the limited time and seasonal flavors: Creme Brulee and Cherry Mocha Latte (tastes like chocolate covered cherry – yum!). In the US, Egg Nog Latte’s will be back on the menu.
Years ago Starbucks decided to change the cup color – from white to red – to signal the start of the Christmas holiday. Now, store employees (partners) and customers alike get excited for the return of this annual tradition. The net affect? Along with the launch of Christmas gift items, and seasonal drinks… the stores get an extra pump of energy and an extra shot of enthusiasm.
Sure, underneath it all this is a marketing ploy to build incremental traffic and drive first quarter sales… But it has become more than that. Customers have formed an emotional connection with Starbucks and their cup with red ink on it.
Tactics such as these serve as monotony breakers to the day-to-day retail experience. When done properly, and consistently over time… people can build stronger emotional connections to your brand.
What traditions could you celebrate at your location with your customers? How can you make today’s visit stand out?