A) Relevant Theme + B) Meaningful Value

1. Relevant Theme – Christmas, Fourth of July, Earth Day, or Grand Opening – hosting an event where you present customers with a theme they can relate to, that is significant to them.

2. Meaningful Value – Provide something that’s worthwhile and truly significant for the guest or customer. Not something only you find valuable.

Even better…


A) Relevant Theme + B) Meaningful Value + C) Charity Tie-In

3. Charity Tie-In – By also adding a give-back or charity tie-in, it can make the promotion nearly perfect.

For example, a pizzeria has a new type of pizza. The promotion could be:

Bring a canned good for the local soup kitchen and get a slice of our new pizza free.

  • Relevant Theme – something new, a new type of pizza,
  • Meaningful Value – free slice of pizza,
  • Charity Tie-In – canned food drive for local, needy charity.

At Starbucks during the initial growth of the brand, we did not have typical chain restaurant or retailer budgets for promotions. We had a few thousand dollars for a specific city and maybe tens of thousands of dollars for a region.

Nevertheless, the field marketing teams put together amazing, traffic driving and awareness-building events. Combining these three pieces was part of the secret to our success, like Gingerbread Latte Wednesdays in the Washington, DC market. When customers purchased a Gingerbread Latte on Wednesdays, a portion of the sales was given to the Holiday Toy Drive charity partner. They also partnered with the top morning radio personality in the market to drive sales of the beverage on Wednesdays.