Good Marketing In Action: Starbucks Macchiato

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Good things come in 3s – by promoting a new product Starbucks has brought attention to an old favorite as well.

I want to commend Starbucks on what I consider to be an effective marketing campaign. For context – I’m an occasional Starbucks patron and have a ton of respect for them as a marketing professional. I have positive sentiment towards the brand, but tend to favor local chains when given the option.

Several days ago I saw an ad online for Starbucks’ new flavor of Macchiato – vanilla. I’ll admit, I’m a no frills, latte kind of person, and I’d never even had the original caramel macchiato. It piqued my interest and in the following days I saw ads for the trio of macchiatos several times, all of which mentioned the “complexity” of flavors and the “layers” and how beautiful it was as they slowly merged together. After a few impressions, I actually ended up doing a search to learn a little more about what exactly a macchiato was and liked what I read. This drink is carefully crafted and little unique. As you all know, I like anything that veers off the beaten path.

Afterthought: A friend told me the vanilla flavor is the weakest of the three...perhaps Starbucks should have spent less on promo and more on product development?

Afterthought: A friend told me the vanilla flavor is the weakest of the three…perhaps Starbucks should have spent less on promo and more on product development?

Spending all that time thinking about coffee got me craving a fancy cup of joe. (The gorgeous photo of a cup of coffee in the ads didn’t hurt either.) Last week I was on a business trip, and although the hotel’s Starbucks had a limited menu, it included the caramel macchiato, which I eagerly tried one morning. Back from my trip, this week I ended up trying the hazelnut macchiato to get me through a long, drizzly Monday back from traveling. I’m not in love with the hazelnut flavor, but I really enjoyed the classic caramel one.

In conclusion – by launching a large campaign for a new product variety Starbucks was also able to draw attention to the original. Starbucks not only encouraged consumers to try something brand new, but they got consumers like me to branch out and try something not necessarily new, but different from what we are used to getting. I don’t think my life has been changed by trying the caramel macchiato, and I won’t suddenly be stopping by every day for my fix, BUT I think I am going to add it into my rotation of tried-and-true beverage options. The most important thing, however, is that I have purchased Starbucks twice in the past seven days; significantly more than the typical once or twice a month I visit. And I also am left here wondering what the vanilla macchiato tastes like…

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