Sharing is an often used word, idea used by many in the online world as an attractive, link baiting word used with the sphere of online media.
However: sharing is so much more than a retweet, or passing on information of value to someone else. Sharing has far more power, and yet in a world that says we understand the value of social media, many of us just don’t.
When we embrace the idea of sharing and all that that implies, and we count the cost, we will find that sharing doesn’t come cheap. To the outside world it may seem like we are throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars/pounds down the drain, but I am 100% convinced that the company who chooses to participate in the act of sharing will reap a bountiful harvest in the months, and years to come.
Sharing is caring, and today Starbucks UK have opened themselves up to our social world, providing a personalised Starbucks experience that puts the value back on the customer, rather than the product.
How did they do this? Two ways:
1. Listening to the customer
For years now I have listened to the complaints of coffee drinkers who loved the brand, but felt their coffee was too weak in comparison to the independent barista.
2. They did something about it
OK it took some time, but given the sharp shifts into a digital driven world, some would say their timing is perfect. On the day of introducing more coffee in each drink, (which was today) they took their brand to a whole new level. Unlimited free tall lattes for all until noon may seem like a mindless campaign, but in actual fact they have revolutionised the coffee shop experience. Taking it one step further, they didn’t just improve their product, the became friends, introduced themselves and engaged in a relationship with everyone who participated in today’s campaign. They got personal.
What Starbucks have done is drive an online media campaign, off-line. They have speculated to accumulate, understanding that the ROI of this campaign many not be seen in today’s profits, but spread across a longer period of time.
What’s the take-away lesson here?
Build relationship first, and brand loyalty will come second. No matter how big you grow in business, never get complacent to change.