its the tingle of the bubbles...

..."on my tongue and the cool blast of refreshment....Ahhh, my thirst quenched". A story that  delights me, and I want to hear when I buy a Sprite at Mcdonalds!

....By pushing the envelope beyond the norm McDonalds gained a little more attention and a hint of brand love by doing this.....
...."Its those moments I crave. My Time to indulge...." amazing how you can improve the consumer experience by using the space on the disposable cup just that little bit more creatively.... If on the other hand your focus is for that caffiene hit, well, this all might pass you by as marketing blah blah....

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Brands. Don’t hide the facts - talk about price rises !

Kudos to Starbucks. I’ve been impressed with the recent Twitter communication from @Starbucks and the intelligent way they have engaged their followers after raising (and also reducing) some prices, by following 2 simple rules.


1.Be Transparent
As smart users of social media they maintained transparency in their communication, and didn’t hide from the facts. The first tweet was a link to an ABC report that was neutral in overall tonality; containing both positive and negative comments about pricing, but also referenced a competitors’ success (McDonalds).

2.Be Authentic
Today they posted a tweet to savvy sugar which gave 10 tips on how to save money, nicely balancing being informative vs overtly sales focused. The tonality of the piece felt authentic, and I love this grown up approach.

By building this kind of relationship with their consumers Starbucks is adopting a winning strategy to strengthen their brand.

Battle of the Beans - Is McCafe Better Than Starbucks ?

The Good
Having seemingly lost its way as consumers tighten their discretionary spending at last Starbucks is back and returning to their premium (coffee) experience roots via the Inspired by Starbucks brand of stores.

The Bad
For years the key characteristics of:
a) great tasting coffee, and b) a truly unique and engaging experience, have been hindered by the push behind stretching the brand into for example, cold ice filled flavoured drinks - coupled with the sense that the role of the Barista was being diminished .

To make matters worse brands such as Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds (McCafe) have successfully infiltrated Starbucks territory and spent significantly to communicate their offerings. NB in Europe McCafe’s are also nicely decked out in comfy leather seats, wooden tables, and art alongside an offering of muffins, cookies etc.

The Ugly (Truth)
Contrary to the experts at Coffee Review, my current tally is a stirring 20:1 visits in favour of McCafe vs Starbucks. Yes, I freely admit to preferring a McCafe ‘Medium’ Cappuccino vs the ‘Tall’ Starbucks equivalent.

The winning Formula
Lower McCafe price (by 50c or so) + incentive (discount coupons on ‘Medium’ size) = Starbucks disloyalty.

But with hope of the “inspired by Starbucks” franchise on the horizon, perhaps there is a way for Starbucks to win back my business.