I love when you can tell what a brand's strategy is all about ... I make it a practice to try to figure it out, almost like a game. My very own version of "fun!"
Some brand strategies are kind of tricky, but others are just so gut-level simple that it's really easy to pick apart.
Like the current "campaign" at Starbucks. I put "campaign" in quotes because it's not like it's a cookie-cutter piece of creative that they've stuck across marketing elements. It's actually a well-timed series of components that don't seem to piece together at first, until you put two and two together.
The brand is clearly trying to amp up its sales in the mid-afternoon. They must have some data that has shown their sales to slump during this period, most likely as folks are focused on staying at their desks and in their meetings as opposed to running out for a cup of joe.
You can't really tell that this is a cohesive brand strategy until you piece three of their current marketing programs together:
The Treat Receipt. For a limited time, whenever you buy a beverage in the morning you can come back with your receipt after 2:00pm and get another one for $2.00 (medium or grande size). Good incentive to come back in the afternoon and not have to pay another hefty full price.
New Refreshers. The stores are heavily promoting their new Refreshers drinks, designed with light caffeine for all day consumption. Get that? All day.
3:00pm Wake Up Call. The brand's new advertising talks about the 3:00pm wake up call ... you know, the slump you feel right in the middle of the afternoon when you could use a pick up. A universal emotion, actually, that the brand smartly capitalizes on. Quite well done.
These three seemingly separate marketing programs all ladder up to promoting beverage consumption in the wee hours of the afternoon, clearly a marketing strategy to build sales. And an integrated one at that. I love it when a brand is transparent.
What's your experience? Jim.
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post