Starbucks Facebook Coffeehouse
Starbucks introduced a Starbucks Card tab on its Facebook fan page today. Inside the tab is a new eCommerce destination, an embedded app that allows customers to manage card registration, check their balance and rewards, reload cards and edit profile information without ever leaving the Facebook environment—a virtual Starbucks coffee shop in a virtual Facebook strip mall.
1. Establish Differentiation
Starbucks’ new Facebook app mimics the basic functionality found on the Starbucks’ mobile app and their website. Applying the “Starbucks on every corner” model to the largest corner of the social media neighborhood differentiates the ubiquitous coffee merchant from wannabe competitors yet again.
2. Recognize Opportunities
Encouraging friends to share coffee and coffee gifts on a social exchange platform that boasts nearly half a billion potential customers is simply smart business. The numerous sharing mechanisms mean word of mouth (WOM) potential about product offerings is exponential.
“What’s even cooler is that come summer time, Starbucks will introduce functionality that will let users reload a Facebook friend’s Starbucks card as a gift through the application.” – Mashable.com
3. Keep Innovating
Starbucks didn’t develop deep and valuable brand equity by sitting idle. Their new Facebook app supports that brand essence by reinforcing Starbucks’ position as industry segment thought leaders, if not innovators. Utilizing the Facebook platform as a commerce platform didn’t require earth-shattering technology, but the application of the technology is groundbreaking.
4. Provide Ongoing Value
The ability to send a little swig of swag to a client, a pick-me-up to a hurting friend, or a bit of caffeinated cheer to your college son or daughter right from Facebook adds real value to the busy lives of Starbucks’ customers and further establishes Starbucks’ formidable brand value.
5. Deliver Convenience
Starbucks recognizes the value of location, location, location, which translates to convenience, convenience, convenience for their customers. Many Facebook subscribers search, exchange, post, view, listen, chat…in short, live, in a web browser tab or mobile device pointed at Facebook. What could be more convenient than never having to leave your chair, or Facebook?
If I were to pick one social network to which resources for inbound marketing and social media budgets were allotted, it would be Facebook. Basic math and most brand marketers would concur with me. It’s the new coffee house everyone’s talking about – and hanging out in.