Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Engaged Fans Promoting Starbucks on Facebook

The image at left is a screenshot of a Facebook application dubbed "My Starbucks." I received an invitation to join it by way of my Facebook friend, Betty. "My Starbucks" Facebook widget enables fans of Starbucks to have a conversation around their beloved brand.

It's also possible that engaged fans (like Betty) could persuade a few new folks to think about (or try) Starbucks, based on a personal endorsement. When Betty (or any trusted friend) points me to something they believe might be of interest to me, I am inclined to take a look. It's another marketing touchpoint for Starbucks. This is the power of social networking, the power of the groundswell.

The beauty of this, and the take-away point: "My Starbucks" was created by two college grad students from Wisconsin. It wasn't created by Starbucks. And it has 4,565 active users.

Repeat: Starbucks didn't hire them to do it ... or authorize them to do it. They were driven to do it on their own. And that carries far more credibility than if Starbucks created this and tried to dump it on their customer base.

Here's a bit of description from the introduction page:

About My Starbucks®
Starbucks® is moving from every street corner to a profile corner near you. My Starbucks® lets you sport your favorite drink, send drinks to your friends, and caffeinate your Facebook experience!

Update (Dec 14th)
We have been listening. There is now a drop down link on the order page to get "Advanced Options." Now there are tons more options to make your drink yours! Have fun, keep the ideas coming, but we do like to sleep some times! :-)

The developers of and this application are in no way affiliated with Starbucks®. This application is for the enjoyment of fans and customers of the company.

Supposedly, this widget enables users to order their favorite Starbucks beverage (in advance, online) via Facebook for pick-up at the Starbucks location of their choosing. From what I could see in the comments, the application still has a few technical kinks to be resolved. But who cares. In our new Web 2.0 environment, you only need to inspire some customers to become fans. Look what they can do ... to help you, or to hurt you. Starbucks has absolutely no control over this.

The point is this: Marketing geniuses around the world are learning how to tap into the power of Web 2.0 and social networks, benefiting from the groundswell!

And here's a great resource, if you'd like to learn more: Next Generation Marketing.

A fantastic new book from which to learn more: Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research.

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Anonymous Robin said...

I have noticed the Starbucks graphic on some of my Facebook friend's pages.

You are correct. It does cause you to look deeper into the page.

10:38 AM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Thank you for your comment. Are you a fan of Starbucks?

I'm glad to have you as part of this community of marketing geniuses. Thanks for joining the conversation.


11:02 AM

Anonymous Robin said...

I wouldn't say I'm a "fan" of Starbucks. I enjoy the variety of coffees when I travel. I would rather patronize a local establishment and tend to visit Capitol Roasters when I'm downtown.

6:40 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Good to know. We're very much alike with regard to our position on Starbucks. I am a much more engaged and passionate customer of our wonderful local coffee shops, like Taylor Books, Capitol Roasters and Sophia's Cafe. I became a Starbucks fan when I lived in Chicago in the early '90s. And we do enjoy brewing it at home. Overall, I am a fan of Starbucks, and I like their CEO and his leadership style. I think they do quite a bit of good in the way of providing culture, introducing new products and arts, and providing a place for people to meet and socialize.


10:39 AM


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