Coalesce Inc.’s Blog

marketing, design and office fun

Valentine’s Day + Starbucks = Love

Posted by coalescemarketing on February 10, 2012

Love is in the air this February, and if you frequent a Starbucks, you might have noticed it actually flying around your cup. Let us explain.

This Valentine’s Day, Starbucks is ushering love-birds into a whole new reality – augmented reality. Starbucks made specialty cups for Valentine’s Day which are compatible with their “Cup Magic” mobile app, first introduced during the winter holiday season last year. Starbucks lovers who place the cup in their phone’s field of vision when the app is activated come face-to-face with a Valentine’s treat: heart-shaped flower petals which appear to flutter off the cup itself. App users can share this heart-warming video with a special someone, making it one of the newest and most tech-savvy expressions of adoration around.

Starbucks clearly had a game-plan when they implemented their “Cup Magic” mobile app, specifically for Valentine’s Day. While allowing app users to send the video to their loved-ones, the company also gives them the chance to personalize their message, send gift cards (to Starbucks, of course) or force those on the receiving end of the loving message to come into a Starbucks themselves, buy a drink and use the app on their own cup to see what the personalized message says. Talk about a well-orchestrated marketing effort.

What we admire most, though, is that while Starbucks has ventured into a new reality, they are remaining consistent in their brand promise. Here’s what we mean.

Long have we admired the Starbucks brand. You feel a certain way when you’re holding one of their cups and sipping a warm coffee drink. Some may describe it as empowering. Others find it gives them an air of sophistication. Either way, Starbucks has succeeded in crafting a brand that has a broad set of positive associations or expectations that customers attach to its name. And now, patrons who have come to know Starbucks as a generator of warm, fuzzy (frothy?) feelings are feeling even more loved with these specialty cups which give them a personal experience and the opportunity to share it with someone they care about.

So, kudos to Starbucks, and let the company’s strategic genius be an example to us all of how best to strike a balance between changing with the times and remaining consistent in our promises. Hey…some might say that’s a good balance in love, too! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


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