Starbucks Red Cup Case Study

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Individual Case Study: Starbucks Red Cup Controversy
Phase 1:
Introduction:
• Starbucks is recognized for its superb service and customized drink orders o Mission: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” o Good customer perception of value, relevant brand, presents desired benefits, and consistent
Starbucks red cups are a sign that the holiday season is drawing near o 1997—served holiday beverages in a unique cup
 Contests to support creativity
 Inviting customers to rejoice in the holidays o Pattern: Oct. 22 until late January o Has been brought every holiday season for the past 19 years
Historical Background:
• Various critics (publics) accuse the company of waging a war on Christmas
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o General public (word of mouth to customers) o Key customers (confirm that they would like their return) o Major stockholders (confirm that market is strong)
Goals for Campaign:
• The company wants to show that they did not mean any disrespect towards their publics o Starbucks chose to go with that design because they wanted to show that they embrace all religions and celebrations of the holiday by keeping the design simple
Media Employed:
• News: o Confronted medias with their Starbucks Newsroom Online o Starbucks published two separate press releases on the topic
 Chose this method due to previous campaign mistakes of using advertising to apologize to publics o Addressed individual people on social media platforms
Messages Sent:
• Starbucks published two separate press releases on the topic o Nov 8th “The story behind the design of Starbucks red holiday cups for 2015”
 Elaborating on the reason of their change of cup design
 Removed the “symbols of the season” used in the past in favor of a simple, two toned red cup
 They want to show that they have equal acceptance of religious and non-religious peoples coming together to celebrate the holiday whatever way they please
• Their cups are designed to show the public they give equal
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