What the New Diabetes Campaign of Starbucks Teaches Startup Founders

Some campaigns are well remembered by customers – mostly miserable ones. Brand value sustains in the market with effective campaign strategy – period.

As a startup founder, you have your strategies well etched, your team well trained and your market well researched. With all things in place, you are all set to make your first ever foray into the market and make your presence felt. Of course, the best way to do this is by running an effective campaign.

But, before you start, did you know that even the biggest of names have had campaigns which have fallen flat and have put the organization through a lot of embarrassment? The latest is the new campaign from the renowned coffee chain Starbucks, a campaign that almost cost the company its reputation.

Starbucks Blunder – “Diabetes, Here I Come”

Starbucks is known to serve the most delicious coffees in the world. No wonder, it has now its outlets open all across the globe. The White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks is a much favored drink by most patrons and is one of the most ordered drinks at the joints. However, just like all things delicious, it is high on calories rendering it to be an unhealthy choice.

But, the catch came when a person ordered this drink at a Starbucks outlet in St.Augustine, Fla. The drink was delivered to him in the usual coffee cup with the popular logo and label which read, “Diabetes, Here I Come”. The person did not take to this lightly as he had seen his sisters suffer from this disease since they were in school. He complained about this to the media and anyone who was ready to hear it.

The company as soon as they got the whiff of this incident apologized to the person concerned. They said that this could have been a joke by one of their staff members, though it was completely uncalled for. The bigwigs of the organization went on to state that they have always worked to offer complete customer satisfaction and are disappointed that such a thing happened. They assured that such an incident would never happen again.

Whether this was a joke made by the staff or a campaign at large is still not clear. However, this incident has definitely paved way for some pointers which every startup founder should keep in mind when planning campaigns and hiring staff.

Some important lessons from the Starbucks Campaign:

Being True to your Vision

There is no denying the fact that Starbucks coffee or a cheese burger is loaded with calories and unhealthy. But, the companies that sell these delicacies should not go around toot tooting about good health and the repercussions of having their products. This is completely in opposition of the vision.

Think well over the vision before you start a business. Don’t fall for anything which you don’t believe in as this may be catastrophic for your business.

Hiring the Right Staff

While hiring a staff, you have to be careful that the person believes in your vision, just like you do. This is the only way to ensure that he would work efficiently in your organization. This is especially true for the people who would come in direct contact with your customers. Any person who does not believe in your vision is just not right for your firm.

Reiterating your Vision

Time and again, it is important to remind yourself and your staff members what your vision is all about. Healthy or unhealthy, good or bad as long as your product sells, one has no right to demean it among the customers. Make sure your staff understands this and keep reminding them every now and then.

Customer is the King

Without customers there is no way your organization can last. Thus, when planning a campaign or serving the customers, you need to keep their mindset in view. Any move that hurts their feelings is just not right.

Insensitive jokes and snide remarks have never worked for any brand. Thus, keeping your vision and the feelings of your customers in mind is what would make you a customer centric organization.

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