Starbucks’ Reusable Tumbler — Learn Social Media by Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: Starbucks' Reusable Tumbler

: Products and services


: Facebook, Twitter

: All Americans

: Environmental, emotional

: April 15, 2010

: 1 week

When they tell you: “Starbucks is everywhere“, you better believe them cause I saw it with my own two eyes!

So far, and throughout my stay in both New York and Washington DC, I was able to see and experience the popularity of the infamous Starbucks; a popularity which one would believe is only exaggerated on TV and in movies! However, in reality, all this is true people: almost 6 out of 10 pedestrians has a cup of Starbucks beverage with them at any time of any given day! Just try walking into one of the many branches spread all over the place, chances are you will have to wait in line to get your coffee, muffin or even your small bottle of water!

Still, Starbucks excels in social media!

The Infamous Starbcuks Logo

Although Starbucks seems to not need any more advertising efforts or social media campaigns for that matter, it still aims to make its way deeper and firmer in its current and potential consumers’ minds and hearts through its social media campaigns.

It is worth mentioning here that, according to BrandChannel, Starbucks came in #1 among consumer brands by having 7.4 million Facebook fans, 901,925 Twitter followers and 6,509 YouTube subscribers. American brands dominated the top 10, with Red Bull the only non-US brand to make the top 10.

The latest campaign:

The “Reusable Tumbler” Campaign is one of the latest social media campaigns designed by Starbucks. In this campaign, Starbucks asks customers worldwide to use tumblers and help reduce environmental impacts.

Customers who bring a reusable tumbler into Starbucks stores on April 15 receive a complimentary brewed coffee!

Campaign Idea & Objectives:

Starbucks is giving customers around the world a bold incentive to swap the paper cup for a more eco-friendly option. This effort is just one of the ways Starbucks is collaborating with customers to reduce environmental impacts. The company has offered customers a discount for tumbler use since 1985.

Starbucks Free Coffee with Every Resuable Tumbler

While our cup has become an integral part of the coffeehouse experience over the years, it has also become an environmental concern,” said Ben Packard, Starbucks vice president of Global Responsibility. “As a result, we’ve set aggressive goals to minimize cup waste through recycling and reusable options, and are collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders to drive meaningful change. In addition to working with cup manufacturers, municipalities and recyclers to make our cups more broadly recyclable, we’re encouraging customers to think about reusable cups the way they think about reusable grocery bags.”

The company said that customers can visit and use the Impact Calculator, powered by the Environmental Defense Fund, to see how many trees can be saved through tumbler use. They can also make a pledge to use tumblers every day and encourage others to do so through social tools such as Facebook.

The Buzz:

Due to the great popularity of Starbucks, its huge number of fans on Facebook and the fact that the campaign results were seen offline, it is hard to give an estimate of this campaign’s Facebook buzz. However, I’m sure, just by looking at it’s Facebook fanpage, that the conversation and the engagement must have been huge!

The same goes for Twitter! There’s an endless stream of tweets about Starbucks everything!

Opinion & Lessons Learned:

I think this campaign rocks, and the Starbucks people are very smart to carry it out. Not only did they give their customers free coffee, they also were able to apply their CSR policy simultaneously! Simply, brilliant…

So what could we learn from this campaign?

  • Even huge companies do benefit from social media, especially if they do it right!
  • Social media campaigns do not have to always be about obtaining new customers or converting consumers to your product or service, they could also be about building loyalty, reminding existing customers and showing concern towards the environment.
  • Giving to your customers will pay you back in loyalty which translates into sales!

To wrap up, what do you think of this particular campaign? Did you participate in it? And do you think Starbucks is doing well in terms of its social media efforts?

Looking forward to your feedback and insights down below.

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Comments and Reactions

9 responses to “Starbucks’ Reusable Tumbler — Learn Social Media by Example”

  1. Sarah says:

    Nice post Beirut – i end up reading your every post now. Yes starbucks really excels when it comes to using social media. This campaign is also a good example.Their latest news about free wifi was almost everywhere on the web. Way to go i must say!

  2. Beiruta says:

    Thanks for keeping up-to-date with my posts :) I appreciate it :) I will see into writing about the campaign you mention as well. Stay tuned!

  3. Basil says:

    Starbucks would have to excel at social media, especially when the DON'T excel at making good coffee…

  4. Beiruta says:

    LOL! Good one!

  5. M.Bamieh says:

    I don't even know how to react to a Starbucks campaign … I think i just deal with them the same way i deal with Apple fans. Just nod my head to whatever they say and move along…

  6. Great case study – and think the use of the Impact Caluculator is actually what makes this campaign so interesting. It gives fans a real way to see how using the reusable tumbler meets the goals of the campaign. In general, I think impact calculators (as a concept) are great tools in online campaigns – think of them as donations calculators, saving children's lives, grains of rice donated, etc.

  7. I just checked out the page and I cannot find an Impact Calculator anywhere. Is there a different link to find it?

  8. social media says:

    The key factor is to use the most common platform so that everyone gets to know.

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