In a follow-up to his November blog applauding Starbucks' Black Friday deal and how it used loyalty mechanics to encourage acquisition and habitual behaviors, Scott Robinson takes a second look and examines the real-world implications for existing customers.
I’m a Starbucks Gold Member who routinely places a mobile order for a Venti brewed coffee and breakfast sandwich. Each weekday morning, I drop my son off at school, then pre-order Starbucks on my device, before my commute to the office.
Earlier I expressed my genuine compliments about Starbucks’ Black Friday Offer as a great example of loyalty mechanics cleverly applied outside of a formal loyalty program: buy a tumbler and get unlimited refills every day in January.
But today, my first impression in using the refillable tumbler (and I’m speaking as a tenured Starbucks Rewards Gold Member with habitual behaviors) is that it’s going to be problematic among top segments, and has the potential to disrupt profitable habitual behaviors.
Personally speaking, there are a few things I’ve identified that will potentially disrupt my own daily coffee routine (or, best case for Starbucks, simply abandon my tumbler), as follows:
(Ok, so I acknowledge these next two complaints are perhaps a little trivial—but the little things add up!!)
I also put my loyalty marketer’s hat on and saw some additional gaps in the experience:
Loyalty mechanics hold tremendous potential to create new habits and foster loyalty; but they also have the potential to be habit breakers, not habit makers, when not carefully contemplated and when their focus spills over (pun intended) to non-target customer segments.