Discuss a project Message Us

Blog | In The Loop

In the Loop - Starbucks - #WhatsYourName


Starbucks has always done marketing well. If they didn’t, you would not pay £4.50 for a coffee. They have the ability to sell high-priced coffee without people even batting an eye. Good marketing at its finest. 

About Starbucks 

Starbucks is a global brand. You will find one on every high street corner, in every city, in every country. Therefore, making the coffee chain the most popular in the world with over 30,000 stores globally. Their gross annual sales in 2021 were $29.061 billion. Now that’s a lot of coffee.  

Just to show the comparison of Starbucks success, Costa, another UK favourite, had $1.17 billion annual sales. 

Alongside their huge coffee menu, they aren’t short of food items and even merch. They sell a variety of reusable cups and offer the initiative to save money on your next coffee if you bring your own cup. Another great marketing tactic. 

Behind Starbucks’ Branding 

Undoubtedly, everyone knows their logo. It’s a household name and you could show a Starbucks cup to anyone, and they would know the brand. 

Source – Design Hill

Furthermore, they encourage customers to make repeat purchases by offering a loyalty programme, meaning people are always coming back for more. They have a great marketing strategy which makes the consumer return again and again. Starbucks is now a part of people’s daily routines. 

Their name is everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube you name it, and Starbucks have worked it into their social media strategy. 

Before we talk about the campaign in question, let’s mention the infamous three words:  

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte – a worldwide phenomenon launched by Starbucks. The PSL craze returns every single year, and everyone talks about it. Regardless of whether you’re asking ‘what even is it?’ or you’re ordering a Venti PSL at your nearest chain, the seasonal campaign shows no sign of slowing down.

They do say any press is good press. 

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is probably Starbucks’ most infamous campaign which returns every autumn. Second to the PSL comes the renowned red cups which are a limited edition winter substitute from their ordinary white cups.  

The red cups are definitely an influencer’s dream. When the red cups roll out, so do all the posts using the cup as a centre-stage prop. Another great marketing tactic from Starbucks is being able to rely on the influx of user-generated content or UGC

The Campaign

Starbucks partnered with the charity Mermaids to raise at least $100,000 for the LGBTQ+ community. Starbucks won Channel4’s Diversity in Advertising Award in 2019 (on air in 2020). Their sensitive take on this topic really pulled on the heartstrings of people across the UK and started a well-needed discussion about diversity and inclusion.

Starbucks saw the opportunity to become a more progressive and inclusive brand and created a TV campaign which focused on the LGBTQ+ community addressing self-identity and inclusion. After the launch of the TV campaign, Starbucks created a social media campaign which followed the #whatsyourname hashtag.  

Writing customers’ names on their cups has become almost a part of Starbucks’ brand identity. The social team at Starbucks took this aspect of the brand and have incorporated it into an emotive campaign focusing on the importance of identity and acceptance. 

Additionally, the campaign reiterates how Starbucks is a safe and welcoming space for those in communities who feel less accepted and represented. Notably, the campaign achieved amazing results and received widespread praise across the UK. 

Source – Iris

Leveraging the power of TV advertising and social media, Starbucks was able to generate great engagement around a value-driven campaign.

They have definitely paved the way for marketers and brands to discuss more openly about social issues people face day to day. Using a large platform like Starbucks did breaks the taboos we face and makes today’s society a more inclusive and respectful place. 

If you need help creating a campaign that cut through the noise and makes an impact into the digital space, contact our expert team today