Did you get your free latte from Starbucks?

Yesterday, the 14th March saw hoards of customers flocking to Starbucks in order to get a ‘free latte’..I’m sure most of you will have seen the TV and newspaper ads promoting the free hot drink, but did you go and get one?

I certainly did…I love a good freebie…but I also LOVE Starbucks! Although my personal favourite is a peppermint mocha (whipped cream on the odd occasion to treat myself!) I am also partial to a mocha every now and then.

Starbucks are now introducing a stronger coffee taste to their products due to more consumers adding an extra shot to their purchase over the years and in honour of this they are now adding an extra shot of Fairtrade expresso to all their tall and Venti milk based espresso drinks (lattes, mochas, macchiatos and cappucinos) for the same price – surely that can only be a good thing for coffee lovers!

“Have you noticed how everything seems a little impersonal nowadays?” Starbucks asked, so now they are going back to basics by referring to you by name rather than the type of drink you purchase, but how long will it last? Is it really that good an idea in a bid to be seen as your friendly little coffee shop when we all now what a large global organisation it is? I admit, at first I thought it was a great idea, a nice little touch and definitely the whole free latte ordeal was good for their PR but what about all those very long names that can’t fit on the side of a coffee cup! Or on the other hand, you could have an ultra common name – two Tom’s ordering different drinks but walking away with the wrong one! My name is pretty common (Clare) although 99% of the time strangers…and even some family members (STILL after 23 years!!_ spell it with an ‘i’ like when I got my free Starbucks…I should have corrected them but it seemed like way too much hassle and I just wanted the coffee!

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Surely it’s just easier and quicker to use the system that they had been – it seemed like it was working perfectly to me, and when all you want is a quick coffee to go I couldn’t care less if they shouted out my name or what coffee I’d ordered!

I can see both the good and bad points – Starbucks is trying to break the conventions of selling coffee as a big coffee chain and is attempting to get closer to the customer..but they should just embrace what they are..they aren’t a small local coffee shop and people still love their coffee and will continue to buy it regardless. Just leave the friendly chit-chat to the small independent coffee chains who don’t have the multi million pound advertising budget and rely on their charming personalities to keep them in business!

It’s kind of like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it but either way it’s getting talked about…and now time for me to go and get a coffee!

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