Starbucks Shows Up in the Social Scene

Last week, the McDonald's of coffee retailers announced the launch of their web 2.0 program called My Starbucks Idea. It's basically a social networking site for Starbucks consumers to comment and suggest ideas for the company on its services as well as vote for other commenters' ideas. Every idea gets points based on votes. Consumers can keep score of the votes online and then can visit Starbuck's new blog Ideas in Action to check and see if the company is actually doing something about them.

It's actually a pretty smart move on Starbucks behalf since it has never really listened to online conversations before according to John Moore, a former Starbucks marketer. Some have criticized that it may be a little too late for Starbucks to rebrand itself while others debate the value of branded blogs and social networks for company advocacy.

Regardless of how late Starbucks may be to the social networking game, their attempt is noteworthy and is already on the track to making positive changes towards its services and customer satisfaction. Just yesterday, Brad Stevens wrote about implementing a frequency discount as part of the Starbucks Card Rewards program which includes free refills on brewed coffee, complimentary customization and two hours of complimentary wi-fi.

Here's a side observation. Since last week Tuesday, March 18th during the time My Starbucks Idea launched, which is exactly one week from today, the "top all-time voted idea" about a punch card system received 388 total comments and 30590 points. The idea is currently **Under Review** by the Starbucks corporate staff. How exciting it is to see a corporate giant give personal and reinforcing daily feedback to the people who matter most: its customers and employees. They're engaging in the space where their demographic spends most of their time and what better opportunity than to welcome them into your store with free limited wi-fi access! If Starbucks wasn't listening before, they're certainly listening now. Cheers, Starbucks!

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