In my latest book, Leading the Starbucks Way, one of the five business principles I delve into is titled “Mobilize the Connection.” The quick version of the principle is that given our highly mobile society (and our growing need to have a smartphone at the ready) brands must not only build connections in face-to-face or telephonic interaction but also through digital and social means.
Yesterday Starbucks engaged a “mobilize the connection strategy” that perfectly demonstrates the concept. It is called the “tweet-a-coffee” program. From yesterday forward, U.S. customers can sync their twitter account to their Starbucks account. The Starbucks account is set-up by the customer with a few online keystrokes and creates a loyalty card account which can be attached to a funding source. Once your Starbucks account links to your twitter handle, all you have to do is tweet to @tweetacoffee and to the twitter handle of the person you want to receive a coffee. Once you sent such a tweet the recipient will get a $5 digital eGift which they can either print off or display on their smartphone for redemption at participating Starbucks stores in the US.
So there it is digital gifting, social engagement and a mobilize the connection strategy!
You may not have the IT infrastructure of Starbucks but isn’t there something you can do to leverage social and mobile in a playful and innovative way on behalf of your customers?