Starbucks Teaches Politicians A Lesson By Giving Free Coffee to Kind Customers
By Ciaran McCormick on Wednesday, October 9, 2013
American politics is a bleak place at the moment with the federal government shut down and Democrats and Republicans deadlocked. However, coffee chain Starbucks have seized the opportunity to turn it into a PR moment. They will offer a free tall coffee to any customer that buys a drink for somebody else. It is a stunt designed to encourage people to come together and send strong signals out to Congress.
This campaign offers a warm reflection on their brand. Indeed, it was launched by a personal letter on the Starbucks by CEO Howard Schulz, signed off as simply Howard. The letter linked the kindness needed to overcome the political crisis with the ethos of Starbucks:
Our business was built customer-by-customer, one cup of coffee at a time. Every day in our stores, we bear witness to small acts of human kindness that reflect the generosity of spirit at the core of our guiding principles. Most often, these are the little gestures that best embody our commitment to our communities and our care for our customers, and one another.
The hashtag #payitforward associated with the campaign is generating a lot of activity. People are connecting and bonding over their frustration with government and the goodwill of Starbucks. For others, it is an incentive to buy more coffee.