Starbucks… this time it’s personal

Posted: March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


Starbucks have been on the charm offensive this week – the promo was simple ‘tell us your name and we’ll give you a free latte.’  And, it really was that simple.  No coupons to cut out, no email address to hand over, no hidden conditions (i.e. only valid when you buy 14 blueberry muffins and sign a contract promising never to go to pret.) So good PR all round right? Hmm, I’m not so sure…

I think Starbucks forgot during this PR stunt  that we are British, not American.  Ask an American “how are you?” and they’ll invariably say “fricking awesome man” – ask a Brit and you’ll get “not too bad.”  Likewise, an American will happily give a Starbuck barista his name, talk about how awesome things are and probably high five him on the way out.  Contrary to that scenario, a typical Brit will scowl and deeply resent a Starbucks barista for trying to make chit chat, particularly if it’s pre 9.00 am.  There are of course practical reasons for asking for a name… it prevents that stressful moment when “cappuccino” gets called and six people all descend on the barrister… ANGRY [back off, that’s MY cappuccino duschbag].  But, I’m kind of traditional, I think the coffee shop staff should mentally be able to keep a record of which coffee is for who – they shouldn’t need my name.

However, the issue for me isn’t with giving my name, I’m not an overtly private person (I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog if I was).  The problem I have is with the overwhelming insincerity of the campaign.  Starbucks don’t really give a sh*t what my name is (I told them it was Heratio for the record),  it’s not a local coffee shop, Starbucks have 19,435 stores in 58 countries.

I don’t have a problem with their great success – it’s just that I’m just not going to ditch my local coffee guy.  He knows what I want as soon as I step in; some mornings (f@!*%ng mondays) we don’t even share a word.  We just nod at each other and I hand over the money.  Later in the week when the melancholy has eased, we chat about football and he asks me if I’m playing on the weekend.  It’s sincere….  And he knows my real name.

  1. Jess schnaggletooth Jebari says:

    Oh joffkins, moaning again!!

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