so Mediation was in Islington at the weekend and popped into the local Starbucks. whereupon I was asked if I wanted to sign-up for a Starbucks Card. "no", I kindly replied, "I'm fine thanks." ...not wanting - frankly - to be spending money with a brand before I even had any of the product in my hand.
"but we're doing a special limited offer", countered the chap behind the counter. "oh yeah", says I (see how they do it) - "what kind of offer?". "free shots for life when you sign up for a card", said the chap casually. just like that. "free shots. for life", I said. "yup yup, sign up to a Starbucks card and you get free shots and flavours for the rest of your life".
now I plan on living a good while yet. I also plan on continuing to enjoy my venti skinny lattes with a shot of sugar-free vanilla syrup.
I left the store with a Starbucks card.
turns out that it's part of a trial by the coffee chain, limited (for the moment) to two stores in Islington. the email I got upon registering was pretty standard, but the response from the care centre when I called up was a great deal more revealing... they confirmed that I would indeed receive up to five free shots or flavours per drink from those outlets for 'the foreseeable future', whenever I used my card to pay for the drink.
why? because, and this is a direct paraphrase from the Bucks, the brand is looking to what it can do - given the current economic climate - for its existing customers.
anyone who knows Mediation knows I'm pretty passionate about brands looking after their existing customers. something which I think is more rather than less true in a recessionary climate. taking care of your own, giving reasons for your existing customers to keep being your existing customers, is more important than ever before.
Starbucks would seem to agree. so if you like your sugar-free vanilla syrup as much as I do I suggest that you get yourself to a Starbucks in Islington sharpish.