On Starbucks and seasonal branding

After having lived in the states for eight years I’ve come to enthusiastically anticipate the seasonal alterations that take place at Starbucks. Most notably, the cups. As the fall season is just around the corner, I know that eventually sometime right after or around Thanksgiving, the new cups will roll out. Aside from getting my incurable espresso fix, I’ll also be able to critique the designs the company has decided to go with for that year!

Starbucks ME

Spending Ramadan in the Middle East is no different and for the last three years or so the occurrence has caught on. While Starbucks in the Middle East has eventually adapted to the Arab/Muslim segment (you can get your favorite Bold blend ground for Turkish coffee), I think it would make things more interesting if the cups and their designs evolved too, much like in the North American market. While Arabesque patterns, crescent moons, browns and golds scream Ramadan like no other, why not mix things up? Perhaps, crescents for this year and something else the next? I’m thinking this is a great opportunity for creativity and marketing dynamism.

On the topic of coffee, leaving New York, even for a couple a weeks left me missing what I love most, a good espresso. That sort of homesickness was exacerbated when I was in Amsterdam in transit and consciously decided that an espresso from Segafredo (a European coffee brand, they’re ubiquitous in Europe and the Middle East, in fact they serve it in Grand Central) would be more appropriate than a shot from Starbucks. Boy, was I wrong. That wimpy European shot sent me back to the Starbucks in Schiphol where the taste of a bold, American shot of goodness reminded me why I love Starbucks coffee. I never felt more American in my life. More over, this whole situation got me thinking about the consumer experience in ways I never did.


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