When Starbucks sent out a promotional email offering a free cup of coffee to a small group of employees and asked them to send it to their family and friends, they did not expect it to spread across the nation. But, that is exactly what it did. Starbucks then canceled the promotion, saying that the offer had been modified beyond its original intent. This was an undoubtedly bad move. Starbucks now comes across as a greedy corporation who is only concerned with the bottom-line. They also leave the impression that they do not honor their word.
Now, Caribou Coffee is willing to pick up Starbucks’ slack – literally. The company says it will honor the void Starbucks coupons. If customers bring the coupon to a Caribou store they will receive a free medium cold press iced coffee, iced americano or iced tea. On top of that, Caribou Coffee is also offering free drinks to all its email subscribers. Way to go Caribou Coffee!
For Starbucks, this incident serves as a lesson of how backing out on an offer can damage your reputation and can leave the door open to competitors!
Caribou Coffee’s marketing strategy in this incident is simply amazing! They responded quickly with a very generous offer. Doing so has greatly increased the company’s media exposure and improved its image!