Starbucks Sees Marketing Blunder, Caribou Coffee Sees Marketing Opportunity

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!

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3 Responses to “Starbucks Sees Marketing Blunder, Caribou Coffee Sees Marketing Opportunity”


  1. 1 Flackette September 19, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    Y’know, I totally got one of those e-mails, and my coworkers and I rushed off to Starbucks to take advantage because we had a feeling it wouldn’t last long…Obviously Starbucks failed to realize the scope of the internet on this one.

  2. 2 fiaz December 29, 2009 at 12:01 am

    i think caribou coffee truly from their heart they respect their customer,this what customer like, while starbucks made greatest mistake.

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Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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