Brand Value Lessons From Starbucks Instagram Campaign

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Brand Value Lessons From Starbucks Instagram Campaign

Early bird catches the worm. Ringing true to the adage, Starbucks was one of the earliest adapters(since 2011) of Instagram and today, it is on the No.2 spot of the Top 50 Brands on Instagram in terms of the number of account followers and [branded] hashtags according to Totems. They have a staggering 2.8 million followers.

How did they do it? While most brands have come to realize that success on Instagram is directly proportional to the native advertising, why does Starbucks stand out?

In his book ‘Pour Your Heart Into It’ CEO and founder, Howard Schultz, said, “People connect with Starbucks because they relate to what we stand for. It’s more than great coffee. While the typical coffee campaigns paid attention to taste and the caffeine rush, Starbucks focused on people. Soon they integrated seamlessly into their lives, establishing itself as a place and product which connects to people. And news flash, they still do it.


Behind-the-Scenes Content (Starbucks)

With this campaign, Starbucks killed two birds with one slingshot; induce coffee craving and increase consumer loyalty.


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The ‘Behind the Scenes’ campaign(2012) stood out from their usual user engagement campaigns as it was a ‘no photo contest’, ‘no fan submission’ one. The goal was to open their innermost doors and let the patrons see how their much beloved coffee is created. By showing the images of their coffee making processes (testing, tasting and preparation), the user trust and brand value increased. Who wouldn’t buy a product from a maker who is keen on being open about its making, right? After all, trust builds loyalty and loyalty is what keeps the customer coming back.


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Starbucks, which is a Fortune 500 company, often share photos of their very first store in Seattle for a Starbucks fan “throwback.” While this is not a full blown campaign, it must be lauded for its subtlety and effectiveness in increasing its brand value. This campaign is aimed at showing the customers its modest beginnings and how it has grown over the years. It subtly psychologically makes its patrons root all the more for its success by making them feel as though they have been with it all the way. Everybody loves a good story of how something started ever so humbly and became triumphant in the end. It simply is inspiring.


What Did We Learn From These Campaigns?

There are 3 lessons on brand equity and brand value that every brand and social media marketing company can use on Instagram to help themselves to be successful.

  1. Increase brand value by increasing brand awareness. Starbucks’ ‘Behind the Scenes’ goal was just that and it achieved it beautifully.
  2. Increase the perceived quality of your product by being more open. Share the reasons why and how your product is crafted to make the customers relate to you better.
  3. Increase strong associations with your brand by developing as sense of community; by sharing your history (throwback campaign) and how your customers have been with you every step of the way.

While enjoying your Starbucks Frappucino, tell us what you thought of this post. We would love to hear from you.

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