Starbucks bombs on their “Big Surprise”

Starbucks recently sent out a vague but intriguing email inviting me to attend an in-store event to “celebrate something big.” They used big statements like “We’re doing something big at Starbucks. Like Venti big.” and “We can’t tell you what’s going to happen because that’ll ruin the surprise.” Here’s a snapshot of the email they sent.

Yesterday, the day before the “big surprise,” I got another email from Starbucks.

Is anyone else wondering why they decided to take the surprise out of the surprise?

If you’re going to put a lot of effort into creating buzz and anticipation, don’t blow it by sending out emails, press releases and decorating your stores the day before with the “big surprise.” In the day and age of Apple‘s perfect “reveal” of products, we have come to expect a lot from big, household name companies.

I didn’t go to the store as I had planned because I figured, why should I? I got the “big surprise” without leaving my desk. Had they waited until the appointed time, I would have been at the store waiting with anticipation. I may have even bought a cup and enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow Starbucks colleagues. Instead, I’m sitting in my chair, writing this story feeling like Starbucks robbed me from my 11am CST anticipation.

In my opinion, Starbucks missed this one.

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  • http://sharryk@comcast.net Sharry

    I’m sorry Kyle. I know how you love a surprise and I know how you love coffee. This had to be hard! I think you should definitely educate Starbucks on their fizzeled marketing.

  • Stephanie

    What a bummer! I went to SB today just by chance and noticed the “new” logo on the cups. I assume this is the original Seattle Starbucks logo. I didn’t try the Pike’s Place Blend, but my regular espresso roast coffee (decaf) was yummy. Right after I got my coffee I remembed that I was supposed to try an Americano like you made me the other night. Bummer – I’ll have to try that next time.
    If only Starbucks would hire Motiveight – then they would really get a clue on good marketing!!

  • http://www.vadersmom.com Stacy

    I agree. I was looking forward to stopping by and seeing what all was going on. Then I got the email. Who cares then – Just another blend of coffee. They missed out on my business for the day. That would have been lunch.

  • cara

    is a new blend of coffee that big of news? maybe i can’t understand b/c i’m not a coffee lover ….

  • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle

    It’s not that big of news. Another reason why it was a bit of a bomb.