Last night (Tuesday – don’t get too excited) I noticed a few people talking on Twitter about a giveaway. As it was regarding coffee I was immediately interested. But were Starbucks (that’s a link to their website for anyone who has never heard of them… ahem…) really giving away free coffee to everyone? Seemed quite unlikely. I was almost put off when I realised it was a latte (I’m not a big fan of milk and coffee combos), but decided that if the offer was in fact true then I would get one to see if, in the couple of years since I last had one, I thought any more highly of them.
To suss out whether this was a genuine offer I – like any good twitter addict would – hunted down a few hashtags and rooted about a bit until I found the S’bucks UK twitter feed (which, to my surprise, I didn’t already follow). The result being that yes, it was in fact true. And all they asked in return was for your name.
So it transpires that they want your name so the whole ‘experience of Starbucks’ (does anyone know why everything has to be an ‘experience’ at the moment?) can be more personal. This seems to have prompted a lot of moaning. Well yes, I agree it does sound rather American – Americanisation is not something I think we should generally aspire to, especially with regards spelling and grammar – is it really a bad thing being referred to by name as opposed to your drink choice? There are going to be obvious flaws in the plan – for starters today they managed to interpret my name (Craig) so that it came out looking like CWVEIG and the rather sheepish barista had to backtrack and ask who the vanilla spiced latte was for – but on the whole I rather like the idea. And for those who slam it for being ‘un-British’ may I, please, point out that surely it is much more polite to refer to someone by their name, rather than shouting out the name of the inanimate object they have just requested? And what could be more British than that?
Whatever your thoughts on the ‘new’ idea (please feel free to share), I’m sure that, like me, you actually quite enjoyed your free coffee this morning. For me it was perhaps not enough to convert me, but enough for me to enjoy drinking it. And what did they get in return? Well, as I have a (registered) reward card from them they got a name they already knew and now a little bit of free advertising for an event that has passed (I know, it’s free SEO and brand advertising, but let’s be honest, they don’t really need either). So whilst people are enjoying a good moan about the ‘un-Britishness’ of this American company, I for one, will remember my manners and simply say Thank You! to Starbucks.
PS. For those who hawk-like eyes, yes I am aware that this is neither a vanilla spiced latte nor a new photo; it comes from A Weekend In Photos, as I had camera issues today (of an ‘I forgot to charge the battery last night’ nature). Yes that does mean that I’ve technically cheated, but as I’m making up the rules I’m including a loophole for this occasion. Besides, it was the most note-worthy thing that happened today, so it was either this or a random picture of something in my house…