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A very merry Starbucks (brand)

Yep, it’s that time of year again. Starbucks has released its eagerly anticipated (at least by some) series of holiday themed cups, along with a lineup of holiday drinks, such as Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulée. Since 1997, Starbucks has released a series of holiday cups, with varying degrees of controversy attached to them. Some were too Christmas related, some not enough. Perhaps playing it safe in a world where social media opinion rules, this year’s set seems to have landed without too much contention or hot debate. They are all red and green and evocative of holiday wrapping paper, with heavy use of the word “Merry,” a sentiment with which it is hard for anyone to disagree, leaving aside Dicken’s Scrooge, of course.

There is no denying the holiday cup reveal and subsequent use has become a ubiquitous part of the Starbucks brand. Instantly recognizable, cheerful and, most importantly, containing some sort of appealing beverage, what’s not to like? Consistently meeting expectations and trying hard to improve the customer experience (has anyone noticed the cheerful greetings Starbucks’ professionals now typically give when someone enters the store?) at all points supports the company’s goal of being a destination location that, although global in scope, gives you a feeling of your neighborhood hangout.