Starbucks’ offline and online multimedia communication successfully reaches out to potential and existing customers. A company can connect with their customers by creating a personal relationship with them. If a brand works to make the customer experience impactful and memorable, the customer will form an emotional connection to the brand (Source). Starbucks’ brand maintains a welcoming coffeehouse experience for the consumer, both in store and out of stores.
After driving by this billboard, you decide to stop by Starbucks. You open the door and the strong smell of coffee hits you. While the milk steamer hisses, you walk past the wooden tables and signs showcasing the new drinks to the blackboard menu and look over the lattes, teas, and coffee drinks written in white. You take a look at the pound cakes, pastries, and sandwiches behind the glass and step up to place your order. The smiling barista wearing a green apron punches it in on their register and writes your name on a white cup with a sharpie. This is their brand.
A brand is a company’s promise to consumers when they do business together. This type of atmosphere, service, and product is just part of the locus of emotions that Starbucks as a brand promises you as a consumer (Source).
All of these details are how Starbucks communicates their message to consumers offline. You went to Starbucks after seeing the billboard and the familiar uniforms, store set-up and colors, and atmosphere brought up an emotional response that was familiar to you. When these offline elements are combined with online media, it’s called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) and it can ensure a seamless and overall more enjoyable experience for the consumer.
Starbucks has a strong online presence that is consistent amongst its sites. All of their sites and social media platforms have the company logo and helpful or relevant information, and while only their main website and blog focus on the most recent campaign called Upstanders, There are already posts about this new campaign on their Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram accounts, creating a smooth integration amongst their social channels.
Starbucks also makes sure to heavily engage with their users on Facebook and Twitter. They read consumer’s comments, questions, and complaints and engage with them by replying quickly and frequently.
In addition to engaging existing followers, Starbucks also makes sure that they’re interacting with potential followers. They do this by taking advantage of sponsored advertisements like Facebook ads.
Starbucks utilizes IMC across a variety of channels to reach potential consumers and to make sure that their experience is efficient and enjoyable. The combination of online and offline communication that Starbucks uses to achieve this makes their consumer reach successful.