Home > Uncategorized > My Starbucks Idea – including customers in the innovation process

My Starbucks Idea – including customers in the innovation process

Share. Vote. Discuss. See. These are four simple actions that represent the social network My Starbucks Idea (MSI). While the site is not new (it was nominated in 2008 for Forrester’s Groundswell Awards in the Embracing category), it has made tremendous progress in the last two years. This quarter, Starbucks announced its 100th idea to be launched with its customers’ help – “Buying a drink for a Friend Remotely…on Facebook.”


100th idea launched

Prior to the launch of this idea, Starbucks Facebook fans had access to an app which allows users to manage and check the balance of registered gift cards. The coffee giant paired the Facebook gifting announcement by rewarding it’s loyal Facebook friends – with $5 automatically loaded on registered cards.

$5 on my Starbucks Card

Not only did I get excited about the new capabilities of the Facebook app, I was also psyched to have $5 more to spend at my favorite coffee chain (poor grad student that I am). The new app is also much easier to use than the traditional gift card manager on Starbucks.com. It even takes advantage of the social and viral nature of Facebook – if I want to send a gift to a friend, they must have the app installed. Starbucks, of course provides me with the opportunity to make them aware of this new caffeination delivery system. And, like many other Facebook apps, I can choose to broadcast this purchase.

Besides the convenience of this 100th idea, it is worth noting that since March 2008, the coffee giant has made a solid effort to listen to its customer base, particularly in the midst of a rough economic time. MSI is one of the better examples of how crowdsourcing can really work, and how listening to your SHU’s can ultimately benefit the company. Not only is Starbucks open to ideas, it keeps the community up-to-date with the progress of each submission, mainly if its under review, been reviewed, in the works or launched. In addition to getting feedback from The Siren, users can provide their own commentary on ideas.

Popular launch ideas have included Splash Sticks, iPhone and BB apps, mini Starbucks cards for your key ring, healthier food options (including raw, vegan and gluten-free offerings) and the recently rolled-out free WiFi. For a complete list, visit: 100 of your ideas launched and MSI milestone – 50 ideas launched.

Noticeably, the site is a giant focus group, and there are several ideas that have been submitted that focus on the environment, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. While Starbucks is a business, its customers are very aware that the company is also a member of the global community that has tremendous impact.

Since we are constantly looking for the BIG IDEA in IMC– what’s your Starbucks Idea?

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