i just posted this in my blog at www.travelprincessdiaries.com, thought you might get a kick out of it too. See below.
If you are a frequent traveler, you are well aware of the loyalty programs offered by hotel chains and airlines. These programs give the traveler a goal to work toward so that they may earn certain perks at the hotel or airline, such as bonus points, free upgrades, etc.
If these programs are able to keep customers loyal in the travel industry, why not apply them to any industry? A few days ago my husband and I went through the Starbucks drive through for a coffee. When I pulled up to the window to pay, I was told it would be a few minutes while my decaf finishes brewing. After the guy took my money and closed the window I said to my husband jokingly “they are making ME wait???? Don’t they know who I am???” He said “sorry honey, you don’t have platinum status here”.
So then I started thinking, what if Starbucks had a loyalty program such that one could earn platinum status? Grocery store chains offer a “club” where members receive discounted prices on certain items. Members of the club don’t have to do anything special (except give away personal information) in order to receive membership and discounts. At hotels and airlines, one may stay or fly a certain amount to receive the benefits of the various status tiers. Why not apply these concepts to coffee, or anything else for that matter? In places where there is a Peet’s or Dunkin Donuts right across the street, how could Starbucks win the business going to their competitors? Here’s my proposal.
Starbucks club members would swipe their membership card every time they purchase something. This account would accumulate “STAR BUCKS” which can be redeemed for free items. Accumulating a certain amount of “STAR BUCKS” within a year would qualify for PLATINUM Starbucks status. The perks of platinum status could include bonuses on their STAR BUCKS earnings (say 25%), a separate queue so they are served faster, and free upgrades to the next size (pay for a grande, receive a venti). There could be intermediate status tiers like Gold or Silver, each one luring the loyal customer to try to achieve the next level of status. Who is happy with silver when for a few more lattes they can be Gold? And who is happy being Gold when Platinum is just around the corner?
There you have it. A country who isn’t addicted enough to coffee now can have a program which will not only feed the caffeine addiction, but also the addiction to status. Starbucks, are you listening????
I have never NOT had to wait for a cup of decaf-coffee at Starbucks!
When I order a cup, just black (Usually after a long wait), they look at me like I am on parole. I guess not many of their customers just want decaf, black.
Bottom line is, I am not going back. At their prices, no-one should wait.
Herman Melville should also be listening. If they had better coffee and better service I might consider it. I have written Starbucks to explain that they need to improve the long lines and spotty service and have gotten merely a formula response. Also 50% of the time that you attempt to enter the contest and survey on the receipt you find that it is either not there or the link is broken.
Here about we have what is called Peet's Coffee, a major player in the coffee world of Northern CA. Lines are never long, coffee is less expensive and more flavorful--plus they still tell you thanks when you order!
So choose that I want a Platinum membership wisely. And no, Peet's does not have a Platinum or even frequent drinker's club--they just does good deeds (one day with free coffee with an optional donation to a battered woman's shelter) for example.