Some ideas for Starbucks

(bpende on Flickr)
Starbucks customers use reusable cups only 1.5% of the time, as I discussed in my recent post.  This is a pathetically low percentage.

Although they offer a 10 cent discount for reusable cups, I suggested in that post that they do not appear to be trying very hard and noted that I would offer some suggestions in a future post.  Here they are.
  • Increase the font.  On menus in the stores when the 10 cent discount for bringing your own cup appears at all, it is in a tiny font, almost unreadable at the bottom.
  • Buttons for baristas.  Cheap and easy: have the baristas wear a button, so every customer sees the 10 cent promotion.
  • Modify pricing presentation.  Instead of offering a discount, list two prices for each drink: e.g. Wicked Cooliatta - $3.49 your cup, $3.59 our cup.
  • Signage. How about posters and signs and other more visible marketing materials?  I've never seen any of this in any store.
  • The sudden reward.  Program the cash register so that one or two random customers per day who bring in their own cup get their drink for free.  Make sure the barista loudly congratulates the customer.
  • Loyalty program.  Provide a bar code that adheres to the cup.  Scan it each time.  After xx number of visits, the next one's free.
  • One-day events.  Offer 1/2 price drinks on special promotional days for people with their own cups.  Advertise in advance.
  • Charge for cups.  A more painful approach, but it's worked wonders for bags in DC.
Any good marketing firm could come with a dozen more, but this list can get you started, Starbucks.

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