THE Red Cup Experience

Starbucks Red CupsThere are two things I get excited for every winter: holiday decorations and the red cups at Starbucks. The red cups idea first came about 16 years ago (the same amount of time G.1440 has been around) as the Starbucks Creative team wanted to bring in some holiday thrill. This red cup has done more than looked festive and pretty along with those decorations I love – it’s created a customer experience.

If you want to stop somewhere and grab a coffee, why do you choose Starbucks? Why not 7-11 or Royal Farms? It’s because Starbucks offers more than just good coffee. It’s a place to hang out, browse the web on your trendy Apple products, and have meetings. Starbucks’ business model is one that’s been held in high regard by other businesses and entrepreneurs for years. Starbucks seems to have done everything just right. So how can you make sure that you’re offering more than just a good cup of coffee? Brand your business and get people excited for your “red cup”.

What does it mean to be a “brand”? A brand is differentiator, it helps consumers associate in some way with your business. Giving your business a brand helps people recognize and think of you. Do a quick brand association exercise while you’re out and about this holiday season. Think of what words first come to mind when you see that brand. A successful brand is more than just a recognizable logo; it’s a bond between a business and its customers.

There are hundreds of ways to build your brand but here are some that I think are most valuable and effective:

  • Be consistent!
  • Create a unique and eye-catching logo & put it everywhere
  • Make sure every employee is aware of the businesses’ brand and objectives
  • Decide on your business’ mission and stick with it
  • Develop a tagline that resonates with your mission
  • Establish repeatable guidelines

In the end, your brand will be the foundation of your business. It’s what people will get excited about and remember you for, just like those seasonal red cups.

For more information on creating, promoting, or marketing your brand, please contact me by email or phone 410-843-3826.

Sarah Engel is a Marketing Consultant at G.1440 who joined the team after graduating from Towson University with degrees in Business Administration and Electronic Business. She’s an infographic nut and a forever-long Apple fan. When she’s not behind one of her Apple devices, she is often found volunteering with her dog King, or heading to the beach for the weekend.