After having successful runs in two recent programs, the Starbucks Gold and Starbucks reward, the coffee giant has decided to combine both programs into one easily useable Starbucks card. The change comes after complaints from customers, as well as a push for customer and brand loyalty to the company that is suffering at the hands of lower priced competitors including Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. The card will begin activation on Dec. 26, 2009, the day after Christmas.
For Starbucks, brand loyalty is everything. After a less than stellar showing with the VIA instant coffee brand, the company is hoping to court both holiday sales and loyal customers with this new program. The program will make both the gold and reward cards obsolete and replace them with a new card. This card will come with three levels: Welcome, green and gold.
At the welcome level cardholders will receive a free birthday drink. At the green level cardholders can gain hours of free Wi-Fi access, coffee beans and syrups. The gold level features all of the benefits of the other levels, plus a free drink every 15 purchases and a card with the holder’s name on the front. To become a gold card member, only 35 visits per year are required, which translates to less than three per month.
It is Starbucks’ hope that the popularity of its older programs will be reproduced with this new card. I expect to see a line of caffeineaholics in Starbucks the day after Christmas.
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