Starbucks Redefining the Market with Starbucks Digital Network

By On 25, Oct, 2010 |  In: Internet Marketing |  | 0

Starbucks Digital NetworkStarbucks has recently launched a new internet marketing tactic—Starbucks Digital Network. Currently, when customers attend a Starbucks restaurant, they are able to access free wi-fi internet. Upon connecting to the network, customers come to a page where they must accept the terms of use with Starbucks, and then they are free to surf wherever they want.

The Vice President of Digital Ventures for Starbucks—Adam Brotman—states that “The vision is for Starbucks Digital Network to be a digital version of the community cork board that’s in all of our stores.”

As for the layout of the new Starbucks Digital Network, there will be six main channels to choose from for easy navigation.

News: Current and up to date news items with access to top newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Entertainment: Access to iTunes books, music, apps, and other information related to the entertainment industry.

Wellness: Specialized content is featured on this channel that includes information from health and fitness magazines including: Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and much more.

Business & Careers: Job search listings from LinkedIn are featured on this channel.

My Neighbourhood: Unique content is served up to customers based their location of the store they are accessing wi-fi from.

Starbucks: A personalized experience to manage your Starbucks account and other social media outlets.

In order for this network to be implemented, Starbucks has partnered with Yahoo! for technological assistance. Yahoo! has built and is hosting the network, and will also be providing banner ads as part of a promotional campaign.

What does all of this mean for other retailers—in particular coffee shops?

Starbucks has set a whole new standard to the in store customer experience. They are providing not only free wi-fi, but now the Starbucks Digital Network which will give customers easy and exclusive access to specialized content. As for other retailers, they need to allow Starbucks’ new marketing plan to be implemented for a couple of months first. This way, they can judge its success. If it turns out to be a success, then other retailers should take a note from the Starbucks book.

My Personal Thoughts on Starbucks’ Digital Network

I think this new initiative will be a great success. With the new platform, customers will still be able to search the web any way they want. However, the advantage is that customers will have a page with lots of easy to navigate information that will be front row center to them upon logging onto the internet. In addition, there are a slew of specialty sites and privileges that these customers will be able to access. From a marketer’s standpoint, this will also be quite beneficial. By entering personal information such as LinkedIn or Facebook account information, Starbucks is gaining a database for future marketing promotions. Once again, I think that Starbucks is taking a step in the right direction with their internet marketing tactics. It will be interesting to follow this latest trend and see how they redefine the market for coffee shops.

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