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As part of our new series, ‘Marketers Playbook for 2020 Post Covid-19′, Deepa Krishnan – Head Marketing, Digital, Loyalty, PR, Tata Starbucks says that the pandemic can be an opportunity for brands to build a world that is compassionate, connected, experiential and meaningful!

As the world is evolving through the current global health crisis, it is inevitable for our businesses to transform, from how we know it. Unprecedented times call for creative solutions.

How brands evolve to communicate with stakeholders and societies at large, will be a determining factor to emerge stronger than before.

New Business Models And Digital Solutions

This pandemic is going to set a new normal in human behaviour. Even after the crisis blows over, customers are going to take time to recover and come back to their usual routines. This situation is, however, going to drive digital innovations in a big way!

For years, Starbucks globally has one of the best omnichannel retail experiences through concepts like electronic payments, mobile apps, pickup-only stores or third-party delivery networks to make the Starbucks experience more ubiquitous.

At Tata Starbucks, we are using these unique experiences to build our brand and make it ready for the future through initiatives like:

  • India’s first Drive Thru store to allow customers to engage with the brand in new and innovative ways
  • Launch of the Starbucks Mobile Order Payment app to allow customers to order beverages on their mobile and just pick them up from the store, reducing the time spent in ordering lines
  • Continued focus on delivery
  • Focus on e-commerce and digital payments

We are proud to be a brand which is built on human connections while still leading our way towards digital.

The Power Of Human Connection

As customers navigate fear, worry and loneliness, they will crave meaningful human and community connections even more in the post Covid-19 world.

Starbucks is more than a regular coffee shop. It is a third place between your work and home, which allows you to be your most comfortable self and delivers some of the finest coffee in the world. We are confident of the relationships we have built with each of our loyal customers, who come for the coffee but stay for the experience.

  • We stay connected with our My Starbucks Rewards (loyalty programme) members even during these difficult times through online coffee tastings and connect with the CEO
  • We are keeping the Starbucks ritual of our baristas calling out customers’ names alive even now through an innovative social media initiative where voice notes are sent to Starbucks customers online
  • We have introduced social media initiatives focussed around reconnecting with one’s self and sharing favourite Starbucks memories and dedicating beverages to other customers to share the love through our #ReconnectWithStarbucks

We are certain the Starbucks Experience will bring customers back. In a post Covid-19 world, brands that provide a deep sense of connection and community experience and move beyond the transactional, will be rewarded.

Safety, Sustainability To Become A Fundamental Norm

 From basic social distancing to the access to sanitizers, hygiene and sanitisation is bound to become a fundamental ask from customers. We are proud to have already transitioned towards these practises. For us, the safety of our partners and customers is primary and we will continue being a safe and secure Third Place for them.

Sustainability will become centre stage as customers become more concerned about the world we live in. It will shape brand communications and choices. Sustainability is embedded in the fabric of our mission. We transitioned to 100% compostable and recyclable solutions across our stores in India and are committed to 99% ethically sourced coffee.

The world may not be the same again. The rules of marketing may change. But brands can use this opportunity to build a world that is more compassionate, connected, experiential and meaningful!

About the author / 

Deepa Krishnan

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