Recently, in the fifth semester of our PGDM course at IFIM B-School, in a subject called Global Brand Strategy, taught by a senior professor, Mr. Anand Narshima, we did a case study on Starbucks. One of the things we had to do as an assignment, was to find two marketing concepts relevant to that particular case and present it.
After working our grey cells for 6 hours we thought of ‘evangelism marketing’ and I think you all will be surprise to know how relevant this concept was to this case.
Now let’s see what evangelism is marketing first.
According to Wikipedia,
“Evangelism marketing is an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) in which companies develop customers who believe so strongly in a particular product or service that they freely try to convince others to buy and use it. The customers become voluntary advocates, actively spreading the word on behalf of the company.”
Now let’s see just how relevant the concept is to Starbucks.
In case of Starbucks, we found a perfect evangelist who goes by the name Winter. He is a freelance software programmer and consultant, but is best known for his goal to visit every Starbucks location in the world. Amazingly, he visits as many as 29 locations in one day, and until now, has visited 11,445 Starbucks stores. In US/Canada, he has covered 99% of the stores and has been to 2468 international stores.
So what’s the point of all this? Well, after visiting each store he talks about his experience on his own website. This is what is called a perfect evangelist or a perfect executor of evangelism marketing for Starbucks.
There is also a 40-min documentary on Winter which includes his visit to different Starbucks stores and interaction with people. It makes quite an interesting watch.
This isn’t, however, where the saga of Starbucks’ evangelist ends. After my presentation the question which was thrown to me really had me stumped. Guess what it was. Prof. Anand Narsimha asked “How are you so sure that Winter is an evangelist for Starbucks? The company might be paying him just to promote Starbucks in a unique way.”
So guys now the question passes to you. What do you think is he paid or a real evangelist for Starbucks?
Author: Choudhary Harish