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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Do a Google Maps search for "coffee" in my zip code, and the first six responses are Starbucks. I greeted this discovery with the indignation any self-respecting coffee snob would (not to mention any upright citizen). Then, on my way to work, I stopped in at one for convenience sake. Then, needing a place to do some work, I spent an afternoon at one. Then, I went completely out of my way to get a tall Pike Place Roast .

Then I got a Starbucks card.

"For someone as self-righteous about marketing as you," said my wife, "that's ridiculous."

She's absolutely right. Only, in my defense, let me attest that I am a fully aware consumer here. I am completely in control of my relationship to Starbucks, so even though this card (which I can load up with currency online) allows the company to track every transaction I make at their stores, I feel no shame. Because I'm getting free refills on drip coffee. And I can use wireless for free. And I can get a free tall beverage when I buy a pound of whole bean coffee.

Only, the free drip refill is a coffeeshop ought, free WiFi is widespread, and I don't buy Starbucks bulk coffee (What? It was roasted over a month ago in another state).

Here's the real draw of the card, which I totally didn't see coming: it makes me a company insider. As this New York Times piece explains, it's a loyalty marketing program, so it seeks to keep its repeat customers from going elsewhere. And why would I go somewhere else for my up-with-baby-all-night-my-God-I-need-some-caffeine fix? Somewhere else doesn't allow my to flash my sexy card and be done with it.

Oh, and my buddy is a Starbucks shareholder, so I'm totally helping him out.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:16 PM


Dude. You just sold your soul to the devil. The STARBUCKS devil.

I can never look at you the same again.
commented by Blogger stephanie, 4:13 PM  

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