I was getting my morning fix at the closest Starbucks this morning and I witnessed a very cool display of brand & customer fanaticism that is worth sharing.
The place was completely packed with customers. All the seats were taken, and the line to order stretched all the way to the door. Needless to say, every single Starbucks barista & employee available was behind the counter whipping up drinks as fast as they could to handle the rush. While I was in line I was near the table where you add your cream/sugar/stir, and a minor customer issue was brewing…
Lady 1: [Sigh's Loudly] “Where is the Splenda? I don’t see any Splenda.”
Lady 2: “I don’t see it either. Great – I think they are out.”
Lady 1: “Hello…Do you have any Splenda? Helloooo!!” [No Answer. Barista's could not hear anything over the customer noise and whooshing & blending]
[Both Ladies begin to bitch and moan about their inconvenience & debated wading through the crowd to get to the counter]
The Mutual Fanatacism
As the two ladies discussed their Splenda-less plight, one of the customers who was enjoying his coffee & NYT morning gets up from his nearby comfy seat and walked over to the scene. Without saying anything to anyone he began to open up all the various doors and shelves under the table and hunted around and ultimately he located the supplies. He found a box of Splenda and he replenished the empty container. He even refilled the stirring sticks that were looking a bit low. After spending the 2 – 3 minutes to do this, he returned to his comfy seat and resumed enjoying his morning. The ladies said “thank you” and left the store happy.
At first I thought he might be a Starbucks employee on his day off, but then later after I had gotten my coffee and was walking out the door I noticed that the store manager was talking to the good samaritan. She had noticed the nice thing he had done and was introducing herself and thanking him profusely. In addition to her verbal thanks, she gave him a hug and a handful of free drink vouchers.
Granted, this customer’s actions were pretty far into the “pay-it-forward” space, but I think he would not have even considered doing it if he did not already have a lot of love for Starbucks and think of the place as “his own”. If this scene had played out at a random McDonalds or some other place where he had less of a personal connection, I think he would have A) not been there enjoying his morning and B) not have cared enough to help the brand out.
When is the last time someone loved your brand this much?
When was the last time your brand loved them back just as much?