You wake up on a rainy morning and surprisingly you realize that you have more time than you thought as you woke up early. As long as you’re not in a hurry, you think it’s a great chance to go and taste a good coffee, instead of the one that you always prepare at home and that it turns outs always bit watery and that you take just from habit.
So you take your umbrella and head to that coffee shop around the corner just a minute away from your apartment. And after ordering and getting the regular cup, the first you notice is the great smell that coffee emanates and the warmness of the cup. You ordered a donut as well as a small snack that you know you deserve because of all the good work you’re going to do that day. A little price in advance that will make you start the day with lots of energy. Is one of those mornings when you feel unbeatable, you feel you could fight against 300 Spartans and go back home safe and sound. You feel your ideas are finally going to become true no matter who or what is on your way. Who cares if it’s raining, that only makes your good mood shine and stand out even more in the dark day.
While taking the coffee you realize you can use your mobile to scan a little QR code with a little icon of a green background and two kind of bubbles faces. “That’s WeChat/Weixin” you think. You know that not everyone knows this Instant Message service except in China where you are. There is one of the most (if not the most) popular IM software, maybe thanks for being part of Tencent Holdings, which is also owner of the famous QQ and Weibo. Also its popularity is spreading really fast, with more than 40 million users outside China. They are going to have a hard time outside the country due to the hard competence of Whatsapp and recently Line (which, let’s be honest, is really similar to WeChat)
Anyway, you get your recently acquired smartphone and scan the QR to be automatically added to the coffee shop’s page. You then receive a message from them asking you for… your mood? They ask you to put the icon that best describes your mood in that moment. You look into WeChat’s icons. It’s not a hard decision at all because you know exactly how you feel. So you immediately write down that little smiley icon. But not the one with his mouth closed, but the one showing his teeth and that looks extremely happy and enjoyable. After writing your choice, you see that the coffee shop has sent you a little music clip, that it’s supposed to meet your mood. You play it and… “I’m singing in the rain, I’m singing in the rain, what a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again”. So obviously effective! You finish your coffee and donut and finally go to work knowing that it’s going to be a great day.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07n3mmF6BkE]Uploaded by andrew67ist
This little story explains what Starbucks did in combination with WeChat in China. One of the first companies being able to really successfully using WeChat in their strategy, making customers have a different and funny experience while they are taking their coffees. A really small detail that can make the difference. Because even in marketing strategies and big businesses, small details are far more important than they might seem at first sight. Improving customers’ experience is a huge part of marketing objectives and Starbucks did it great even though they were already the major player in coffee industry in China, even despite their high prices (which is quite interesting that happens, in a country where everyone tries to fight in prices and cutting costs to improve margins)
As I mentioned, WeChat is growing so fast that is going to be an interesting option to think about when business decide to expand their attempts on social media aside from the already common ones. Even though there are some consolidated platforms already like Facebook and Twitter, social media world is a fast-paced world in which what today is trendy tomorrow might not be. An example would be Google+ which at the beginning was not used at all and now is becoming more important for companies. But that’s another story.
What do you think about Starbucks idea? Where would you like this to be implemented?