Throwback Thursday Direct Mail: Starbucks Makes The Grocery List
When a successful retail brand wants to move into new territory, why not use direct mail to make it easier for people to buy your product?
Mailer Name: Starbucks
Date Mailed: July 1999
The success of Starbucks in reinventing café culture led to a decision in 1998 to expand distribution of its packaged coffee to grocery stores. Then, as now, the vast majority of coffee was consumed at home. Store shelves presented a new set of challenges to the coffee brand, including direct competition from other brands and giving up control of merchandising to someone else.
The front panel of the 6”x11” self-mailer shows two bags of coffee in a cartoon supermarket shopping cart. Above it is a coffee ring thought bubble: “Can’t wait to get home …” Coffee rings, an occasional design feature for all kinds of mail, also appear on the address side panel of the direct mail piece.
On the inside spread, the rings serve as callouts to the customer. One says that Starbucks is now available in stores. A “FREE memory enhancement device” is spot-glued below: a small pad of grocery lists. Conveniently, Starbucks coffee is listed at the top of each one.
The other coffee ring lets the customer know that there are several varieties of coffee available. The list below on the right panel names them as well as shows a simple, playful word association or image with each. At the bottom is a $1 off coupon.
Manufacturer coupons are a great incentive for a single purchase, but think of other ways to turn that one-time product buy into a staple of the consumer's everyday life.