You have to give it to Starbucks for its ' fighting' spirit to try to rebound from significant losses, never mind if it always fall flat on its face. At least it tried, so maybe A for effort?
Perhaps in the hopes of recovering from sales that have been going down especially in recent months due to its top executive's propensity to meddle his politics with the coffee shop company's business, and to insist on his liberal views, Starbucks has come out with what it thought was a good marketing ploy to bring back the customers and make its cash registers ring more frequently again. It introduced a new drink that's a sure "winner" as it appeals to the social media animal instincts of many people. Say "Instagramable" and chances are, netizens who are crazy to brag their lives on social media will lap it up.
Starbuck introduced the Unicorn Frappuccino just this Wednesday. And just as quickly it is making waves online and offline. Some people are lining up to buy and taste it, and most of them are tweeting about it, posting it on Instagram and talking about it on Facebook, among other social media platforms. It is supposed to the the marketing phenomenon of our times, if Twitter feeds are a gauge. It is supposed to stand out as well among the coffee shop's line up of drinks. It is, after all, easy to trigger people's interests when Starbucks pitch it as a drink that changes in taste and color. Child-like wonder for anything "magical" is very attractive for busy people with, at times, rudimentary lives, right?
But the sensational buzz of the new product, and of embattled and discredited Starbucks whom Trump supporters called for a boycott just more than a month ago, is proving to be just a fleeting, brief sip of " success". Because another revolution is emerging, this time not just from the dissatisfied customers, but from within: disgruntled workers of Starbucks themselves.
Starbucks baristas have taken to social media to share their complaints, issues and bitterness over the sparkly color-changing frozen drink craze. One barista called the drink the " Frap from hell" on Reddit; another barista Braden Burson shares his tirade on Twitter and said he had " never been so stressed out in his life" from making the "sensational" drink. He also said that " my hands are completely sticky. I have unicorn crap all in my hair, on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life". Another lady barista's post has pain written all over it. Tina Lee from Florida wrote: " As a barista, just know that every time you ask me to make this, a part of me dies.#unicornfrappuccino. "
But the stressed and aggrieved baristas can rest easy with the thought that their much-hated drink will only be available until Sunday this week. If the Unicorn Frappuccino was really intended for just a quick promotional run of barely a week, or was it management's own surrender before they end up with a boycott from their own baristas, we don't know for sure.
What seems funny, -maybe not to Starbucks executives-is that the promised features of the soon to be short-lived sensational drink of changing color and taste seems to reflect Starbucks position now. Brief success after a series of setbacks, brief popularity again with the customers after being roasted for its anti-Trump sentiments, then bang! It's back to old, boring, and maybe failing Starbucks again. Oh, but at least, it tried to turn the tides, right?
Wonder what liberal Starbucks CEO on his way out Howard Schultz has to say to that? Oh, did he not make that "sensational" grandstanding, arrogant statement that angered Americans- that he's ready to hire "10,000 refugees" in response to Trump's executive order of a temporary travel ban against some terrorists-stronghold countries even in the face of so many Americans in dire need of jobs in their own country? Maybe he can outsource the making of the "Frap from Hell" to his beloved refugees? Oh, why didn't the genius Schultz think of that? Then again, maybe that he's being eased out from his once lofty position is not so surprising after all with this success turned epic failure anew.
Sorry, Starbucks marketing peeps- time to go back to the brainstorming room again- and come up with something else that might work.