Thursday, 4 April 2013


There is only one thing I'd like to get my hands on as I walk through the city more than a Starbucks, and that's a free Starbucks. As I get e-mail newsletters from the coffee shop, I often receive details of offers involving freebies, but because I don't live or work in the city centre I can rarely take advantage of them. A few days ago I received an e-mail about the new Guatemala Antigua Origin Espresso telling me that I could get a free Tall Guatemala Antigua Latte any day up until 9th April between 9.30am and 11.30am. I was getting an 11.45 train to Liverpool this morning and a new Starbucks has recently opened by the station - perfect!

The lady who served me was remarkably polite, in no way reluctant to give away a free coffee or making me feel like a scrounger. In fact, almost every time that I go into a Starbucks the staff are very polite. Perhaps that's a factor in why buying a Starbucks always makes me feel a bit special. It cheers me up if I'm a little low. Does that sound strange?

There are other reasons for this. The main one being that Starbucks is sort of the Prada, Chanel or Dior of the coffee shop world. I can't afford to shop at the big label fashion houses, but I can get a big label coffee. I have seen other bloggers comment on the coffee cup being an accessory, and I totally agree with them. We've all seen cool street style or paparazzi snaps of people holding a Starbucks, right? It is in a weird way sort of empowering. A confidence boost. It makes you feel like a real city girl. Like you can take on the world. You're Garance Dore, you're Lorraine Candy, or whoever you admire in business or fashion. Just the way that a new dress or pair of shoes might make you feel, but a lot cheaper.

Starbucks must know this, and play on it. I know I am a victim of corporate advertising, but I don't care. Which brings me to this; whoever came up with the idea of putting people's names on their drinks is an absolute genius. Seriously, even if you hate Starbucks, you have to admit that. On the one hand it's solving a problem. Nobody's taking a mocha that somebody else ordered five minutes before they did anymore. Nobody's getting confused about which drink is theirs because they don't come often and can't remember the name of what they ordered. Yet at the same time, it's personalising the customers drink, asking their name, saying 'this one is made especially for you'. It's a twee way of a corporate giant being friendly with it's customers - and that's exactly why it makes my boyfriend sick! Whether Starbucks are pretending to care or not, they know how to keep people coming back and the staff do a good job of making it work. And if someone's trying to make me feel special, I'm not going to stop them!

Does anyone else feel this way about Starbucks? Or perhaps another brand?

Katie x

P.S. Confession: I also went to Starbucks yesterday, and paid for that one. I went with friends though so it was peer pressure, sort of. Peer pressure in an absolutely no pressure required sort of way.

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