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How it has evolved the customer loyalty program of Starbucks in its first decade of existence


The coffee market was stagnating in the US. THE. After several quarters with unflattering results predicted a contraction of turnover of Starbucks, his app Mobile Loyalty Clientele has managed to change the course of the corporation.

A reason for the success achieved by the brand siren, other important players in the catering sector have joined the craze for digital systems customer loyalty. Among them Chipotle Mexican Grill con su Chipotle Rewards, Burger King con la app BK o McDonald’s, which also has its own application.

One wonders then what has been the evolution of the tool since it appeared in April 2008; from conception as a traditional method until its conversion to digital format. The following list presents a chronology of the evolution of Starbucks rewards program:

  • April 2008. Starbucks first introduced its loyalty system by card. It is called Starbucks Card.
  • November 2008. the community of loyal customers of the company is segmenting. A distinction is given to users with the brand Dumps. This is a version premium which it is reached when performing large volumes of consumption. Have this status confers the ability to access a wider selection of free rewards. This membership is coined as Starbucks Gold Card.
  • November 2009. Starbucks decided to simplify customer loyalty programs you have running and merges the two segments previously presented a united front: Starbucks Rewards. It is a mixture of the two concepts seasoned with some level of gamificación; customers start at the level of welcome and are increasing their status reaching rights that were previously only available in the Gold Card.
  • February of 2016. Starbucks begins to slow its growth and needs to increase profit margins Articles selling specialty items. It tries to promote these products to the detriment of the simplest cafes. The rewards program to reward passes visits to reward consumption.
  • February of 2018. Starbucks combines its system Loyalty with a own credit card enhanced through collaboration with Visa.
  • March of 2019. the rewards are rearranged in customer loyalty system giving the user greater independence. The user can decide its own rewards thanks to a tiered selection interface.
  • April 2019. harden the criteria for the right to free drink. It keeps the number of points (stars) obtained for every dollar spent, but the number of stars increases necessary to redeem. It goes from 125 a 150 stars (equivalent to a free drink for each 75 dollars spent).

Starbucks shows in recent times that periodic changes is a good way to act in the changing business environment. Changes in consumer habits people follow each other with increasing speed, and this has been the response of the coffee chain.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.


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