Starbucks and the Power of Holiday Drinks

Nothings welcomes fall as much as pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. It almost seems as though the leaves change colors, the air turns into a cold crisp, and children begin preparing for Halloween, because Starbucks is promoting their seasonal drinks.

It’s like.. it’s not fall until Starbucks says so. In fact, it’s not Christmas either. Not until we get our seasonal cups!


The funny thing is, you can order these drinks year round. But, I think it’s more fun for us to pretend that’s not true. We want to wait, we want the suspense, we want Starbucks to wish us a good fall as they hand us out pumpkin spice latte. I think it’s a little guilty pleasure of ours.. something to look forward to .

Now, well all remember the red cup uproar of Christmas 2015. Instead of the traditionally Christmas-themed seasonal cups, Starbucks sported a plan red cup holiday cup. The amount of conversation that caused shows how important Starbucks seasonal involvement is to us, I remember seeing an article refer to the red cups as “Starbucks alleged war on Christmas”. Seems a bit extreme. Although disappointed, I think we all went into 2016 reminding ourselves that it is JUST a cup.


In America, Starbucks has become a part of the holiday season. Studies showed that last Christmas 1 in every 6 American adults received a Starbuck gift card, creating over 1.6 billion dollars worth of gift card revenue. 

This goes to show the importance of branding. Starbucks has created the ability to have us associate their brand with our own traditions of the holidays. Holiday season creates an emotional attachment to traditions and if you can emotionally draw in consumers, you may have them for life.

All praise Starbucks. 

Can anyone else do it?

Although it doesn’t create the same amount of hype. I’ve always been fond of Dairy Queen’s seasonal blizzard options. But, the emotional connection, is just not there. You just can’t walk into Dairy Queen, and feel a season.

This is why Starbucks is genius. This is why Starbucks is the number one coffee brewer in the world. At the end of the year, as we celebrate, as we remenese on all that went on, as we realize all the changes and obstacles the year brought us, Starbucks tastes the same. we don’t have to question it, we are comfotable with it, we are sure that it will be a familiar and comforting experience.


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