For some reason, I’ve managed to collect a bunch of random Starbucks news. Granted, I’ve been going there more often recently for the ability to read and work in a comfortable atmosphere outside the distractions of home. I’m okay with paying about $2 for some caffeine plus an few hours of productivity once in a while.
First, I found out that last month Starbucks lowered the price of their basic drip coffee and lattes, while increasing the price of their “complex” drinks like Frappuccinos. This is classic price targeting, which involves company extracting the maximum money out of the most customers possible.
People who are frugal and pay attention to prices will now find that a large drip coffee from Starbucks costs just about the exact same amount as a large coffee from a place like Dunkin Donuts. Result: Starbucks gets more price-comparing people. A person who was paying $4 for a Frappuccino before was already paying 100% more for extra sugar, whipped cream, and 5 seconds in a blender. They most likely won’t mind paying another 25 cents. Result: Starbucks extracts more money from non-price-sensitive person.
iPod Touch/iPhone App
Want to buy coffee? There’s an app for that. The Starbucks Mobile App, from what I can gather, tries to make your iPhone or iPod Touch act like your Starbucks card. And right now, if you use it to reload $25 or more using your Visa card, you can earn a one-time $5 bonus. That’s two free drinks for me… too bad I don’t have an iGadget.
Free Birthday Drink
I’m usually not big on gift cards, but there are some decent perks with using a registered Starbucks card. You get 2 hours of free Wi-Fi per day, unlimited refills on drip coffee, and now you also get a free drink on your birthday. I like the first two features better, but free is free.