Starbucks Treat Receipt – The Best Idea Ever?

Starbucks is one clever company. I have been impressed by their promotions: like donating $5 to create US jobs for every pound of coffee purchased. I have been impressed by their fearless embrace of new technology: like signing up to process all credit card payments with Square. And I have been impressed by how deeply they have climbed into my head: the Starbucks Treat Receipt.

If you buy something from Starbucks before 2 pm, show up after 2 pm with your receipt to get any medium cold drink for $2. Yes, that includes the $4.50 ice cream drinks (aka Grande blended frappuccinos).

Why is this deal so awesome for Starbucks? Who goes to Starbucks twice in one day? Maybe if you are up early, but who goes after 2 pm? It is way easier to convince a paying customer to do it again than it is to get a new customer entirely. They must be crushing it on repeat customers during this promotion.

This deal is extremely appealing – I find myself saving receipts now. I tell myself “well, you might as well hang on to the receipt just in case you want to go later.” Then every time I reach into my pocket I find the receipt and think of Starbucks. Logically, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t want a sugary drink in the afternoon. And the iced coffee and iced green tea are cheap enough that the deal wouldn’t really save me any money. But I still save the receipts. I have gone back once for an afternoon treat and they are bound to get me again soon. Probably tomorrow…

There is even more cleverness, so much so that I will switch to bullet points:

  • “Treat” receipt. Yes, even the name is encouraging you to get one of those expensive sugary drinks. You deserve a treat. And then you are addicted. And probably pregnant.
  • The promotion is limited to one month. This makes it way more appealing. I think to myself, “well Brian, you better take advantage of this now because you won’t be able to later.”
  • The hot summer time promotion. You’re hot, thirsty, and have a treat receipt in your pocket. No brainer.
  • The oh so close to a rhyme – “treat receipt”. It is music to the ears.


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