The Unicorn Frappuccino | What "Marketing Genius" Looks Like & Marketing Tactics You Should Implement.

Image Source: via Starbucks

Image Source: via Starbucks

Recently Starbucks releases their Unicorn Frappucino,  turning my morning routine into a chaotic frenzy. As a devoted cold brew drinker, I had no interest in trying it myself but I was curious to see just how big this release was going to get and most importantly...why. From a marketing stand point the release of this drink was pure genius. 

According to Starbucks, the whimsical drink consisted of “pink powder, blended crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle.” In a matter of days the drink spawned thousands of hashtags and pictures of the craze literally took over SnapChat, Facebook or Instagram feeds. But what can other businesses learn from all of this?

Here's our key takeaways:


For a Limited Time Only

By only releasing the Unicorn Frappuccino for a short amount of time—Starbucks created a sense of urgency for their customers which drove them to act immediately. This tactic is one of my favorites because it allows you test an idea before fully committing and provides you with true customer feedback. In this case Starbucks tested a completely new idea that was received successfully by its customers—WIN,WIN.


A Unique Offering

It goes without saying—it is a pretty drink. So who can blame the hundreds of thousands who posted pictures of the crème concoction? Starbucks definitely tapped into social marketing tactics by offering a unique and photogenic product that people wanted to share.  I find this to be more and more important for my client’s new product launches. Keeping this in mind during your next product development project will go a long way.


National Unicorn Day

Timing is everything and Starbucks could not have timed this craze any better. With social media at the forefront of these awareness days making a huge rise in popularity, this was a genius tactic to take advantage of.  This tactic would be a great way to boost your campaign social media messaging.


Social Media is King                   

Basically, unless you lived under a rock, you knew the Unicorn Frappuccino was a thing and that is really thanks to social media. Because so many people were posting images of the sweet drink, this triggered a cult following and people just had to have it. The more people shared it, the more the demand grew.


What Starbucks did particularly well is provide a product that was serving multiple values. Not only were customers buying a treat, they were buying something to post on their timelines and a piece of something exclusive.  And for $4.95 that is a steal in todays socially focused market.

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*Image Credit: via Starbucks