I love coffee and am proud to be among the energized coffee brigade who totes a cup everywhere. I won’t just drink any swill and approach a cup of coffee like a wine connoisseur. Throughout the years I have found many good roasted brews of the brown elixir, among them are Starbucks (naturally), Tim Horton’s, Caribou and Dunkin’Donuts.
But my main java love affair is with McDonald’s McCafe…but it wasn’t always this way. Before the launch of the McCafe line in 2007, I considered McDonald’s coffee the worst in the nation. It wasn’t until I received a free McCafe through the ever popular Monopoly promotion that I broke down and tried it and from that point I was infatuated. Unfortunately, soon afterwards they got rid of my main squeeze–the cappuccino, so I quickly shifted my allegiance to the latte by stopping by everyday to pick up my sweetheart.
In the fall last year, McDonald’s sweetened the pot by launching “McCafe Rewards” where you get any free large or medium McCafe after purchasing five. (It’s actually only four purchases because you also get a sticker from your free McCafe as well!)
McCafe Integrated marketing channels
As our course lecture (Rhodes, 2015) points out, “Integrated Marketing Communications must have synergy, ubiquity and generally seven memory recalls to act upon a new brand–so the more channels you are on, the more apt this will happen. Harnessing this all together in a campaign is key.”
It’s no surprise that McCafe has a widespread presence on just about ever social media channel due to being the baby of brand powerhouse McDonalds. (Radice, 2014) “Create content that is Snappable, and immediately resonates with your followers. Look at brands like McDonalds and their effective use of Snapchat for inspiration. Not only do they know where their market is hanging out, but they know how to cross-promote that content on Twitter for a winning combination.” McCafe has a presence on popular channels such as Pinterest, Vine and Instagram, and here is a good cross section of others and how McCafe is being promoted:
McDonalds.com – The McDonalds website is adequate in information but interestingly doesn’t say anything about the current Reward’s Card promotion or any other in-store promotions. This could be because not all franchises run the same promotions. I would also consider the site inadequate in showcasing the latest buzz on their social media channels.
Facebook.com – The Facebook page has 55,500,869 likes and showcases the latest “I’m lovin it” twitter feeds as well as youtube videos and scads of customer generated photos. The Super Bowl is trending now with a massive amount of customers sending in McD Seattle and New England fan pics. Strangely, no mention either of any promotions such as McCafe Rewards.
Twitter – Twitter is really where McCafe shines. Unlike the McDonald’s website or Facebook, McCafe has its own stand alone pages. One of the funniest McCafe Twitter campaigns is replacing famous movie lines with coffee . The McCafe twitter site also features many other extras such as rewarding some of the best tweets with a month’s worth of free coffee.
YouTube – There are many McCafe good videos such as Fung Bros McCafe Comedy. Because McCafe actually originated in Australia and had an international presence before the line came to the U.S., there are many international videos featured. There is also a media presence in the television news industry recently comparing McCafe with some of the other big challengers.ABC News Starbucks vs. McCafe.
Tumblr – McCafe has a pretty good size presence on Tumblr with various accounts featuring many photos and videos of them enjoying McCafe products around the globe.
McCafe’s Future Trends
McCafe and their social media presence involves a major marketing campaign that begins this month as McCafe products begin peppering the shelves of most major supermarket retail chains. According to Adage.com (Schultz, 2014), “McCafe, with its widespread brand awareness, might offer Kraft a better opportunity in the premium category than Gevalia. Kraft lost Starbucks and needed a brand in the premium segment.” Kraft along with powerhouse McDonalds takes a shot at becoming a top player in supermarket sales although it’s still up against very formidable competition.
McCafe Customer Service
As Young (2014) points out, “Brands such a Starbucks have been built through user experience and word-of-mouth. The consumer pathway is the base of the marketing effort. Even though I’m enchanted by the McCafe products and impressed by their social media presence, what makes me a super-loyal customer and advocate is McDonald’s in-store customer service. For a food chain eatery that churns out megatons of burgers, fries, Happy Meals and the (ingenious) .99 for any large beverage (hello sweet tea fans!) I’m amazed at the personal touch I receive every time I walk into a McD. I want to give a special shout out to Rose Hill Alexandria, VA McDonald’s Store Manager Jose Pena (below) and his staff for customer service that far exceeds any other food and beverage experience. All the employees know me and oftentimes begin making my order before I even put it in, just like a loved one being able to finish your sentences. Ah, the love affair continues!
Radice, R. (Dec. 4, 2014). Visual Marketing Strategies for Today’s Top Social Networks. Retrieved from http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/visual-marketing-strategies-todays-top-social-networks-16429/
Rhodes, J. (January 2015). Week 3 Lecture: Integrated Marketing Communications. MMC 5006, University of Florida.
Schultz. E. (Dec. 5, 2014). Kraft gives McCafe Rollout a Big Marketing Boost. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/kraft-give-mccafe-rollout-a-big-marketing-boost/296117/
Young, A. (2014). Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era. Pages 31-41, 101, 102, 104-106. Palgrave Mcmillian, New York, N.Y.