Starbucks and Angry Birds - A Match Made in Confusion

by Ben Wise

Earlier this week, Techvibes reported a rumour of a new partnership between Angry Birds and Starbucks. The plan will see leaderboards of the top Angry Birds scores displayed in Starbucks locations.

Strategic partnerships can be a great way to build your brand. The association with another strong brand can have a positive influence on how people view your own brand. A good partnership can also introduce new customers between the brands. However, at the end of the day a strong strategic partnership has to be a good fit for both brands.

Which is why I am so confused. There are some basic similarities between these brands – they are strong and well known, have loyal users and successfully extended their brands into new opportunities.

But the similarities end there.

Angry Birds has successfully created a small empire around what began as a mobile video game. The brand provided quick entertainment and allowed you to compete against your friends. Starbucks on the other hand, has carefully cultivated a brand based on premium products with the retail experience to match.

Many companies hastily seek out partnerships with a new and trendy brand without considering what value it will bring to their consumers. I worry that this is what Starbucks is doing – chasing Angry Birds so that they can remain hip and relevant.  Sadly, the partnership is more likely to harm Starbucks in the long run as their brand gets diluted with a message that has limited relevance to their consumers.

Seattle, Washington, United States

It happens millions of times each week – a customer receives a drink from a Starbucks barista – but each interaction is unique. It’s just a moment in time – just one hand reaching over the counter to present a cup to another outstretched hand. But it’s a connection. We make sure everything we do honors that connection – from our commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world, to the way... more

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Ben Wise

Ben Wise

Ben Wise currently works in the Rich Media team at Google, working with some of the biggest media agencies in Canada to bring their Rich Media campaigns to life. Prior to joining Google, Ben worked as a Brand Consultant at LEVEL5 Strategic Brand Advisors, where he helped develop brand strategy for brands across multiple industries, including technology, financial services and entertainment. Ben... more

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