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Reusable Starbucks cups simply good design

Starbucks reusable cups

When I need space to think, to read or to write, I often find myself gravitating towards a Starbucks. Something about the setting, the hustle and bustle, the background jazz, the whirling of coffee grinders (and the free refills), help me to think creatively.

Someone recently bought me a Starbucks takeaway cup, which is one of those geniusly simple design ideas.

The idea is that you buy their reusable takeaway cups for £1, then every time you take it in to get a drink you get 25p off, so you’ve paid for it after you’ve had 4 drinks. This means that Starbucks reduces its environmental waste of paper cups, or the need to wash up the ceramic house mugs, whilst also saving money.

So far it looks like a good deal for the consumer, and a positive move for the environment. It also saves time for baristas who have less mugs to wash and tables to clear, and it saves Starbucks money on paper cups.

And to top it off, it’s a win for the Starbucks brand. Starbucks get to have lots of people carrying around their logo with reusable cups in the car, on the desk and in your bag. It turns casual coffee drinkers into an army of walking brand ambassadors.

Starbucks actually does very little in the way of traditional advertising. Think about it, can you ever recall seeing a Starbucks advert on Television? It’s initiative like this which gives it such a strong brand presence, without the need to spend millions on traditional ad-spots. Further more, it breeds brand loyalty. Why would I go somewhere else when I get 25p off my favourite coffee every time I take in my reusable cup?

It’s one of those design ideas that is so simple, yet so smart. You have to ask; why has no one else thought of this? Probably because the simplest ideas are often the hardest to come up with.

6 comments

  • Katherine says:

    I really love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own site and want to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

    • Andy Cogdon says:

      Hi Katherine,
      Thanks for your comment. The site was designed from scratch rather than using a pre-designed template. If you like the blog, you can sign up to the mailing list for updates (link in the pull-down bar at the top of the page, or in footer).

  • Israel says:

    Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a fair price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

  • Graham King says:

    I’m a fairly Strabucks cutomer, although if I’m honest I tend to vary my coffee purchases across 3 or 4 major chains, just to keep them on their toes!

    I think these new style cups are a good idea – cheap alternative to the other thermal-style re-usable cups they sell and as you say, pay for themeslves fairly quickly! Be handy to have a bigger cup for my normal coffee in the office too.

    Only downside I can think of is that while I’d have one at work for when pop in there during my lunch break, I’m not sure I’m likely to carry it around in case I needed one on the fly! As long as they don’t start offering them everytime you buy a drink like supermarkets do with bags-for-life… Like with the bags, I’d end up with a cupboard full of them!

    Good point about the lack of traditional advertising. I always figured that the number of people wandering around the branded cardboard cup was a good a foundation as any for a coffee chain’s marketing strategy.

  • Michal Reames says:

    Heya, really reasonable post, thanks for the tips!

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