Chapter 19: Building a geo-located information and entertainment resource. How Starbucks uses the full range of geo-location tools to tell its story in each of its stores

A bit more about Starbucks as a tech company…

If you’d like to read more about how Starbucks has embraced technology, you’ll find additional material below these links…


These links take you to the source material for this chapter in the book version of Brand Journalism. They are here to make it as easy as possible for readers of the print edition to refer to sources and further reading and research material. All links were active when the book was researched and published. If you find a boken link, please let me know at

1 Small Business, on Starbucks’ target audience

2 Adam Brotman, quoted by Interbrand

3 Mobile Marketing and Technology on Starbucks’ marketing strategy

4 Starbucks Idea initiative (4)

5 The Drum, reporting on Starbucks’ digital network

6 Starbucks Melody fansite, on hyperlocal and user-generated content on the company’s network

7 Mobile Marketer on Starbucks’ mobile apps and mobile payments strategy

8 Mobile Marketer on Starbucks’ SMS strategy

9 Mobile Marketer on Starbucks’ augmented reality strategy

10 Mobile Marketer on Starbucks’ QR codes and games strategy

11 Mashable on Starbucks’ use of QR codes

12 Mashable on Starbucks’ games strategy

13 Starbucks’ community service strategy

14 Media Funnel on Starbucks’ Facebook strategy

15 GeekWire on Starbucks’ Instagram strategy

16 Buzzbrothers Social Media blog on Starbcuks’ Pinterest strategy

17 Phase One research into Starbucks’ performance as a socially engaged company

More on Starbucks as a tech company

Adam Brotman’s appointment to the chief digital officer role (he was formerly vice president of digital ventures) signalled Starbuck’s transition into a tech company according to VentureBeat (

“With the creation of the CDO role, all of Starbuck’s digital projects – web, mobile, social media, digital marketing, Starbucks Card and loyalty, e-commerce, Wi-Fi, Starbucks Digital Network, and emerging in-store technologies – were packaged together and placed under Brotman’s care.”

Brian Solis, principal at Altimeter Group, told VentureBeat of the significance of the CDO role: “We live in an era where the customer landscape is not only dynamic, it’s incredibly segmented. What used to work from a traditional marketing sense … now opens up a series of new touch points that we have to explore.”

By creating the chief digital officer role, Starbucks is on the right track and demonstrating that it’s thinking about the customer and the business in more fluid ways, Solis said.

“Now they’re looking at people that are increasingly mobile, increasingly social. And what [Brotman’s] going to learn, and what other CDOs are going to learn, is that what it comes down to is the experience. How do you connect with somebody who is living in the app economy? How do you connect with somebody who lives within the social graph? Are they similar or are they dissimilar? What’s it going to take to cultivate those types of relationships?”

The VentureBeat report goes on: “Starbucks, by going all-in on digital, gets insight into the wants and needs of today’s connected consumers in a way that keeps the brand top of mind. What we have, then, is a technology-steeped version of Starbucks that’s equal parts power retailer and innovator.”