We have mentioned several times in this blog the need for “match.com-like” tools to foster collaboration. So it wouldn’t be fair not to point out a meaningful collaboration initiative where Match.com itself plays a main role. Besides, it is springtime and love is in the air…
As usual, love was also in the air previously to last Valentine’s Day, so companies Match.com and Starbucks decided to make the most of it and team up for a clever and meaningful co-branding campaign. Mean deal was a new feature “Meet at Starbucks” in Match.com that allowed its users to directly send an invitation to set up a coffee date. Using the “Meet at Starbucks” feature, members could also find a location for their Starbucks date using the Starbucks store locator. Starbucks and Match also promoted what they called “the world’s largest Starbucks date” on February 13th. Starbucks offered coffee and snacks promotions as well as photo props so customers could take photos and share online with the #StarbucksDate hashtag.
Co-Branding collaborations are too easy to think about, not so much to implement, but really difficult to make them meaningful for most customers of both brands. This was not the case. In fact, when Valentine’s Day is coming, marketers are looking for ways to reach consumers through online dating sites. Domino’s used OKCupid to promote itself and a contest to give a lifetime of pizza to a customer who best declared his or her love for the brand. A month earlier, the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and dating app Tindr hosted a “Swipe Right Night” for fans of the team and Tindr users.
Match.com was proposed by some other potentially co-branding couples. They always said “no” until accepted Starbuck as the one they considered to be the perfect mate. Well, this is supposed to be what they do best, anyway…
Besides tangible benefits for consumers, a powerful and meaningful storytelling is a must for any co-branding to be really successful. It is true both partners could argue this co-branding initiative was a natural extension of what’s already happening. Truly, coffee and first dates go hand in hand. Apparently, more than one in three singles said that having coffee together is a favorite activity for a first date. According to Match.com, more than 3 million users list “coffee & conversation” as an interest on their profile. Besides, hundreds of thousands of its members had already added on these profiles a Starbucks badge to show their love for the brand.
If Match.com wants to become a ubiquitous part of singles’ lives generating more dates than anyone else, Starbucks wants to think more first dates happen at Starbucks than anywhere else. The brand is being always linked to a place where people come together to share important life moments, big and small: friends and families reunited, communities gathering, job interviews, co-workers meetings…. and first dates.
With “Meet at Starbucks”, their stores picture themselves once more as the quintessential “Third Place”. It’s just this time is not about “not job, not home” but “not my place, nor yours”.