Starbucks has never wowed me with their coffee. When it comes to your average cup of Joe my taste buds generally go with a philosophy of the cheaper the better (you should know that my taste buds are extremely philosophical).
In my sophomore year of college I discovered Starbucks specialty drinks, specifically the white chocolate mocha, developed a 2-cup-a-day habit and subsequently gained about 10 pounds. While I’ve cut back significantly over the years, I do like to indulge in a latte here and there, so when people started posting their red cups I knew that the season was upon us: Starbucks Holiday Drinks are here.
The company launched their holiday cups, along with the coordinating merchandise, one November 1st while most people probably still had Halloween candy stuck in their teeth. It was out with the pumpkin and in with peppermint mocha, and caramel brulée, eggnog and gingerbread lattes. The Starbucks website refers to the holiday packaging as “red cups full of joy” and it is a nice way to start the season (albeit a bit early for my taste).
When it comes to branding, the team at Starbucks is experts. The red cups follow the old KISS principle; changing the color of the cups is simple, visual and effective. Starbucks customers can be a bit cultish and by turning the cup into an icon, they are catering to them. Perhaps by “them” I mean us; last year I found a miniature Red Cup ornament in my stocking, compliments of my mother.