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by Kevin Coupe

This just struck me as a disconnect between the promise and the execution, and the kind of thing that marketers want to avoid.

Yesterday, I got an email from Starbucks promoting its new "Refreshers" beverages. Here's how they describe the product:

"A natural boost of energy you can feel good about ... Meet our newest innovation in coffee. It’s a thirst-quenching pick-me-up that packs a boost of natural energy from green coffee extract but looks and tastes nothing like coffee. Combined with real fruit juice, B and C vitamins and ginseng, it’s a sparkling low-calorie boost of natural energy in three delicious flavors. So open a can of thirst-quenching invigoration and rethink how you energize."

And, the email offered a 50 percent off coupon.

I was curious about the nutritional content of the "Refreshers" line, especially the calorie count, so I clicked through to the website...and what I found was the following passage:

We're Sorry.

The nutritional data for this product is not available online. You can find that information at your local store.

Nutrition information is calculated with data provided by the suppliers who manufacture food and beverage items for Starbucks Coffee Company. Variations may exist due to periodic changes in formulations.


Starbucks is making a big push on a new product line, and then doesn't have the most basic info online? It wants me to go to the store to find out? And then, uses language that suggests that it isn't even its responsibility to provide such information, but rather that it is up to the manufacturer?

I don't think so.

I may or not try "Refreshers," but for my money, Starbucks dropped the ball on this one - and did so on the easy stuff, in a way that annoyed at least one of its customers.

It is a good lesson for all marketers.
KC's View: