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Starbucks aims to increase coffee sales via QR code campaign

October 31, 2011

Starbucks is using QR codes in various in-store locations around the United States and in popular magazines to promote its new line of Fall coffee products.

The company partnered with Scanbuy for the mobile initiative. With this new campaign Starbucks is proving that it is a company to watch in the mobile space.

“Starbucks is using traditional media like print and outdoor to drive downloads of their mobile app, and the QR Code is a great way for smartphone users to get it in one click,” said David Javitch, vice president of marketing at Scanbuy, New York.

Founded in 1971, Starbucks is a global roaster and retailer of specialty arabica coffee.

Scanbuy provides mobile bar code products and software. Its ScanLife service, uses the camera phone as a connector between the physical and digital worlds.

How it works
Starbucks has placed the QR codes in its locations all over the U.S.

A Starbucks flyer with a QR code on it

Users can also find the mobile bar codes in magazines such as People, in newspapers and on outdoor ads in major U.S. cities.

When consumers scan the QR codes, they are redirected to a mobile landing page where they can watch a video on Starbucks’ Caffe Verona blend.

Additionally, users can find the nearest location and learn more about the company’s various coffee products, how they taste and what food goes best with them.

Consumers can also browse the Starbucks menu, check their card balance and shop for products.

Mobile past
Starbucks has been incorporating mobile into its everyday initiatives.

Last year, The Starbucks Card mobile application was accepted at 1,020 Target and Starbucks stores, making it the largest mobile payment initiative in the U.S.

The mobile application lets Starbucks customers check their card balance, reload the card and view transactions (see story).

Most recently the company unveiled a new app that features gift card capabilities.

The app includes the company’s eGift feature and combines the features of its iPhone my Starbucks and Starbucks Card mobile apps (see story).

The new QR code initiative shows that Starbucks is using mobile to further engage with consumers.

“For this campaign, those that don’t have a compatible device can view mobile content to discover new Fall blends,” Mr. Javitch said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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One Response to “Starbucks aims to increase coffee sales via QR code campaign”

  1. Tony Vassiliev Says:

    Glad to see Starbucks leveraging 2D barcodes. It’s a shame they take longer to execute cool initiatives in Canada. But they’re providing relevant, mobile friendly content which is key. Many marketers, even large brands tend to forget the importance of that:

    Note: A Canadian coffee distributor called Ethical Bean has utilized QR codes on their packaging for over a year and I think they’ve done a terrific job with it:

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