In Korea, Starbucks is famous for a lot of things other than coffee. Its branded products have created demand so powerful that Starbucks is actually scaling back its promotional item initiative to help people who just want a cup of coffee avoid giant lines and crowds waiting for a branded cup.
Fans were so eager to get products like a branded travel bag, or even discounted beverages, that it got in the way of the normal day’s coffee sales.
The Korea Times reported that the company is trying to mend its reputation, after some branded products promotions upset normal customers:
Previously, the coffee chain had placed a priority on promoting the sales of its popular consumer products such as diaries, calendars and tumblers every January and February to attract customers and generate solid profits.
However, as the company received negative press on multiple occasions in 2022, it decided to prioritize improving the brand’s tarnished reputation this year.
This is a tough predicament for a promotional products distributor. Obviously, the goal of any promotion is to get as much attention as possible, right? Why would you want to limit the demand for a branding experience?
Well, this is sort of a case of being careful what you wish for. Starbucks was so successful with its branded products that people were clogging up the registers, preventing people from buying the core product available: coffee.