Starbucks stores in California have a Frappuccino promo going on right now, and it ends July 10, 2012.  The promotion is $1.00 off each Frappuccino when you buy two or more.  In other words, if you go to a Starbucks (in California) with a friend, and buy two Frappuccinos in one transaction, each Frappuccino will be $1.00 off.  I found little flyers about this promotion near the register area of a number of Orange County, California, Starbucks stores.  The fine print of the promo pamphlet says that this is good at “participating  Starbucks in California.”  Baristas are supposed to use “ring code” 953.  In all honesty, I can’t tell by looking at the little pamphlet whether you must have the little promo pamphlet with you or not.  That could be a roadblock to taking advantage of this!

I have to admit that I am always curious about the “why” behind localized promotions.  Last month, I wrote about a special Blonde Roast coffee coupon only available for Chicago (and greater Chicago) customers.

If I were to try and guess the reason why Starbucks does these limited promotions, I’d say there are a number of reasonable answers, all equally plausible.  Here’s what comes to mind:

  1. Starbucks hopes to sell more a certain product in a certain area where sales are weak.  So if California has poor Frappuccino sales, this might be a way to boost sales of that beverage.
  2. Starbucks wants to test out a promotion to see what kind of reception it gets before trying that same promotion nationwide.  For example, if Starbucks wanted to do away with the Frappuccino Happy Hour, and was looking for an alternate promotion, this could be a test to see if it works. Do people really take advantage of $1.00 coupon?
  3. Starbucks has researched the buying habits of a certain area, and wants to reward success in a certain area and encourage more of it because it is profitable.  For example, Starbucks might say, ‘We sell a lot of Frappuccinos in California, and the opportunity for growth is still huge.  We can entice new customers to the brand with this discount.’

Those are the main reasons that I can come up with for a limited test.  If you have other ideas, please let me know!  And I should be very clear, I have no idea what Starbucks’ motivation with this particular promotion is.

Have any of my readers been able to take advantage of this?

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