Starbucks unveils their new coffee campaign.
In an effort to shed their "$4 a latte" image, Starbucks is downsizing their prices by offering "Value Meals." The coffee giant is selling coffee and an egg sandwich, cup of oatmeal or coffee cake, all for $3.95.
The value meals are called "breakfast pairings" and will save coffee fanatics $1.20. What's more, Starbucks is offering discount cards and training its employees to suggest bags of whole beans and instant coffee to people who are trying to cut back on designer drinks.
Those $4 lattes have become a media phrase signifying how expensive Starbucks is in comparison to other coffee companies. Recently Terry Davenport, Starbucks's chief marketing officer, defended Starbucks' high prices by saying, "The $3.95 price point is a backhanded way to go at the four-buck perception -- it's less than four bucks, and it's not just a drink, but food to go with it."
Starbucks is also using sneaky marketing to entice budget-conscious coffee drinkers. Their expensive specialty drinks like Frappuccinos used to be prominently displayed on their menu, but new menus will emphasize $2 brewed and iced coffees instead. The idea is to train people's eyes to assume all drinks are less than $3.
According to Starbucks officials, their typical customer ranges from BMW-driving professionals who come in twice a day to more thrifty folks who used to come in once a month and now come even less -- and instead are heading over to McDonalds for their new (and cheaper) lattes.
And in a last-ditch effort to keep their customers, Starbucks is also offering discount cards: Regular customers can pay $25 a year for cards that get them a 10 percent discount on food and coffee.
What do you think of Starbucks' discounted food and coffee? Does it appeal to you or have you sworn off expensive java for good?