That’s not my name!

Probably most of you have been to Starbucks and some of you have been not pleasantly surprised when you received your coffee cup with misspelled name.

Currently trending video on Youtube by comedian Paul Gale “Why Starbucks spells your name wrong” received in 3 days 4 800 000 views. You will see yourself when you watch the video that the point why Starbucks misspells your name is because they want you to talk about it and share it on social media and then again if they finally write it correct they want you to do the same.

After some research it is not clear to me whether the comedian does it from his own incentive or if there is Starbucks hidden behind this. I found questionable that Paul Gale was allowed to use Starbucks logo through the video. However if we leave this behind, we can assume that a simple video even about negative stuff works on sales and gets peoples interest. There are already videos where for example the whole office goes to 5 different Starbucks to see how many times they spell they name correctly.

In the past Starbucks did a promotion with Twitter called Tweet a cup of coffee to your friend. During this campaign the biggest feedback it had was misspelled names. Up to 15% of participants of Tweet a cup of coffee were complaining about the mistakes in their Twitter names.

This issue is all around the social media channels – blogs on Tumblr, hashtags and groups on Facebook called ‘StarbucksSpelling or ‘That’s not my name, Starbucks’. If you find #starbucksfail it contains same number of posts as #starbuckslover on Instagram.

From my personal experience I have worked at Starbucks and after writing a lot of names out of which some of them must have been incorrect I asked myself if you think about how many different names there are and different ways of spelling the names plus the noise which you work at and not to forget different people pronouncing them differently there is of course a lot of space for error. I personally would welcome if Starbucks would drop this rule for its own good and switch to numbers or different more efficient system because I call myself Anna at such situations.

What do you think about the video – do you think it is only a joke or marketing trick? And do you find it nice and personal when you have your name on the cup or does it bother you when you are asked for your name? Let me know!



3 thoughts on “That’s not my name!

  1. Actually, I think that employees misspelled names first, probably unintentionally. Following this huge online prominence of customers complaining about it and posting pictures, Starbucks took advantage out of it and created this marketing trick.
    Nevertheless, I agree that through this trick, or maybe just unintentional action people talk about Starbucks and the company stays in mind. Moreover, it is a pretty cheap marketing strategy and obviously effective.
    In addition, having the name on the cup is more personal than just as random number. Through the names, there is a certain interaction between the company and the customer, which results in a word of mouth; either positive or negative.
    As stated above, up to 15% tweets about Starbucks consists out of complaints about misspelled names; so why changing it?
    And for those who do not feel comfortable to tell others their name, they can still lie. And there are even people, who make fun out of it and say something like ‘Mr X’.

  2. To start off, ofcours i also went to starbucks many times and sometimes indeed they write my name wrong or just interpret an other name. I have to confess that this is a hot item to share on facebook because it is funny to watch. I’m sure that employees at the starbucks are not writing down wrong names to make sure that they get enough free advertisement on internet (although it would be funny if that is the policy of employees of the starbucks).
    But it might be possible that starbucks is using this ‘wrongname’ thing to increase their attention, every advertisement is attention to the company in the end. If the comedian uses the official starbucks sign on his webpage than I believe that starbuck permissed him for that, which I think is very smart in the end.
    The video the comedian made is funny and not harmfull for the company so thats a smart thing to do as starbuck right? I realize that there are tons of new technologies that make the system of connecting the right cup of coffee to the right person but this way creates a nice connection between ypu and the employees and by that the company. It gives you a nice feeling that they write ‘merry Xmas’ on your cup in the decembermonth and I love the fact that they pay attention to the offline conversation!
    I won’t stop buying my favorite coffee at the starbucks and if they write my name wrong I ‘ll laugh again and they made my day just a bit more funny!
    Enjoy your coffee!

  3. The stories about Starbucks misspelling customers names have already become legends. They are often a subject of online entertainment and millions of shares. In my opinion this effective, yet not creative and rather “cheap” marketing trick was supposed to make clients reflect on misspellings that happen on a daily-basis at Stabucks. For obvious reasons Starbucks employees are not able to spell every name correctly.
    I must admit that I have been a faithful Starbucks customer and I do not get affected by the misspellings. As far as I remember, I have never seen my name spelled correctly at Starbucks, since it is not a ubiquitous spelling. Personally, it does not bother me whether I have my coffee with or without my name on it. I think that “personalised” cup does not affect people’s mood or willingness to buy a coffee. In case of Starbucks, it is rather the brand and reputation that attracts so many clients around the world.
    I do not really see the point of Starbucks workers writing names on cups. I have also experienced many other popular coffee companies that do not practive such marketing methods. Yet, they are still very successful. I must admit that I prefer to have a cup of coffee without my name on it. Moreover, I find it quite initimidating when my name is spoken out loud in a cafe, in front of many people I do not know. Since I think that many people get annoyed by the fact that their name is completely misspelled, Starbucks should reconsider their “personalised” cups and maybe develop other strategies to improve their marketing.

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