…Contemplating the Core Elements of a Modern Breastfeeding Lifestyle
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Starbucks and Breastfeeding Promotion: Building by One “Cup” or Two at a Time

There’s a joke in my family that I should just mainline coffee.  I am surprisingly calm in spite of my allotment of at least two vente coffees per day.  That being said, spending long hours writing in Starbucks has recently made me fantasize about how to make  breastfeeding promotion be as successful as the spread of this ubiquitous brand.

Relationship building is at the heart of the Starbucks Philosophy.   Howard Schultz  was CEO of Starbucks in 1997 when he published his first book ” Pour Your Heart into it:  How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time”.  According to a review of this book  on Amazon.com,  “An exemplary success story, Starbucks is identified with innovative marketing strategies, employee-ownership programs, and a product that’s become a subculture.” 

To paraphrase the famous line from the movie “Harry Met Sally”, I’ll have some of what he, Howard Schultz, aka Starbucks & co. , is having… so that I can use it to successfully promote breastfeeding.   His secret weapon is a communication style where he is clear about what he stands for, the values he promotes and he consistently makes emotional connections with his audience be they employees or consumers.  On a limited advertising budget, he literally built his brand with a heartfelt passion, one cup at a time.

This realization is most encouraging for me. I am reminded of the long standing ILCA campaign, Reach one, Teach one.  One by one, whether at Starbucks, in my prenatal breastfeeding class or anywhere else I reach and teach using the same powerful communication strategies. 

1. Identify what you are passionate about and convey that message to everyone.

I am passionate about breastfeeding.  I use a holistic approach to shift the experience to a uniformly positive one for the mother and by extension her baby or babies.  This means optimizing the latch connection to ensure ample transfer of milk and pain-free feeding.  There is no need to rely so heavily on external measurements and gadgets.  Doing so only moves us further away from the essence of breastfeeding.

2. Inspire everyone with how the service, product , or cause will improve their world. 

Breastfeeding is a human baby’s biological birthright. It is ecological and economical.  Not breastfeeding adds significantly to pollution and is expensive.  Breastmilk is a custom blended, living superfood that cannot be commercially duplicated. It is truly like liquid gold. Priceless!

3. To lead a revolution leaders tap into the emotions not just the minds of colleagues and consumers.

Storytelling is a technique that I use all the time.  It supplements hands-on and teaching by example.  When moms can relate and see themselves in another mothers story they can connect with a positive vision of successful breastfeeding for themselves.

Starbucks paid attention to both its employee/partners and customers. They created a good experience and a reputation that expanded their brand rapidly by word of mouth.  Breastfeeding advocates can learn much from this innovative marketing ploy. 

Focus on the mother, the thinking partner in a breastfeeding relationship and create for her a pain-free, positive breastfeeding experience.

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1 Tweets that mention Starbucks and Breastfeeding Promotion: Building by One “Cup” or Two at a Time — ConsciousBreastfeedingConnections.com -- Topsy.com { 06.21.10 at 7:15 pm }

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Máire Clements, Máire Clements. Máire Clements said: @jeanettecates (#5) Starbucks and Breastfeeding Promotion: Building by One "Cup" or Two at a Time http://budurl.com/cbc30day5 [...]

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