How to Solve the Starbucks ‘Red Cup’ PR Crisis

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Published November 26, 2015
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The Montclarion
Photo Credit: Christine Gianakis
How to Solve the Starbucks ‘Red Cup’ PR Crisis

Christine Gianakis, a Communication and Political Science major, is in her second year as a columnist for The Montclarion.

The recent outcry over the holiday-themed Starbucks cups — or lack thereof — has caused many Christmas enthusiasts to say “bah, humbug” to the popular coffee chain. How dare they take decorative snowflakes and snowmen off of their cups in the name of political correctness? If Starbucks hopes to get off of Santa’s naughty list this year, then they better listen carefully to the following crisis management tips. Sure, they may sell a special Christmas Blend and an Advent Calendar to advertise some holiday cheer, but that is simply not enough.

First of all, Starbucks needs to be committed to providing customers with the full Christmas experience at each location and a peppermint latte in a bright red cup just doesn’t cut it. Where are the ornaments, Starbucks? Where are the Christmas trees and the cute gingerbread men?

Something needs to be done about the gloomy, non-festive drink-ware that our favorite holiday beverages are being sold in. Why stop at simple demands for Santa Claus or snowflakes to appear on the cups? If no two snowflakes are alike, then our coffee cups shouldn’t be either.

Starbucks should set up decorating stations so that customers can bring their cups to life in a way that would make Frosty the Snowman proud. There should be tinsel, ornaments, colorful lights and candy canes that can be glued onto cups to give customers the same joy as decorating a Christmas tree.

Secondly, customers should be serviced by experienced holiday workers. Who is better qualified for the job than Santa’s helpers? Let’s bring in the elves to pour some coffee and refuel everyone’s Christmas spirit.

Instead of ordering drinks via a cashier, coffee-goers should submit their orders on a wish list, just like the ones they used to have when they were kids. Now that is what Buddy the Elf would call the real Christmas experience.

Lastly, what would a winter wonderland coffee shop be without carolers? The baristas should sing songs such as “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Deck the Halls” to fill my cup —and myself —with holiday cheer.

Santa is making his list and checking it twice and he’s going to find out which coffee chain is naughty or nice. If Starbucks wants to get a visit from jolly old St. Nicholas this year, then they better act quickly and show the world just how festive coffee can be.

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