From the Food Babe ranting about what the Unicorn Frappuccino actually contains, to Business Insider reporting that the magical sounding drink is all sold out, it is clear that there is one thing Starbucks is doing well — other than giving everyone a sugar & caffeine high — and that is making news.
So what can small businesses learn from this sweet sensation?
Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino blended beverage
Heather DeSantis, a Public Relations specialist who helps six figure startups break seven, spends her free time reviewing marketing wins. Her analysis extracts lessons for the 100+ TV and radio interviews that she oversees each month. She shares her learnings from the success of the Starbuck’s launch in this interview with Forbes:
Before we get to the lessons, it is helpful to understand the context. “The Unicorn Frappuccino was inspired by unicorn-themed food and drinks trending on social media, including unicorn emojis on Facebook, and even a unicorn filter on Snapchat,” DeSantis explains. “It’s human nature to be drawn to something that has magical powers, and with Apple’s recent launch of a wildly popular Unicorn emoji , this obsession from the 1980s is back in a big way. For months, fans of the fictional creature have been sharing unicorn themed food and drink across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”
The Starbucks concoction promises guests a color changing drink mixed with ‘pixy powder dust’ that will delight with its mango flavoring and special sour blue powder. The drink was offered in a limited run, from April 19-April 23, but Starbucks locations soon ran out of supplies. “One Starbucks store in Orlando, FL that normally serves 45-55 Frappuccinos per day, on Unicorn Wednesdays typically sold 175 drinks,” DeSantis reports.
Now patrons are wondering & hoping that the drink that was pitched as “fleeting as a rainbow” will become a permanent menu item. But, according to DeSantis, whether it comes back or not, the lessons from this mega hit remain the same. They are:
1)UseNational News and Awareness Days
“National Unicorn Day was celebrated on April 9th, which caused hundreds of trending hashtags announcing #NationalUnicornDay. It is not confirmed that Starbucks capitalized on this national awareness day — but honestly, there is no way this could be a coincidence. People were still obsessing over unicorns, so when Starbucks announced their new drink, people were foaming at the mouth to get in on the unicorn action,” explains DeSantis.