Boelter Lincoln, Blog, Starbucks, Unicorn

When you were young, you most likely learned about a mythical creature called a unicorn. Back then, you probably loved the mystery around something that you could never see in real life. The spirit of the unicorn is what drove little girls around the world to ask for stuffed animals and toys to help fuel their imaginations.

More recently the word unicorn has evolved into a term that’s used to describe an unattainable item – something sought after. A quick search through Facebook sale groups and you’ll see members asking if an item they have for sale is anyone’s “unicorn.”

Unless you’ve avoided all means of communication in the last few months, you’ve likely heard about the Starbucks unicorn, Frappuccino. You may even be one of the brave souls who tried one. Regardless of what you think, Starbucks created buzz around their brand and in the end it’s what we all want.

For four days, Starbucks offered a non-coffee drink that had changing flavors and colors sprinkled with what they referred to as pink and blue fairy powders. The drink was designed to be something that people would seek out, photograph and share. To say it was successful would be an understatement. A quick search shows articles from the Washington Post, CNBC, Fortune and many more telling the story of the drink and how it quickly became the subject of conversation across all social media channels. Over 150K people took photos and shared them on Instagram alone.

Even though the reviews weren’t all positive, the drink sold out at stores nationwide on the very first day. According to CNBC, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that more color-changing drinks are in the works and I don’t blame him. With a little fancy drink making, the company created huge media buzz and drove customers into stores.

As strategic partners for our clients, we are always looking for ways to make their brands stand out and to get people talking. While they may not have their own unicorn drink, each has something special to offer. It’s all about the way you present it to consumers; putting it in the right place at the right time is what really matters. Gather your team (and perhaps a Starbucks beverage) and start exploring what your brand’s unicorn might be.

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