Integrated Marketing Campaign: Uber and Starbucks

Uber Marketing Campaign

Have you ever met someone and realized after one conversation that you found your new best friend?

That’s how I felt when I interviewed with Uber to be a marketing manager. I felt excited; I felt overwhelmed. This wasn’t going to be an easy friendship, but it was going to be an amazing one.

After the first interview, I was asked to develop three ideas to drive demand growth. Then, I was asked to create a marketing campaign based off of one of those ideas.

Creating a Marketing Campaign for a Client

I want to pause and say that I have worked for a marketing agency before. My boss at the time, who I admire, would never develop a marketing campaign for a client without a contract. I spoke with a few other professionals, and they all felt the same way. I want to state that I do feel the same way, but on the other hand, I appreciated Uber for giving me this assignment because it showed me how they developed and approached ideas and data, and in turn, by completing this assignment, I would testify to how I thought through ideas and analyzed data (sans data).

I did do the assignment. I am very passionate about the marketing idea, and I hope innovative companies such as Uber and Starbucks will bring this idea to fruition.

Below is a sampling of the marketing campaign I developed for the partnership between Uber and Starbucks.

The Concept

I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas, but ultimately, I think the next big thing isn’t delivery. I think it’s packaging sustenance with your transportation. Michael DiTullo,  Chief Design Officer of Sound United, recently made the case for integrating food and beverages with automation cars. You can read his ideas here on the industrial design blog, Core77. In the interim, I propose getting in a car and having your personal Uber driver hand you your Starbucks soy vanilla latte on your way to work.

The Idea: Uber Starbucks

Starbucks is widely popular and innovative, but it has yet to set up a delivery service. Uber is targeting commuters through UberPool, which is similar to carpooling. Currently, Starbucks is testing out delivery options to launch a delivery service. Both companies, which focus on the personal touch, can work together to bring a truly personalized package everyday. That package is Uber Starbucks, allowing clients to order Starbucks at the same time they order a car, and enjoy the beverage during their commute.

Key Points:

  • No one is currently providing this service
  • Added convenience by turning two trips for the client into one
  • Two companies that share common values are both providing solutions for their clients

The Internal Pitch:

Good morning! I want to introduce you to a partnership, one that we have had in the past, but that we can expand upon. At Uber, we personalize your car service. I am proposing to collaborate with Starbucks, a company that is known to personalize your coffee. Together we can bring about a new campaign that will save our clients time and enhance our stellar service.

Starbucks is a global powerhouse. It’s hard to believe with all of the delivery options, that Starbucks is yet to be one of them. Currently (as of March 2015), Starbucks has rolled out two pilot programs in Seattle and New York City. Starbucks is testing delivery with it’s own employees and with the courier service, Postmates, in the Seattle test market.

The Market: 

The market is ripe for a change. UberEATS has been a successful campaign so far. This market continues to grow with other fast food companies including McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, which are starting to test out delivery options as well.

Last fall, we partnered with Starbucks to bring our clients to their coffee. We can raise the bar like we always do and bring our clients Starbucks coffee with their car.

Target Market: 

When you go to work, look around you. People are carrying a beverage—on the train, in their car, on the sidewalk. Our target market is the professionals and the entrepreneurs, men and women between 25-40 years old, in creative and tech fields.

This would be best executed in North Side Chicago neighborhoods including the Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview. While there are Starbucks coffee shops in major business plazas and tech spaces like Merchandise Mart, Starbucks is further away from businesses on the North Side of Chicago. Starbucks has a strong presence, but if you only have a few minutes to grab coffee before going on the bus or getting in the car, potential clients would choose other businesses that are closer or opt to wait until they arrive at work to make coffee.

We have the car service and Starbucks has the coffee. Together, we can create a program to infuse the two. It’s a natural fit that two innovative, professional,  and personable companies would work together to bring our clients everything they need—the energy and the means to get where they want to go, professionally and literally.

The hotel industry has mints on pillows. We can put coffee in cars.

What Would You Do for Your Dream Job?

The job market is fierce and competitive, and so are you. Over the past year, there has been a shift to protect art because art is valuable. Art, ideas, and content is valuable. I think it’s important to support bloggers, to support musicians, to support artists. Art and creativity bring so much meaning into this world.

I love that Uber as a company is trying to be more than a taxi company.  I love that they are creating partnerships to bring us ice cream, pick up our donations, and maybe one day, hand us our Starbucks during our commute.

I think I made the right decision by completing this assignment. I did give Uber an idea, an idea that I grappled with, and that I developed. I think that ideas are meant to be shared, tested, and developed. People put their ideas on blogs and forums all of the time.

So, when do those ideas—those ideas that are shared and developed, and researched—when are those worth something?

What do you think—would you do the assignment?

Amanda Whitfield
Amanda Whitfield

Amanda Whitfield is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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