#NationalCoffeeDay– How brands bridged tangible & online

In On the look out, Social media on September 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm

It’s trending in Miami and tons of brands are jumping in on it. National Coffee Day is a holiday I can certainly get behind, but some brands (especially large coffee chains) are utilizing the traffic brought about by the hashtag and the digital push for the holiday that seems to be bringing people tangibly into their stores.

The results of a standard Twitter search for #NationalCoffeeDay.

The results of a standard Twitter search for #NationalCoffeeDay.

Halloween (32 DAYS!) is an example of a standard holiday most people are familiar with and celebrate. While brands and stores often search for tie ins for more traditional holidays, the digital age has opened up the opportunity for fabricated holidays to achieve widespread recognition.

National Coffee Day is Sept. 29, everyone knew that right? Of course not. Without seeing the trend on Twitter, I’d place a bet that 85% of people on Twitter never even thought that was a thing.

The All Alabama blog published a quick brief this morning stating that national coffee day has “No history, No tradition” but you are able to cash in on it.  Positioned by most media as a chance to snag a free cup of coffee, National Coffee Day is just another example of the ability of Social Media to drive and even create commerce.

Brewin’ up hype

@Caribou_Coffee above mentions that you can get a free cup of coffee “in honor of” the holiday. A holiday you didn’t even know existed until you read that tweet, but now you are determined to celebrate.  Trust me, if I lived in a state with the ‘Bou I’d be there so fast. Although I’d probably get an apple blast. And therein lies another benefit. Called to the store because of a free promotion, this hashtag channels the power of traditional coupons expecting customers to come into the store for one offer with chances being they’ll go for other things as well.

Because of the viral nature of hashtags, Brands can create immediate calls to action. Similar to the way the Macy’s Three Day sale traditionally has created newspaper ads compelling people to purchase immediately, creating a sense of urgency, National Coffee Day creates a social media urgency. An artificial rush is created, and most of all, it’s fun.

When doing consulting (which I do very little of but still some), I advise small companies or beginning brands to join in on large conversations. For example hashtagging the game and jumping on conversations around College Football in Syracuse are one way small businesses in Syracuse, NY can get digitally noticed. The same principal applies here as companies jump in on the conversation and gain attention, followers and business because of it.

Get it while it’s hot– Other brands benefit from the snowball

PBS is one of the top tweets that comes up in a search. Though certainly not an authority on coffee, they are an authority on history and on public ongoings, their choice to jump into the hashtag with information was a wise one.

But I think the most brilliant thing about National Coffee Day is the ease of which a digital hashtag and hype can translate to getting people tangibly into stores. Sitting in Barnes and Noble right now, I haven’t picked up any free coffee yet. But it’s such a simple call to action to provide the urgency: “ITS TODAY ONLY.”

Moreover, I love observing the power that social media has to not only create and push a non-holiday but to drive loyalty and build brand connections by taking this concept of celebrating the ordinary and creating offers around digital buzz.

Anyone getting some free coffee today? Spy any creative ways brands are cashing in on the hashtagged occasion?


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