Jun
28
2010

The Karma Cup: Earn Some at a Starbucks near you

This spring, Starbucks opened up a design competition to its fans for reusable cups called the Betacup Competition, with the goal of going totally green by the year 2015. The winner? Karma Cup. Er, not a cup really, but more of an idea. It’s simple: you bring your own reusable mug to Starbucks and there is a chalkboard at the cash register with rows of 10 spaces, each with a freebie at the end. You mark an ‘x’ on the board, and if you’re the tenth person to purchase your coffee using your own reusable vessel, you get yours free; the idea behind the communal challenge, if you will, being that it encourages everyone to bring their own mugs, because your free cup depends on it, and that guy’s, too. Hence the name Karma Cup. You bring your own cup and earn karma while doing so.

Sounds simple enough to me–now let’s see how it works. Seems like it’d be easier to implement if Starbucks weren’t a huge global chain with a firmly established set of expectations and a certain consistency at least partially to thank for its massive expansion over the last forty years: Tall, Grande, Venti ring a bell, anyone? And  you might lose the comfort of such consistency once Starbucks opens up the playing field to all kinds of uniquely shaped (and sized, for that matter) mugs to embrace its warm (and cold) drinks.

Although Starbucks hasn’t announced when they’re going to start counting customers’ coffee karma, they found this solution particularly appealing because  “It’s a low-risk program that doesn’t require creating any new products, and Starbucks also didn’t want to change the coffee-drinking experience.” (Taken from Fast Company)

For more information about Karma Cup and other honorees, click here.

(image: Fast Company)

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Written by soloflight in: A New Eye |

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