Starbucks is looking to own “that first coffee date” in a tie-up with dating site Match.com.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Match.com has introduced a ‘Meet at Starbucks’ feature encouraging people to “reach out and make that first coffee date” at the high street chain.
It is the first branded product feature for the site, allowing members to directly send an invitation to another member to set up at date at a local chain using a store-locator tool.
Explaining the tie-up, Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer said the brand has established itself as a place where people come together to share important life moments.
“We’ve been witness to first dates, marriage proposals, job interviews, friends and families reunited, communities gathering, and so much more in our stores around the world,” she said. “There’s no better time to celebrate meaningful moments of connection, and encourage new ones, than during Valentine’s Day.”
According to Match, more than three million members list ‘coffee and conversation’ as one of their interests and a third said meeting for coffee is their preferred first date.
It also claims “hundreds of thousands of members” have added a Starbucks badge to show their love for the brand on their profiles.
“Together, Starbucks and Match have made it easier than ever to turn that first flirt into a first date,” added Sam Yagan, chief executive officer of The Match Group.
“Match is a ubiquitous part of singles’ lives, generating more dates than anyone else, and more first dates happen at Starbucks than anywhere else.”
To kick start the initiative, Starbucks is enticing people into stores on Valentine’s Day with a new menu which has a selection of coffee and cake deals alongside experiential activity which it hopes will “facilitate connection and celebrate love.”
It’s dubbing the global event the ‘World’s Largest Starbucks Date’.
It will include in-store music playlists and photo props to encourage customers to share pictures of their date across social media using the hashtag #StarbucksDate.
It comes as part of Starbuck’s five-year marketing plan to exploit the “seismic shift” in consumer behaviour.