Which came first the coffee, the cup or the store(y)?

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TH     Starbucks

Many people know me for driving past a Tim Hortons (or three!) to get to a Starbucks! As I only drink black coffee the connection I have to Starbucks is more than just the coffee – its the other emotional connections I make with the brand. 

Starbucks marketing team has been held up as a great example of using social media to engage consumers and they have over 25 million fans of Facebook for example, which obviously dwarfs a Canadian centric brand like Tim Hortons, although they have an impressive almost 1.7 million fans on their page. 

But the emotional connection that Tim Hortons is able to generate from its loyal following is quite impressive. Their web site EveryCup.ca was established to capture the unsolicited letters they were receiving about their customers love of their local Timmies and the impact on their lives.

I am not sure their recent move to offer prizes for the best letters was actually necessary, but competition for fans and comments is apparently hotting up! 

This was a Facebook post by Tim Hortons on September 14th:

"What living historical or pop culture figure would you like to have coffee with?"

This was a Facebook post by Starbucks on October 7th; 

"Who is your favorite person to have coffee with?"

What emotional connection do people make to your personal brand? How are you capturing and communicating that?



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