Not sure if anyone has noticed the latest Starbucks commercial. The coffee giant is now featuring their Teavana shaken iced tea as a summer drink. Why is this important? This TV commercial shows Starbucks baristas making the beverage, and showing the ice teas as available within Starbucks locations. This is different from their initial strategy for Teavana. The Seattle-based coffee company stated that Teavana operations would be completely separate from Starbucks, and increase the Teavana standalone locations. While they continue to open Starbucks and Teavana locations, is bringing Teavana-branded offerings under the Starbucks locations the right thing to do?
Starting with the recent Oprah collaboration, Teavana products have increased exposure within Starbucks locations. Beyond the handcrafted Oprah products, Starbucks customers would start seeing Teavana tea packages and mugs available for sale. It certainly looks like the bringing Teavana-branded beverages into Starbucks locations will help increase Teavana’s exposure. This cross-branding effort strengthens the Teavana brand and opens up more possibilities for Starbucks. While Starbucks had always served iced teas within the retail establishments, they were never branded. This changes as they now brand them under Teavana. The coffee giant has the platform to brand a variety of beverages within their retail locations. Starbucks has built up Teavana and Tazo for tea, Evolution Fresh for juices, Ethos for bottled water, and Clover for premium coffee.
With more Teavana locations opening up, this provides Starbucks with greater opportunities. Though the strong smell of coffee may prevent it from being brewed inside a tea establishment (likely the same reason that Starbucks locations only serves Teavana iced teas), water and juices could be strong candidates for increased distribution. Ethos and Evolution Fresh may only require a cooler for refrigeration and do not emit strong aromas like coffee or tea.
Starbucks’ acquisition of Teavana came with retail locations that created potential scale for the beverage organization. Now we can clearly see how cross-promotional opportunities exist between Teavana and Starbucks. As Starbucks has also supported Evolution Fresh in standalone locations, it is highly likely that the organization’s continued expansion will involve Starbucks or Teavana products within Evolution Fresh juice stations as well.
Here’s the Starbucks Teavana ice tea commercial called “Shake Up”. Though the commercial itself is simple and showing baristas creating Teavana iced teas, the name could be symbolic. Starbucks continue to position itself to “shake up” the beverage landscape.