Case Study

Case Study: Starbucks Uses Social Co-Creation To Drive Green Product Strategy

An Empowered Report: A Social Co-Creation Case Study

September 22nd, 2010
With contributors:
J. P. Gownder , Annie E. Corbett


Starbucks has placed a strong emphasis on its social co-creation strategy. Product strategists at the world's largest chain of coffee houses have a well-established and active online community from which to gather opinions, perspectives, and ideas. Its My Starbucks Idea site is a model ideation site, allowing anyone to comment on and potentially influence the company's product strategy. But this social asset has its limitations. When Starbucks decided to tackle a specific, more complex problem — reducing waste generated by disposable coffee cups — it recognized that it needed a new audience, a new strategy, and a new technology. We analyzed Starbucks' participation in the betacup project and found a prime example of product strategists taking a different approach to social co-creation in order to address a significant company problem. Consumer product strategy professionals must recognize that the appropriate social co-creation strategy very much depends on the problem you are trying to solve.

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