, China

Starbucks China RTD’s TikTok dominance in brand storytelling

The campaign earned them a win at the 2022 FMCG Asia Awards.

In a post-pandemic market, companies have turned to new ways of expanding their market shares and engaging with customers, with most opting to embark on digital journeys to bring their brand and operations to a larger audience on a digital platform. Starbucks China did not lag behind as they took advantage of the budding TikTok eCommerce, winning them the Digital Marketing Strategy of the Year - China Award at the 2022 FMCG Asia Awards.

The awards programme recognises companies and innovators that have introduced groundbreaking innovations to bring tangible gains to their operations, and Starbucks China’s venture in TikTok eCommerce has put them above their competition as the platform provides brands with the opportunity to effectively talk about their story.

TikTok eCommerce is, in essence, an interest-based eCommerce, which enables Starbucks Ready-to-Drink China to receive and dig into consumer insights from the platform that are then linked into their brand story in order to stay relevant with their customers amidst a changing market.

An example of an opportunity for Starbucks China would be the Bottled Frappuccino Hidden Recipe trend on the platform, as consumers post content about them brewing DIY beverages that match the brand’s product taste. This gave the company an insight into why customers are curious about what makes up their signature Frappuccino and why it’s called that way.

Leveraging the brand’s series of videos and live streaming capabilities on the platform, consumers were treated with instructions from Starbucks on how to make their own Frappuccino smoothie, as well as providing them with Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino smoothie tools such as Frappuccino shaking bottles that helped customers work their way around the smoothie.

Livestreaming and KOLs have helped expand the story to a wider audience, as consumers buy the Bottle Frappuccino smoothie bundles after being engaged in the story of “Your own Frappuccino Smoothie '' launched by the brand.

As a result of the TikTok campaign, Bottle Frappuccino smoothie bundles ranked at the top of the company’s SKUs several times, not just in the RTD coffee category but amongst the total beverage offerings that the brand has.

Starbucks noticed that coffee has become an integral part of their consumers' lives alongside the Bottle Frappuccino smoothie initiative, providing an opportunity for the brand to elaborate on their story to unlock more coffee moments and fully leverage the strength of Starbucks' RTD full portfolio.

Some examples from Starbucks’ RTD portfolio that emerged were breakfast/afternoon tea and gathering with Frappuccino, fitness with Pike Place black coffee, on-the-go with Starbucks Select, and focused moments with Double Shot Espresso.

The RTD account implemented creative content strategies that helped drive up brand connection and to unlock more coffee moments, accumulating over 113 million branded video viewerships that helped Starbucks RTD gain 60% of the RTD category in Tiktok, ballooning to over 79% by August 2022. E-store livestreaming and high-quality videos have helped deliver the numbers for the company’s initiative, with videos such as the Mini Bottled Frappuccino for breakfast video offering the highest ROI for the marketing campaign.

The FMCG Asia Awards is presented by Retail Asia Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2023 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's exceptional products or initiatives in the FMCG industry, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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