We’re a couple of months into the Dump Starbucks campaign. How are you doing with that?
Are you still struggling to shun a once favorite haunt? Or, has the culturally infecting logo now become but a decadent green blur in your peripheral vision?
If so, then prepare for phase two, wherein, like the Pepsi boycott, we actually win this thing.
How? How is the National Organization for Marriage’s Dump Starbucks boycott going to succeed at getting the iconic coffee peddler to return to neutrality on the issue of gay marriage? By hitting them hard and where it hurts: money.
Presently, the media, Starbucks corporation and gay 'rights' advocates can hardly contain their derision for the boycott’s citing its apparent zero effect on profits. They’ve submitted that the significance of the 35,000 signed petitions amounts to little more than a piddly nuisance. Supporting gay marriage, they've claimed, is core to their identity.
So I guess ignoring the majority of Americans who hold marriage as a scared institution between a man and woman is core to Starbucks' beliefs (as well as the president's as we recently learned).
I personally believe that we’re off to a great start. But 35,000 signed petitions is not going to be enough. Maybe 350,000 or 3.5 million will get their attention. We just need to turn the pressure up a notch and that requires realizing just how many corners of life they’ve infiltrated with their product.
Quite simply, they have made it easy, so very easy for individuals, schools, and businesses to acquire a quality product for cheap (for their drip coffee, at least). Hence our current dependence. There is hardly a hotel lobby, event center or a college campus remaining that does not ‘proudly serve’ their coffee. And what teacher, secretary or boss appreciation day would be complete without a flurry of Starbucks gift cards giving?
I personally miss their free music and app store downloads (though I suppose I could still run in and pluck one off of the counter, sorry, the bar, without buying a drink if I wanted to). My kids miss their favorite juice drinks. Withdrawals from Starbucks, for my family, at least, have been intense.
The fact that we’ve come to rely on them is a problem.
What we have to remember is that it’s just easy to get coffee elsewhere. Here’s a list of practical suggestions to further the Dump Starbucks campaign and even win..
If it’s not a Starbucks blend, drink the coffee provided at work. If your job only serves Starbucks brand, try bringing in a bag of grounds (most grocery stores have coffee grinders) from a different company to mix things up a bit. When I worked, I would sometimes do this just for fun.Oh, and two words: Mystic Monk. Do it.
Two words: drive-thru coffee. Whatever you may say about fast food, the coffee is surprisingly good and (shhh) cheaper than Starbucks! Don't believe me, try one...and hey, it's a drive-thru. If it's convenience you are after, you can't get much more than convenient than never having to leave your car.
Look up alternative coffee caterers near you. I simply typed in ‘coffee catering SF Bay Area’ and I discovered a host of companies, some family-run, all providing event coffee services. A little spreading of the word may help these courageous coffee vendors stay in business. I realize that some may have contracts with Starbucks, but contracts eventually end. If enough people make some noise, and you may incline others to try whatever else is out there.
If you work or study at a college or university that serves sbux, drop your campus catering a line. Ask them to try something new. Suggest something local, and hey, if the school is all about social justice, remind them that they’d be helping the little guy out if they switched to something more grassroots.
Brew your own. If people don’t drink it, companies won’t ask for it and Starbucks can’t sell it.
Oh, and for appreciation days, give and ask for gift cards to other coffee places. When I taught, I only drank the decadent green coffee bean because I had gift cards. If I had had the option of free coffee elsewhere, I would have drank that instead.
So that’s all I could come up with. Do you have any other practical suggestions? If so, then as NOM is asking us, use your voice and please leave a comment!