Exactly how sticky is Starbucks’ new Trenta?

[Cache – #10]

Here is the one thing you are sure to remember about this blogpost:  That Starbucks’ new Trenta size is larger than the average human stomach.

You’ll remember this point because it’s “sticky”: the term Chip and Dan Heath defined in their fascinating book, Made to Stick, which considers why just a few ideas are inherently memorable, while most others essentially go in one ear and out the other.  For example, the proverb that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” dates to 570 B.C. – and remarkably is still present in numerous languages around the world, including Swedish, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, German and Icelandic.  It is a marvellously enduring idea that has “stuck” in a major way.  Why?

The Heath brothers propose that sticky ideas meet some or all of six criteria:

• Simple
• Unexpected
• Concrete
• Credible
• Emotional
• Stories

In other words, SUCCESs.

starbucks trenta

The larger-than-the-average-human-stomach comparison is certainly Simple – it’s easily understood and prompts us to make an easy visualization.  It is Unexpected, because we are surprised that Starbucks would introduce a size bigger than the average person can consume in a single sitting (because that human will at some point be running off to pee – or worse).  On this point, it fits the Emotional requirement because on one level it’s funny, and on another, disgusting.  It is perfectly Concrete and is a short Story (as opposed to describing the Trenta factually, as in “the Trenta is 30.9 ounces in size”).

As it happens, this factual approach is the way Starbucks describes Trenta.  It was the National Post (the Credibility piece) that created the stomach story – which quickly went viral and was exposed to perhaps millions of people in just a few days, culminating in on-air mention by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  So it’s the stickiness of the stomach story that’s driving brand awareness, not so much the brand name itself.

How sticky is Trenta per se?  Let me know your thoughts.

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Recent posts:

TICO:  A meaningful exception – http://coinbranding.com/tico-a-meaningful-exception

The Starbucks name is worth nothing – http://coinbranding.com/the-starbucks-name-is-worth-nothing

All caps: Just don’t do it – http://coinbranding.com/avoiding-all-caps

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