When Christmas arrives – or at least it is close enough for all players to uncover their marketing tools for the Christmas campaign – Christmas carols start to appear, supermarkets fill with seasonal sweets and packaging designs are adjusted to give it a festive touch.

Launching a special version of product packaging and creating a thematic presentation are key elements to stand out at a time of peak consumption. It is the way to make the products are also Christmas, almost what is sold is sold.

The packaging thus has that surprising ability to turn the whole year into something totally new and special. The best example of this capacity is in the Starbucks Christmas mugs, a limited and special edition that arrives year after year with the holidays. Starbucks specialty mugs debut on November 4 in the United States and Canada, but are often released in more markets afterward.

Although it may seem that they are, at first glance, just a few more disposable cups, in reality the cups have a new design every year, the work of a creative team dedicated to it, and they function as an event. They are a clear example that packaging can, by itself, make the consumer experience special.

This is the design of 2021
In this year, Starbucks connected with some of the great themes of the moment in its design. “This Christmas, we wanted to feel magical, warm and inclusive,” Starbucks Associate Creative Director Suzie Reecer explains in the design presentation. They wanted to “bring joy”. That’s the philosophy of the design, which comes with four different mugs in Christmas colors.

Red and green are used, adding white and adding touches of “frozen lilac”. Each mug has a gift tag space of sorts on the back to include a “joyous message.” Adding to the mug designs are seasonal themed products, such as a special limited Christmas cookie flavored drink and, at least in those inaugural markets, an ad campaign focused on “real moments that occur in the lives of people. Starbucks partners “. “It’s all about comfort and connection and being together,” says Reecer.

The power of Starbucks cups
Overall, Starbucks mugs and their design have become a staple of what makes them a lovemark. The power of the brand’s image and the connection between its consumers and their mugs is such that they even manage to become another product: consumers buy them in their own coffee shops and Starbucks launches special and themed collections, always maintaining interest.

The Christmas mugs have been established as a claim, one that is also very important. The mugs are already a tradition within the company, despite the fact that their history is not as long as it might seem considering the pull they have. The mugs began to be released in 1997, although not in as popular a way as they are now. Their convening power was growing and now they are something that consumers expect.

The Christmas mugs kick off the Christmas season for the coffee shop chain. To this must be added that in a market as visual as the current one, in which companies must adjust what they do and how to make things work in the photos that consumers upload to social networks (and in which they dream of making sure they that are going to come out in that environment), Christmas packaging is a very powerful weapon to go viral.

As with temporary themed products (their unicorn drink from a few years ago is the best example), limited and festive mugs ‘look good’ in pictures. The pull is unquestionable: a study from a few years ago found that traffic at Starbucks coffee shops doubled during the lifetime of the cups.

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