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This article was published on May 12, 2010

    Fly a (Bright)kite into a Starbucks near you

    Fly a (Bright)kite into a Starbucks near you
    Chad Catacchio
    Story by

    Chad Catacchio

    Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

    Starbucks has pegged Brightkite to offer custom badges and coffee deals to its 11,000 stores in the US.

    This a big deal not only for Brightkite but for the location space as a whole: Starbucks in a way was the golden cow sitting out there that all of the check-in players must have been furiously fighting over, including new comer to the scene, Facebook, which nabbed the another mega-food-chain, McDonald’s, just last week.

    So what will Brightkite users get for checking into Starbucks locations? First of all, they’ll get custom branded badges (a first for Brightkite) and second – and more important for users – they’ll get drinks rewards. To keep a bit of mystery in the game, Brightkite isn’t saying exactly what those rewards will be, however, they did have this to say:

    “The first thing you’ll notice is integration around the Frappuccino happy hour (3-5pm May 7th to 16th). Check-in or post at any Starbucks during happy hour and not only do you get a half-priced Frappuccino, but you also unlock some cool features & rewards like the ability to browse and pick your own favorite Frappuccino drink and corresponding badge.”

    We really can’t overstate how big of a win this is for Brightkite. Just like all WiFi enabled coffee shops, people don’t just go to Starbucks for a minute or two and check-in – many spend hours sitting in the store online. This gives Brightkite (and of course Starbucks) ample time to interact and possibly serve adds to users.

    Of course, people that go to Starbucks have their favorite local or on-the-way-to-the-office-Starbucks that they go to practically everyday, sometimes more than once. This provides great app mechanics for Brightkite to reward and document users that check-in regularly – we predict Starbucks is going to love the info that Brightkite will supply to them.

    Perhaps it was Check.in or the fact that Brightkite has the most registered users of the major players (over 2 million), but make no mistake, this is a major coup for Brightkite and if the campaign/partnership is successful, they are right back in (if they were ever out) the check-in race.