Starbucks and Angry Birds – A Match Made in Confusion

Earlier this week, Techvibes reported a rumour of a new partnership between Angry Birds and Starbucks. The plan will see leaderboards of the top Angry Birds scores displayed in Starbucks locations.

Strategic partnerships can be a great way to build your brand. The association with another strong brand can have a positive influence on how people view your own brand. A good partnership can also introduce new customers between the brands. However, at the end of the day a strong strategic partnership has to be a good fit for both brands.

Which is why I am so confused. There are some basic similarities between these brands – they are strong and well known, have loyal users and successfully extended their brands into new opportunities.

But the similarities end there.

Angry Birds has successfully created a small empire around what began as a mobile video game. The brand provided quick entertainment and allowed you to compete against your friends. Starbucks on the other hand, has carefully cultivated a brand based on premium products with the retail experience to match.

Many companies hastily seek out partnerships with a new and trendy brand without considering what value it will bring to their consumers. I worry that this is what Starbucks is doing – chasing Angry Birds so that they can remain hip and relevant.  Sadly, the partnership is more likely to harm Starbucks in the long run as their brand gets diluted with a message that has limited relevance to their consumers.