Social media can create a lot of froth as Starbucks Corporation, the American Coffee giant is realizing. The company is all over net and social media for now.. In fact, it gave Stephen Colbert something to talk about on his show. The reason for all this noise is a simple red cup. Yes, Starbucks red cup controversy is about the design on the red cup and not the coffee in it.
Ironically, Starbucks laid grounds for this controversy by starting a tradition as far back as 1997. The company took to launching a red cup each year announcing the arrival of Christmas season. Of course, the cups had symbols associated with Christmas such as winking snowman, Christmas tree decorations, snowflakes, reindeer, etc. While Christmas is still well over a month away, the company released this year’s red cup. But this year’s Starbucks red cup was devoid of any signs and symbols that could link it with Christmas. The shade of bright red on top of the cup traveled down to dark red cranberry color. Christians are offended and that has led to starbucks red cup issue being blown out of proportion on all forms of media, especially on twitter and facebook.
So what is the deal with the red Starbucks cup? The company officially explained the symbolism of the simplicity of Starbuck’s this year’s red cup. According to the company, the simple cup was to serve as “blank canvas” letting its customers “create their own stories” on the cup of upcoming holidays. But people like Chris Stone of “Faith Driven Consumer” and evangelist Joshua Feuerstein are not buying the story. According to Stone it is an attempt to portray the company as secular, but the annual Christmas cups were important to the patrons as something that ushered in Christmas season. Feuerstein went so far as declaring the company to be against Christ as well as Christians.
But why is starbucks red cup offensive to Christians? After all, 10 years ago, the company did not have this tradition. While believers are rallying behind such faith upholders, there are many who are unable to understand the reason for this brouhaha. But what is the starbucks red cup controversy likely to do to Starbucks? The company has over 41 million customers. There are more than 200000 likes for those who are upset about Starbucks’ plain red cup. Many of Starbucks’ Christian customers would admit that the presence of Christmas symbols on Starbucks’ cups did not make any difference for them. But the fact remains that the issue has indeed become way too large because of which even Donald Trump, the presidential candidate for the Republicans asked people to boycott the company like Stone and Feuerstein.
While the controversy will indeed bring down the profits of the company this Christmas, its competitors are hastily adding Christmas symbols on their cup. What will be Starbucks’ loss this year will be their gain. But will starbucks survive the controversy? It remains to be seen. Starbucks still has time to give people what they want, as suggested by Colbert. For collectors starbucks cups will acquire new value because of this controversy.