You've probably seen the Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong video. It has more than 5.5 million views, if you haven't, do so before you read the rest of this post. After all, it's a great piece of brand generated content.
And you probably loved it. I loved it. My friends loved it too: They shared it, and left comments like "wow" and "genius". Most of my entrepreneur friends looked at it and thought, "how could I do something like this for my brand"?
But here's what I think the real story behind the video is —which, if I'm right, is even more genius, but in a different way.
So, I think that Starbucks had a huge problem: customers were annoyed when their name was misspelled, and employees were probably saying that it's impossible to spell every single name successfully, and wanted to stop writing names on cups.
Starbucks probably tried to solve this, with limited success. Then, they created this video to take the heat off their employees: Now, what used to be a mistake is part of a smart campaign! Employees don't have to worry so much that they will misspell a name. And in many cases, when this happens, what they get instead of an annoyed customer is a smile. Extra bonus? A viral campaign. Isn't this great?
If this is the real case, this is even more amazing: This is a really genius way to deal with a really hard problem.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is my personal interpretation, I have no facts to back it, and it may be totally wrong.