Have you ever wondered why it’s just so hard for a Starbucks barista to spell your name correctly? We completely understand that it’s loud in the line, and especially when there is music blaring, it’s all but impossible to hear sometimes. However, we do have to wonder just why names are always misspelled.
We weren’t the only ones, and as it turns out, Super Deluxe was wondering the exact same thing and decided to have a little experiment. They sent an employee named Molly to five different Starbucks locations and the results were, interesting, to say the least.
When Molly returned with her five Starbucks drinks from different locations, two were spelled correctly with Molly. One was misspelled as Molli, which can be understood considering it sounds the same. The fourth was Mali, which still makes sense though it’s a bit out in left field. And the fifth? Well, Mommy was an interesting choice.
What Super Deluxe suggests is that by misspelling customers names, they’re inciting anger, silliness, or whatever, but they’re Instagramming those cups. Those cups are making their way to social media with captions like “Smh” or “How can Molly be Mommy?!” And it’s free advertising for Starbucks!
How many times have you scrolled down a feed, seen a Starbucks cup Instagrammed, and start thinking about how delicious a mocha would taste right about now? Starbucks has rigged the system in their favor and it works.
Now, this could all be speculation, especially because those of us who’ve had fast-paced customer service jobs know that the line needs to move quickly so no one actually cares how the name is spelled, as long as it sounds different from the two before them and the two after them so drinks aren’t confused.
But by looking at these examples of the 16,000 Instagram photos under the hashtag, #wrongname, it’s clear that if this is Starbucks’ big marketing plan, it’s working incredibly well.
So what do you think? Is Starbucks smartly rigging the system or is it all just happenstance? Heck, even this article is free publicity for Starbucks!