As you might already know, Starbucks is a big deal in Korea. You can find this coffee shop on every corner of Seoul and every location is full of customers. But why are Koreans so obsessed with Starbucks? Undoubtedly, part of it is their amazing marketing campaigns. And, one of their biggest bi-annual marketing campaigns is Starbucks E-Frequency.
What is Starbucks e-Frequency
Starbucks e-Frequency is a bi-annual event consisting of stamp collecting. With each drink you purchase, you get a stamp. Once you have 14 regular and 3 special stamps you will be able to exchange it for a present of your choice. These presents are usually simple but extremely cute and limited edition, which is why people lose their minds over them.
How to Set Up e-Frequency
In order to collect the stamps first, you will need the Starbucks Korea App. During the event period, a banner will appear every time you open the app. With this, you will be able to turn every drink you order into a stamp by simply scanning a code. Most of the time the staff will ask if you wish to do it. And, if you pay through the app it will be applied automatically.
With every e-Frequency event, you will need to purchase fourteen basic drinks, such as americanos and teas. Plus three additional special drinks, which are usually frappes or seasonal drinks. Once you have received all the stamps you need, an option to open a new barcode will appear. And by scanning that barcode you can receive your present at any Starbucks location in Korea.
The Rise of Starbucks Villains
Two years ago, one of the present options was so popular that it caused trouble. It was a small carry-on luggage bag. Starbucks fans wanted the e-Frequency reward so badly, that people were buying Starbucks drinks in mass. Then, throwing them away on the spot, just to get the prize. Some people would spend all day buying and throwing away Starbucks drinks to get as many of them as possible to re-sell. Of course, this led to massive lines and raised questions about baristas working conditions. Koreans gave these customers the nickname – “Starbucks Villains”.
In order to stop the villains as well as to make things easier, the app changed a bit. Now you have to book the pick up of your present. Is as easy as choosing a date and a specific store to pick it up once you have your exchanging barcode. It is also now forbidden to claim more than one prize per day. So thanks to those villains, people are now being forced to take it easy.
As mentioned before, this happens twice a year. During summer and later during winter. As for the summer presents they tend to always be related to picnic, traveling or camping. While winter presents always include a year planner among other stuff to make your daily life easier.
As far as I remember summer e-Frequency presents are always related to camping or traveling. I myself got an ice box and a speaker lamp last year. Then a camping chair and carry-on luggage (the one that made people crazy) two years ago. And, also a picnic mat three years ago.
You will always have plenty of colors and designs to choose from for prizes. This year, you can choose from a summer cabin pouch, a cozy summer hoodie, and a summer carry bag.
For winter, it makes perfect sense to give away year planners. I never had to buy a new planner since I came to Korea thanks to e-Frequency,. But besides that, you can expect presents like comfortable blankets, Christmas tree ornaments, alarm clocks, etc. All coming in many designs and different colors.
If you would like to start your own Starbucks collection, don’t hesitate and go to your closest shop. You will only need to purchase a gift card, charge it and set it up in the App to start collecting your e-Frequency Stamps.
Want to schedule some day trips around earning e-Frequency points? Click Here to read about some extraordinary Starbucks locations in Korea!