That’s Not How You Spell My Na-

Typical Monday morning, I press snooze one too many times before getting out of bed and now have to rush to get to class on time. This means throwing on whatever clothes reach my hands first, brushing my teeth half asleep, grabbing my keys and making what seems like a 10 mile walk to Starbucks.

The barista is far too peppy for how long the sun has been risen. Peppy barista asks for my order, and then for my name, to which I respond with sleep in my voice, “Tessa”. I wait next to all of the other zombie customers for my drink.

At last, Peppy barista calls my name announcing that my order is ready. When I pick up that warm delicious cup of caffeine- I pause for a moment. “PESSUH” is scrawled in black marker across the drink, and for a moment I am genuinely confused as to how they could mistake my name that terribly. Then my confusion turns to concern, is Peppy having hearing issues? Then after taking a few sips of coffee, it becomes comical to me.

Immediately I am taking out my phone to snap a picture and to share it across all my platforms of social media so my friends can have a laugh too. How could anyone be that dum-

Wait. A. Minute. It clicked. Well played, Peppy. I see what you did there.

This video comically describes the barista’s experience behind this promotional tactic. It is very simple, in fact.

Mistaking the customers name for an obviously incorrect version so they are upset or confused or amused- eliciting a response to make them want to share it with others.  This is one of Starbucks best ways of gaining brand recognition. They allow their baristas to have some fun, confuse or amuse their customers, and ultimately get views, likes, and shares on social media. This is an interesting way for customers to create user generated content online reinforcing the brand name, with minimal effort from the company.

Do you think this is effective? Has your name ever been misspelled on a Starbucks cup? Are there any other companies using similar tactics to gain brand recognition? Let me know in the comments below!


Gale, Paul. “Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong – Agitators Ep. 1.”YouTube. YouTube, 08 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <>.


9 thoughts on “That’s Not How You Spell My Na-

  1. This is hilarious and I hope it is true. I have had my name misspelled many times on my Starbucks. Sometimes if it is early enough, my pre-caffeine brain becomes convinced that Starbucks is spelling my name right and I have been wrong my whole life. If that was Starbucks true intentions, it is genius. I doubt it but one can dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have an incredibly easy- to- spell name: Grace. Though I have never encountered a Starbucks worker who was unable to correctly spell the five- letter word, I did always find it bizarre that some have had this experience repeatedly. Interesting to know that it may, in fact, be a marketing tactic employed by the company.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this tactic Starbuck’s uses as free advertising and brand recognition is genius. It costs nothing for them, it provides benefits for their employees, makes their customers, laugh, and gives them free viral digital advertising. My name is hard to spell wrong, but I love it when they make comments or draw pictures. Everyone who has their name spelled wrong, always posts it on social media. I bet this was not Starbucks intention at first, but once it went viral, they probably integrated it into their employee training and something the company does.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I go to the same Starbuck’s 3-4 times a week, so most of the baristas know me by name. A few times, though, my drink appears with “Jessica” written across the cup. I’m not sure if they’re doing it on purpose or if they’re honestly remembering my name incorrectly, but I don’t really care. I’ve never posted a botched name-spelling onto social media, but I have tons of friends who have. It’s funny to think that some of the baristas are doing this on purpose!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never seen a barista do that but I think that it would be good because it would keep you questioning as the customer. It’ll keep their employees happier to because they aren’t under as much pressure to get the name correct and can have fun with it. Starbucks has continued to be innovative and it great to not be so serious all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are even social media accounts for Starbucks goers to submit pictures of their poorly spelled names to compare with each other, which is added on to their marketing tactics. It is a great conversation starter!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw the video earlier too! And I felt a need to share it with my friends because it was so brilliant and I did not expect it to be a strategy planned by Starbucks. I have always thought that maybe it was really just the barista’s mistakes for being careless or not paying attention to us. Well played Starbucks. I am quite inspired by the way Starbucks initiates an innovative way to gain recognition and countless shares on social media.


  8. Truly a genius idea. Starbuck aims for perfection in all other aspects of their business, so I think they would train their employees to correctly remember customer names. Instead they put a little twist on it and put a little unexpected twist on it.


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