How Much Control Are You Giving Your Customers?

Have you ever considered putting your customers in charge of what music you listen to? Coffee company Starbucks is.

Putting the customer in charge is one way to increase brand loyalty, and Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) is taking it a step further with a new deal with music streamign website Spotify.

SEE ALSO: Building Brand Loyalty Through Rewards and Engagement

The coffee chain has always been at the forefront of putting their customers' wishes first with a popular loyalty programme and their signature service of personalising drinks; from a Cappuccino to a "slightly" more complicated order such as a Grande iced skinny caramel Macchiato with an extra shot and extra whip - your coffee wish is the Barista's demand.

Soon it isn't just their order that Starbucks customers can customise, it's the in-store music playlist too.

A new partnership sees a link up between 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S. and 10 million My Starbucks Rewards loyalty members with Spotify's more than 60 million global users to offer new kind of music ecosystem.

Participants can not only influence in-store playlists but they also have the opportunity to earn 'stars', which integrates the loyalty programme even more closely with the new music ecosystem.

Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, said: "For over 40 years, music has played a vital role in Starbucks Third Place experience - inspiring our partners and customers in unexpected ways that have helped to shape the global pop culture. And we are delighted and honoured to bring Spotify directly to our customers.

"Throughout its history, Starbucks has worked closely with the music industry, offering a variety of artists a platform for their work. By connecting Spotify's world-class streaming platform into our world-class store and digital ecosystem, we are reinventing the way our millions of global customers discover music."

The new Spotify integration will first be rolled out to its employees in the US, followed by Canada and The UK. In the fall, Starbucks will also roll it out to its customers in these countries.

Giving customers the reign of in-store playlists is an innovative way to create a closer collaboration and brand connectivity, which in today's fast-moving age - where customers hop from one company to the next with ease - is incredibly valuable.

Would you consider putting your customer in charge of something unrelated to the product or service you offer them? If so, think about what other ways - besides music - you can use to create an unexpected opportunity for brand awareness and connection.

MasterCard has created Priceless Surprises and Starbucks is launching a music eco-system to achieve this. If you're creative and think out of the box, the possibilities are endless.