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7-Eleven brews up Valentine’s Day sales with shareable relationship statuses

Convenience chain 7-Eleven Canada is fueling coffee sales by rolling out a Valentine’s Day promotion that allows customers to purchase a cup for $1, choose a sleeve depicting their relationship status and share it by uploading a picture to social media.

The brand is driving holiday sales by ensuring its products reflect the theme of love this month. Customers will be able to participate in the campaign during the entirety of February, giving them ample time to purchase the discounted cups of coffee and share their relationship statuses with social media followers.

“The #coffeelovers is a fairly crowded hashtag, with a lot of posts from a lot of other coffee-related people and companies, so there is certainly an aspect of wider visibility to its strategy that may help [7-Eleven] gain more followers, but if the response rate from its customers is too low, then its efforts risk getting drowned out or lost amid the noise of all the other users of the hashtag,” said Nikki Baird, partner at Retail Systems Research.

Taking relationships offline
Following a successful three-day Valentine’s Day promotion last year, 7-Eleven is bringing the holiday spirit to the entire month of February with the $1 Coffee Date Promotion. Consumers can head to their nearest 7-Eleven location to purchase a discounted coffee beverage and simultaneously wear their heart on their cup sleeve.

The convenience chain is introducing three limited-edition coffee cups with the phrases “Single,” “Taken” and “It’s Complicated” emblazoned across the top. Consumers visiting any of the brand’s Canadian stores can choose whichever sleeve best reflects their current relationship status.

The retailer is seeking to give its fans a clever and fun way to transform their everyday coffee drink into a statement – or quest – for love.

Consequently, 7-Eleven is asking individuals to snap a selfie with their drink and the relationship status-adorned sleeve. The photo should then be uploaded onto Twitter or Instagram using the #coffeelovers hashtag. The brand’s official account handle, @7ElevenCanada, must also be included.

The novelty of these Valentine’s Day-themed cup sleeves will likely be enough to warrant plenty of existing – and new – customers to visit 7-Eleven and purchase a $1 caffeinated beverage.

Consumers are typically quick to post their drink photos on Instagram and Twitter if the beverages are seasonally-inclined or feature a new style of cup, as seen with the frenzy surrounding Starbucks’ most recent holiday cups.

Additionally, some 7-Eleven fans may even be able to make connections with fellow singletons that upload their pictures via the #coffeelovers hashtag.

“As 7-Eleven relies on convenience goods and brands, it would be a huge mistake to not run a campaign during Valentine’s Day, a holiday during which chocolate has become ubiquitous,” said Guilluame Lelait, executive vice president and managing director at Fetch. “Candy, coffee, and snack sales skyrocket during this time of year and this where 7-Eleven can step in and be a leading provider for ‘last-minute’ Valentine goods and most importantly, coffee.

“Seven-Eleven should see a lot of engagement with this campaign, because many Valentine couples and singles alike heavily post content to friends on Valentine’s Day,” he said. “What’s special about 7-Eleven’s campaign is its ability to focus on multiple relationship statuses and not solely couples, which many brands do not recognize for the holiday.

“This campaign should bring growth to all of 7-Eleven’s social channels and followings.”

Blending in mobile
The convenience chain is also attempting to fuel sales of its recently-returned Kona Blend coffee, which is cultivated in Hawaii’s Kona Districts. Members of the brand’s 7Rewards loyalty program have the ability to win one of seven available Hawaiian vacations from a new smartphone-enabled promotion currently taking place.

Consumers purchasing a Kona Blend beverage can use the 7Rewards mobile application to scan their drink and receive an automatic entry to win a trip to Hawaii.

The app may be downloaded from or by texting “app” to 711247.

The chain’s latest promotions arrive on the heels of a mobile commerce-oriented year, proving the channel’s lucrative potential when it comes to bolstering sales among food and beverage marketers.

7-Eleven is also expanding its mobile rewards program via a verification system for age-restricted promotions, enticing shoppers interested in alcohol, tobacco and gambling products to sign up for the app (see story).

Additionally, it is staying current with the mobile-driven evolution of what constitutes “convenience” through a partnership with ordering app Tapingo that brings products directly to college students (see story).

If 7-Eleven’s Valentine’s Day-themed campaign begins to experience significant user traffic, the brand could potentially be inspired to add more innovative components.

“Certainly, holiday-themed campaigns are here to stay,” said Scott Michaels, vice president of client engagement at ArcTouch. “Here is to hoping that brands can find something new, rather than rehashing weak initiatives from prior years.”