Tis the season to drink coffee, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Every year, Starbucks keeps one-upping itself during the holiday season with the release of their planners. For hardcore Starbucks fans, it might as well just be called the planner season.
This year, they’re not just dangling planners for their overly caffeinated patrons. They also have travel organizers for those who want to complete the whole jet set Instagram image they’re trying to project.
Planner or travel organizer?
For those who are trying to keep their lives together through daily reminders, the 2019 Starbucks planners come in two color variants: espresso and milk.
Like the previous version of their planners, the 2019 planners embody the whole artsy latte junkie aesthetic. The cover has a canvas finish with some metallic gold embellishments. They also come with a protective pouch in muted millennial colors of yellow and teal.
For those who prefer an undated antidote to their latte-fueled chaos, the travel organizers are perfect for you.
Unlike the planners, they are available in more visually striking colors like dark teal and sienna. The beautiful journals are enclosed in a leather-finish pouch that has enough room for travel essentials like phone, passport, and cards.
In addition to the ones mentioned, each redemption of the planner comes with a limited edition Starbucks card.
Are you excited to get your hands on one—or every—Starbucks planner? Read along because they’ve changed the rules of the game.
Brand new rules
You think you know how to get this year’s Starbucks planners? Think again. They altered some mechanics in getting the coveted planners, so you also need to step up your game.
In the most basic sense, it’s the same drill as the previous years: You need to collect 18 stickers (which you can get by buying one of their coffee drinks) to redeem your planner. However, the similarities end there.
Previously, customers needed to purchase the coffee chain’s holiday-themed drinks to complete the required number of stickers. Customers had to split their purchases between nine regular Starbucks beverages and nine holiday beverages.
This year, you can get one sticker for “for any Tall, Grande or Venti Starbucks handcrafted beverage purchase.” You are no longer required to get any of the Christmas drinks unless you want to.
Do you have friends who shoot up coffee from Starbucks regularly but think they’re too cool for the planners? Well, it’s time to coax them into helping your cause.
You can now combine a maximum of two sticker cards to complete your magic number. If there are excess stickers from either of the cards combined, they will be forfeited and discarded.
If you’re tempted to get stickers from other cards to fill up yours, don’t bother. If Starbucks employees find out your card has stickers transferred from other cards, your entire sticker card will be rendered null and void.
For those who are too important to be bothered with repeated trips to Starbucks, you can get a planner with a single receipt purchase worth P7,000 and up. However, there’s a catch: Your purchase must be comprised of both food and other items like tumblers and other merchandise. If you’ve been mulling on replacing your office tumbler, this is the perfect time to do so.
Sticker season began on November 2 and will go on until March 8, 2018.
Cool because of the scarcity effect
Due to its popularity, the Starbucks planner season should be celebrated instead of Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day—combined. Okay, we’re totally kidding about it, but there’s a reason why it is a big deal. If you want to understand the appeal of the Starbucks planners, then we must take a deep dive down the human mind.
If there is one thing responsible for the craze over Starbucks’ cutesy notebooks, it’s the scarcity effect.
In a landmark study by Stephen Worchel, Jerry Lee, and Akanbi Adewole, they asked respondents to pick which one is better between two jars that have two and ten cookies. Surprisingly, the subjects assigned a higher value to the jar with only two cookies.
The scarcity effect is in play more than you realize. For instance, seasonal items like McDonald’s Twister Fries generate a lot of buzz because it is an item you cannot purchase whenever. Last year, Apple marketed the iPhone X as a limited-edition model, driving the demand to the ceiling even before it was released.
The Starbucks planner promo, in many ways, banks on the same phenomenon. Items that are branded as limited edition can increase the demand for them because of their perceived exclusivity. In addition to that, the international coffee chain has successfully created its image as a lifestyle brand, making the planners and travel organizers a must have for those who aspire to embody the “Starbucks lifestyle.”
If you like it a latte
Regardless of what people say, the Starbucks planners and travel organizers are a thing of the beauty, especially the latter that comes in dark teal and sienna. Could you blame people for drooling over those gorgeous items?
If you’re still willing to take the Starbucks planner challenge, you should be wiser with your spending so, at the end of the day, you can get something out of your purchases other than the planners themselves. Think in terms of a cashback credit card; even if you’re using it to spend on something, you’re still getting a little in return.
If you want to spend the cheapest amount to get the planner, settle for the smallest eligible beverages. The amount that you have to spend on 18 drinks ranges from P2,160 to P3,780. Using that amount, Starbucks beverages that are bigger mostly lean on the higher side of the scale. This means you have to spend only on Tall beverages to spend as little as possible.
For those who want more bang for their buck, you should get a Starbucks Card for purchases. If you don’t have a Starbucks Card now, getting one for the first time entitles you to a complimentary Grande beverage and a slice of cake on your birthday. In addition, you can get a star for every purchase of a drink, a bag of beans, and a pack of their instant coffee, which you can use later on for rewards.
Whether or not you’re environmentally conscious, there is no harm in bringing your own receptacle to Starbucks. In fact, the coffee company incentivizes people who prefer their own containers by giving them P5 in discounts. If you multiply it by 18, that’s P90 in savings. It may seem small, but you don’t underestimate the power of a discount when it snowballs.