What Happened: The online dating scene increasingly has grabbed the attention of singles from all generations. Piggybacking off of this popularity, Starbucks has announced a partnership with Match.com this Valentine’s Day. After learning that more than 3 million users use “coffee and conversation” to describe themselves on their online dating profiles, Match.com and Starbucks launched their “Meet at Starbucks” feature. This allows Match.com members to connect with other members by directly sending them an invitation to meet for their first coffee date at Starbucks. On what will be “the world’s largest Starbucks date,” Starbucks is offering special deals to those Match.com members out on their first date.
What This Means for Brands: Although online dating sites and mobile apps are no longer revolutionary, this partnership between Match.com and Starbucks represents one of the first branded partnerships for the online and mobile dating industry. This partnership presents brands with additional possibilities by using what may have been thought of as an unconventional partnership to promote their brand. Acknowledgement of online dating sites and apps from a brand erases the stigma that online dating sometimes still evokes. When brands lend their name to dating services, it brings an increased sense of credibility and social value to the user.