Recap: 2020 Wichita Marketing Celebration


“If you’re not fulfilling your promises, then you’re wasting your money on marketing.”
~Julie Key, Vice President of Channel Brand Marketing at Starbucks Corporation

Well, things looked a little different than they usually do for the Wichita Area Marketing Awards, as with most events in this COVID-19 aftermath. But, despite being taken completely by surprise, AMA Wichita brought it once again with a wonderful event, aimed at celebrating every marketer for persevering during these trying times.

The event’s featured speaker was Julie Key, Vice President of Channel Brand Marketing at Starbucks at Starbucks. The Wichita-native has deep Kansas roots, born and raised in the state, receiving her undergraduate degree at Kansas State University, and later obtaining her MBA from Wichita State University.

The Marketing Celebration started with an exciting quiz to warm us all up before Julie took the stage. I learned crazy facts about Starbucks like, did you know there are over 87,000 different possible drink combinations? Or that a Caramel Macchiato isn’t actually made with caramel syrup? Yeah, me either!

Julie then kicked off her presentation by welcoming us into her home, and giving us a bit of background on herself and how she made her way to Starbucks.

Julie’s key focus of the presentation was how Starbucks delivers a consistent experience no matter where or how you get the product. Whether you’re in a store here in Wichita, KS, or you purchased a  bottled Frappuccino at your local grocer, the interactions and experiences you have are aimed to be the same.

And that all starts with your brand promise.

This is the value or experience your customers expect to receive every single time they interact with your company. Your brand promise needs to be compelling, credible, authentic, and kept every time.

Here are some tips on developing and delivering your brand promise:

  • Know your why
    • Define the root of why your organization exists, and the mission and vision that drives your business
  • Engage your organization
    • Help employees understand the why and show them the value their work brings in fulfilling the brand promise
  • Let it drive prioritization and innovation
    • Allow decisions to made through the lens of your brand promise and mission

Julie then left us with some key takeaways:

  • Reflect: Do most employees know your brand promise? And do they feel responsibility for fulfilling that promise?
  • Listen: Your employees and customers are your best source of ideas. Hear both their praises and complaints.
  • Think-forward: How can you better serve your customers? Is there something that should be elevated or changed to keep meeting your brand promise?

Once again, thank you AMA Wichita for putting on this stellar event. Julie brought us a wealth of knowledge and insight during a time when we need it most.

Sydney Anderson