by Breean E. Miller. Originally posted on HBG's Brand Innovation for Health blog.

As a card carrying Gold Rewards member at Starbucks, I get insights on upcoming events and product launches the company is rolling out. 

One such email included an invitation to the launch party of Starbucks’ new concept – Evenings – that offers customers beer, wine and small plates at select stores.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the evolving corporate vision of Starbucks. Starbucks’ new Evenings concept is an interesting result of this evolution.

With a mission to “inspire and nurture the human spirit,” Starbucks is giving consumers a place to enjoy their evenings.

You might think of Starbucks as the place where you enjoy your morning ritual, grabbing a coffee on your way into work. Or, you might associate Starbucks with meeting colleagues, small gatherings with friends, or with brief, quiet moments with The New York Times on Sundays.

But, you might also use Starbucks as that nebulous, neutral zone, where you meet friends before grabbing a bite to eat. It’s likely that afternoon respite from running errands. Basically, it’s an in-between place. A third place where you feel comfortable that isn’t home or work.

With Starbucks Evenings, you have a new place to grab after work or pre-show drinks and nibbles. Instead of being a stop-off on your way to another destination, Starbucks is the destination.

This is an interesting evolution of the customer experience and the third place environment that Starbucks works so diligently to create for its customers.

Their website says it well:

“The place you love during the day now has more reasons to love it at night. We’ve always been your neighborhood spot where you can take a moment to unwind, grab a well-deserved treat, and meet up with friends. But sometimes, you just want a glass of wine and a delicious bite to eat without going to a bar or making a restaurant reservation.” 

Starbucks Evenings is a great example of a new service that fits perfectly within their business model. It’s something that their customers want; it adds value to the customer experience. Kudos, Starbucks.