By  on November 12, 2008

When he was walking around Tokyo’s Shibuya district this year, marketing consultant Martin Lindstrom got a text message from Starbucks on his cell phone saying, “Martin, one of your friends is in the area. Would you like to meet him?”

After failing to spot anyone familiar, Lindstrom responded that he would like to meet the friend. Starbucks answered, telling him, “Starbucks would like to sponsor your meeting. He is at the nearest Starbucks, one-and-a-half minutes away and we’ll give you a free cup of coffee.” When Lindstrom arrived at the coffee shop, his friend was indeed waiting. “I didn’t know he was in town,” he recalled. Both had signed up for track-a-friend connections.

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