If you've read my book, you know that I have very mixed emotions about Starbucks. One the one hand, I am crazy loyal and certainly a heavy consumer. On the other hand, as an early adoptor I've seen the deterioration of the brand experience over the years, and certainly the inconsistency in experience from location to location.
So my first reaction when I heard that Starbucks was changing its logo? Here we go again ... Tropicana, Gap, now Starbucks!
Yes late yesterday Starbucks unveiled their new logo, sans the iconic green circle and and sans "coffee" and even sans the brand name. In an effort to make the logo even more iconic, the brand now focuses on its famous Siren. This logo change is rumored to be the first of many events happening during this the brand's 40th anniversary.
Initial reactions, mostly on social media, were bi-polar. Not nearly as drastic as when Gap unveiled their new logo. The reactions were mixed from completely positive to completely negative.
The logo pictured above is the old logo, so to see the new one click here.
Me? I like it, I think. I realize that they've stripped away their brand name, which in old school textbooks is a big no-no. But if you look at Nike, Apple, Target and McDonald's as inspiration, they all have symbols that readily identify their brand without their brand name. I believe that Starbucks is trying to create the same status in consumers' minds ... and I think they can. Might be harder as they roll out worldwide, but I am sure they will figure out how to incorporate their brand name when they need it, just like these other brands have done.
Here's the funny thing about logos. They do need to evolve, and before social media none of us (or any consumers) had a voice. We just got used to it, and over time the new logo became the brand identity. The question about if it makes sense is less about the design, and more about the marketing strategy.
Making Starbucks even more iconic to me makes sense ... gives them the ability over time to branch out beyond what we currently know of the brand (i.e. beyond a coffee house). He says with a sip.
What's your experience? Jim.