A short letter to Starbucks Coffee from me, a self-proclaimed addict:
You have fueled me, consoled me, and energized me over the past few years. You have been there, through thick and thin – on warm days and cold. Your only flaw is not offering Pumpkin Spice Lattes throughout the entire year. So maybe I am biased when I say that your logo redesign doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact, I dig it. You know that it doesn’t really matter what you put on that cup – I will forever be faithful.
But aside from my personal obsession love for the iconic brand, there are a few reasons why I, as part of the ad world, am behind Starbucks’ recent logo design (and you should be, too):
Purpose – Starbucks is moving into their 40th year as a company. They started small, selling coffee in the Seattle Pike Place Market. They’ve grown, changed, and are now moving beyond just coffee (hence why they dropped “coffee” from the outer circle around the siren). While their new logo “respects their heritage,” it also allows them to renew their look as they expand in their endeavors. It’s refreshing to see a company do a logo redesign with purpose and strategy, unlike some others (uh, Gap, Tropicana, Comedy Central to name a few).
Heritage – Like I said in the point before, S’bucks new logo builds off a long line of history and heritage. They didn’t try to go for something entirely new or trendy. Its a clear progression from their first logo to their most redesign – something I love to see. They allow the consumer to travel with the brand, keeping them in the fold but changing along the way. Not something hard to ask of Starbucks’ clientele – they are pretty brand loyal to begin with.
Strategy – I may have hit on this already, but Starbucks’ logo change comes in stride with higher company changes. It works as an integrated part of a larger strategy that, if successful, should take Starbucks beyond its current constraints. And you know how we feel about integrated campaigns…
Concerns – Although I’m unopposed to the logo redesign and can clearly see the method to the madness, I’ve got to question Starbucks’ overarching expansion. The reason for its’ success to begin with is its specific focus on coffee. That’s what they are good at. That’s what they excel in. Sure, over the years they’ve added new products, but people are motivated to go in to get their delicious caffeine fix.
So with that being said, I’m curious to see how their brand will evolve. How will new products fit in? Will they bear the mark of Starbucks or will they stand alone? Maybe its somewhere in between. And while there is some serious strength in the Starbucks name, is it enough to make it a new kind of powerhouse?
Overall, I say “Bravo!” Bring on that new logo. Bring on worldwide expansion – heck, go for domination – as long as it means that Starbucks will keep me going for the rest of my caffeine-induced life.