The internet has been a buzz the last few days with the news of Starbucks’ logo change. Other than the fact that most people have a hard time accepting change in general, what is all the fuss about?
I’ll tell you. It takes brands years to establish strong, passionate brand awareness and loyalty. Starbucks has one of the most recognizable logos, a status that many other companies aspire to. It feels like a slap in the face to those aspirational companies to watch Starbucks just flip a switch and say, “We’re more than coffee, so we’re taking the company name off our logo. Done deal.” After all the hard work to establish Starbucks as the premium coffee experience, why change it? Or as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
In a Financial Times article, Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We’ve allowed [the siren] to come out of the circle in a way that gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee.”
The Financial Times article goes on to say, “The other advantage of a word-free logo is that is translates more easily across digital media and overseas. Starbucks, like many companies, is now targeting a global audience with a wide range of written languages.”
Now that makes sense. Why not lead with, “We’re removing the company name to make our logo universal across the globe.” That statement seems to be buried in all the media coverage.
In a Technorati post yesterday, Paul Kiser commented, “The controversy will serve to create free publicity resulting in increased revenue.” A bizarrely true observation.
What do you think? Does the Starbucks logo change align with their corporate goals to be more than just coffee and take their experience seamlessly across the globe?