Starbucks has just unveiled its new logo, which removes the wording and features a close-up image of the ‘Starbucks siren’.
As a member of the PR industry, I pay close attention to brands and recognise the importance of reflecting trends and keeping an image current. However, I am incredibly disappointed with the new logo as I feel it detracts from the brand it has established.
Firstly: who is this siren who now apparently encapsulates everything the brand wants to represent, but who I hadn’t even noticed before in the previous logo. What a makeover she’s had; many are unaware that the siren actually started life as a topless mermaid, complete with tail, in the first ever Starbucks logo.
In my opinion, one of the most distinctive things about the
Starbucks brand is the iconic wording on its logo because it is instantly recognisable and, to me, represents one of the major brands of the past decade. Starbucks has had a significant cultural influence in defining the way we drink our coffee on a global scale and in this instance, I believe in the adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
To add insult to injury, the coffee company is also discarding its trademark chunky mugs in favour of more sophisticated bone china cups. Personally, the rebrand seems like a waste of money as, in Britain alone, some 140,000 cups will have to be replaced, not to mention all the costs of rebranding the shops themselves.
Chief executive Howard Schultz explains that this “meaningful update” is to better fit in with Starbucks’ plans to increase its groceries business. But I’m tempted to wonder if it might be a stunt of some kind. A quick scan on twitter demonstrates that the reception is already less than warm and I have yet to spot a positive response to the new logo.
How quickly will Starbucks retract the logo if it goes down badly with all its fans? Or how much will the fans really care if they’re still getting their caffeine fix?
The jury is out but one thing’s for sure – they’ve managed to get chins wagging and inspire renewed interest in the brand. Mission accomplished.