Every time I think of the iconic Starbucks logo I never see the typeface, which used to surround it. I see the beautiful “twin-tailed siren” smiling under her starry crown. A lot has changed since the original logo, and the version you see today on your Starbucks cup is a normal evolution, however, not really a sign of progress, if we consider the “reasons” behind this branding move.
“We have been allowed to get out of the frame of mind that gives freedom and flexibility to think outside the ‘coffee’ itself,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. In other words, the company is trying to “escape” its own brand image, to push on the market other products aside coffee specialities. And this is not the first thing they do for the purpose.
For instance, we reported last October that the East Olive Way Starbucks in Seattle started selling beer and wine, the first coffee shop in the Starbucks chain to offer alcohol. Difficult times call for desperate measures, and Starbucks is not immune to such challenges.
The original logo, heavy, crowded and brown, featuring a topless two-tailed siren, has evolved into what you see today: a green, stylized, family friendly rendition, that doesn’t need to use explanatory words to convey the brand. But what happens when Starbucks loses its identity, what happens when you no longer associate the brand with good quality coffee-to-go?
The logo remains recognizable, with or without the words “Starbucks coffee.” The menu, however, belongs to an obscure chain of restaurants, no one is familiar with. If Starbucks manage to come up with a credible, recognizable menu, like McDonalds for example, who brand with “Mac” and “Mc” almost every product they sell, then yes, perhaps changing the logo was not a bat idea.
Among other Public Relations companies, Starbucks has worked with Crenshaw Communications, Dentsu Public Relations & Edelman.