Starbucks unveiled a new logo today that drops the green band that says “Starbucks Coffee” and leaves the iconic mermaid/sea nymph all alone. Starbucks must not be all about coffee anymore. Perhaps the company thinks the brand is bigger than words.
According to company insiders, Starbucks will bring the new logo to stores in March 2011 to coincide with its 40th anniversary.
CEO Howard Schultz explains:
This new evolution of the logo does two things that are very important: It embraces and respects our heritage, and at the same time evolves us to a point where we feel it’s more suitable for the future… The new interpretation of the logo, at its core, is the exact same essence of the Starbucks experience. And that is the love we have for our coffee, the relationship we have with our partners, and the connection we build with our customers. What I think we’ve done is we’ve allowed her to come out of the circle in a way that I think gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee.
Sounds like a branding company did a good job at providing Howard with speaking notes.
Since the company unleashed the change without any warning, it’s sure that Howard did not read the Marketing Matters post, “Re-Branding: How to Avoid a Backlash.” Even so, maybe the company will be able to avoid a Gap-like debacle.