Every morning I roll out of bed, jump in the shower, and go grab my Starbucks and Wall Street Journal. I am always thinking about the promotional products industry when I’m reading over my WSJ because there are so many different daily articles that relate to the industry in some way or another (like which companies are acting like complete idiots with their marketing and promotions and which companies are doing an extraordinary job).
The article that really struck my interest in the past couple weeks was about the new plan that Starbucks has for their logo. Having a quality logo is such an important part of a company’s success and Starbucks obviously recognizes this. Throughout the years they have changed their logo several times but the newest version is different from anything else they’ve done in the past.
Starbucks wants their logo to truly represent what their company is all about and how things are changing. The company has had to deal with some huge issues, including a rash of closed stores. They were expanding so rapidly for a couple years that there were Starbucks stores everywhere; after awhile, you couldn’t go a block in a big city without seeing a Starbucks! They had jumped the gun and opened up way too many shops (which means they didn’t make desirable profits once the competition got tougher) and eventually the new stores struggled. So, of course, the company had to start shutting down stores rapidly.
What’s my point? Well, when Starbucks started to struggle, they needed to think of a new strategy to answer to all of the new competition they were facing. They knew that they had an expensive product compared to their competitors, so they needed to think of some new areas to gain revenue. Their strategy was to offer their coffee in retail stores and supermarkets, and they also offered an assortment of other products that weren’t coffee. This new strategy gained traction and started to become successful…which brings me to my main point.
Recently, Starbucks decided to push their new strategy even further by featuring a logo that better represents them at this point in time: they changed their logo to eliminate the green circle that says “Starbucks Coffee” on it, leaving only the signature “siren” (commonly referred to as a mermaid). It’s a simpler logo to go along with a simple (although effective) strategy! Will removing the “Starbucks Coffee” from their items help associate them with more than just coffee, or will it confuse people? Only time will tell if this logo switch is a good move for their marketing efforts…
Part of me thinks it could be a mistake because this logo was with them when they were the most successful – after all, the words coffee and Starbucks go hand in hand! However, it’s also a bold move that could pay off if they continue to sell MORE than just coffee. What do you think of the change Starbucks is making? Are they making a mistake by changing such an easily-recognizable logo?