Friday, January 07, 2011

Coffee #2: “Bringing the Siren to Life” at Starbucks.

This was the project of a lifetime. The designers here at Starbucks have such a love for this brand – it’s what drives our creativity.

It’s what the Starbucks Senior Creative Manager wrote about on the company blog January 5. It’s what’s exercising the profanity of hundreds – if not thousands – of Starbucks brand loyalists who hate it: the spanking new 2011 Starbucks logo.

I vote in favor of the change forthwith. It (the change) is pretty dramatic for a strong, popular brand. It has far more cogency and thoughtfulness than the recent Gap logo misstep, to which the Starbucks re-brand has been compared. It’s more cohesive than the United-Continental re-brand which I wrote about here.

Steve Collier of Collier Graphica has a different take. He wrote me:

Like Continental Airlines, it was not the logo that needed changing, it was the management and core business structure that needed changing. Starbucks reinstated its original CEO and founder which was a great move but now it needs to find its footing and direction for the future business model and the logo is not the answer for a brand that is already established and accepted by their customer base…

The creative director at 2020 Exhibits, Marilyn Muller, is eyeing the Starbucks customer base too:

It seems a pretty bold thing to do to remove the name recognition and stand on the logo alone. There are so many knockoffs and emulators that try to mimic Starbucks as the kind of ‘generic’ coffee brand (like the Kleenex of coffees) that it would seem to blur the integrity of the initial brand.

Contrariwise, I applaud the company that pours a lot of my coffee. First is the immense benefit of proximity. Starbucks is everywhere I am (mostly) with the brews I want. They taste good, too. Second is “destination.” Rachel Parker, principal of Resonance, responded to another Signalwriter post:

Starbucks isn’t a coffee – it’s a destination. It’s where friends connect, where business deals take place, where solopreneurs set up shop to stave off cabin fever.

Third, Starbucks have taken evident care over the siren’s new look – I hope you’ll read the design details on the company’s blog.

So there are at least three great reasons I’m going with Starbucks on its logo. At the end, it’s as simple as what Upstream Marketing’s Brian Bearden Facebooked onto the Starbucks wall:

The new logo is fine. I knew one day that word coffee would be removed from the logo… because their business has grown to offer more. Just keep making good coffee…

1 comment:

Steve Collier said...

Good crosscut of opinions and observations.

Ain't the logo so much now as its how they drive the brand that will benefit their market and hopefully the stock value. Compared to Louisiana coffee, don't especially like Starbuck coffee, too bitter with a biting acid aftertaste. It's disguised if one gets the flowered latte beverages. But I do like the stock when it moves up.

Have a good one and keep on signaling.