Starbucks unveils new brand logo design

Friday, 21 January 2011 18:17

Starbucks have unveiled a significant evolution in their logo mark. The new logo will begin a global roll out in March, to coincide with the company's 40th anniversary.

The biggest change is the removal of the actual Starbucks name. The 'siren' mark has now assumed full focus of the logo mark. Having a logo without a name speaks of brands that have reached a level of ubiquity that allows for mass identification of a brand's prime identity mark. Other brands who are able to pull this off are the likes of Nike with their swoosh, Target with their bullseye, Apple's apple, and McDonalds' golden arches. It's not inconceivable that within a few years Starbucks (at least in the US) will have brand recognition of that level. In any case all the examples cited above have logo usages which place their name within close range of the logo mark.

The new logo is impressive. It is a confident and authentic evolution from the logos the company has used since 1971. They have done a great job of simplification - from two colours to one; three stars to one; and four circles to one. The new cup design is part of a move to take Starbucks from a retail brand towards a lifestyle brand, and the new logo brings a level of sophistication that will help make that transition.

Starbucks have been experimenting outside a simple 'coffee experince' for several years now. They've had fingers in retail, music and retail, and have been involved with wine bars and brewpubs. Starbucks have taken a commodity and through innovation, quality control, interior decorating turned it into an experience. This has gained them a very loyal following. That loyalty will see Starbucks followed as they take their brand into other markets. Removing the word "Coffee" from their logo may be the first sign of a serious push into new waters for the company.

With over 16,000 stores in 50 countries, this will be a roll out of mammoth proportions. All those hundreds of products and touchpoints (from paper cups, tissues, signage, receipts etc.) will need to be updated with the new look. The changes will be phased in over a year, and will likely be conducted at an appropriate moment in the production cycle of new promotions and packaging.