Too big for words? Starbucks loses their name.

Nike did it.  Pepsi did it.  Now Starbucks is about to do it. 

They are dropping their name from their coffee cups this spring.   The official word from Starbucks is that is was just time to update the 40 year old Siren who has emblazened the coffee giant’s stores, coffee cups and products across the globe.   

starbucks new logo

starbucks new logo

I enjoyed reading the comments from overthinking logo designers and graphics gurus about the symbolism of the move.  Some say that the black line around the old logo kept it all together. 

Others say that the new logo will help carry the brand into the future and it positively expresses the essenence of their global domination (huh?). 

What is clear is that this move will evoke an endless spew of twitter posts, blog comments and online voting that will engage people and get them to talk about the brand.  But it in the end, this little logo change will amount to nothing.  The change made to the Starbucks logo is not bold enough to evoke public outrage like what happened in 2009 when Tropicana changed the look of their orange juice container.

tropicana logo change

tropicana logo change

If you recall, the public sentiment towards Tropicana was so great that Tropicana backtracked and quickly poured their millions worth of design hours, consultant fees and production re-tools and went back to the old packaging.

With Starbucks, however, the logo change was safe.  Easy.  Like sitting in one of their chairs listening to the barista repeat a 17 word coffee order.

And while one can argue whether the Starbucks logo needed a refresh or that the move is brand suicide (I liked that comment the best), I believe that the change is a simple statement saying that Starbucks has made it to the highest level of brand aptitude and now joins ranks with Nike, Pepsi and Apple who are instantly known by only their logo – without the use of a single vowel or consonant.

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3 thoughts on “Too big for words? Starbucks loses their name.

  1. This is a bold move on the part of Starbucks because I think they’re making 2 huge assumptions:

    1. They are bigger than just coffee and are moving into new markets that will expand the brand (music, etc).
    2. They will be relevant and recognizable in the next generation.

    Nike and Apple have nothing to worry about because they’re constantly stepping up their game and making their brand stronger.

    Call me crazy, I think they will be out of business in 5 years or less.

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