Something Fishy…

Starbucks logoYou may have seen the latest incarnation of the Starbuck’s logo that’s scheduled for a Spring 2011 rollout. Trying to simplify their branding a la Nike or Apple, they have stripped the logo of all words, including the company name.

“We’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage in ways that are true to our core values and that also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth” says CEO Howard Schultz.

Translation: We want to sell more than coffee, so we took out the word “coffee” and if we had left only the word “Starbucks”, no one would understand. Much of the work was done in-house, with refinements done by the branding firm Lippincott. I think it’s a clean design, and an appropriately well-known mark; so the removal of the appellation works, and does give it a more contemporary feel.

When I look at the logo now, I notice the original double fish tail of the siren from their original woodcut, yet until I look into the history of the logo, I don’t know what it is I’m looking at. Yes, the siren is part of their brand equity but the real question is just how does the siren relate to their brand promise moving forward?

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