This week, Starbucks unveiled their new corporate logo. This is their fourth branding change since the company was founded in 1971. As you might expect, news sites and blogs were busy spreading the word and offering their critiques. My first impression was very positive: I really like it.
Starbucks kept their trademark siren icon, but dropped the circumscribing border and their nameplate, “Starbucks Coffee,” along with it. It looks like they also made the decision to stick with one color (their signature green and likely “knockout” colors like black and/or white), which adds simplicity. Overall, it’s a clean and effective design.
Starbucks’ press release says the branding change marks their efforts to be known for more than their coffee. I see it as more than that. Dropping their name from the logo and relying on the siren itself to represent their brand indicates, to me at least, that Starbucks now sees themselves as a globally-recognized entity, along the lines of McDonalds, Apple, or Nike. When a corporation or organization can reply upon a symbol alone to project their brand, especially on a worldwide scale, that shows just how powerful they’ve become in the public mind. That’s a pretty monumental change, even for a brand as ubiquitous as Starbucks.
Image source: Starbucks (http://assets.starbucks.com/assets/960b83c436e34f5ea4a1e5c7e6d5191e.jpg)