So, word is spreading that Starbucks has unveiled a nameless logo.
I’m not a marketing student, so I’m probably not the best person at this, but is there really a correlation between amount of words used and supposed “realms” of marketing? Do brands start out on some cumbersome, wordy ideogram and claw its way up to this ethereal, zen stage where words are unnecessary?
Either way, I do think the new logo’s missing something. Somehow, with the omission of the word “Starbucks” and “Coffee” it just doesn’t look remotely like Starbucks anymore. The inclusion of these words encased in a ring is exactly that complement that we’re used to, perhaps even more important than the siren itself (outside of U.S, I doubt many people know that the logo has mythical origins). The example of Nike and Apple, in my lay opinion is not quite appropriate; Nike’s logo evolution was gradual and the words NIKE were gradually made more and more understated until they did away with the word altogether, whereas Starbucks took the opposite direction, making the words as prominent as the logo, and now in one sudden stroke they want to do away with it. Apple never had the word “apple” in the first place – they only did away with the small little ®.
The other jarring thing is that they seem to have created a different shade of green. I suspect this is going to be very hard to adjust to. Again, the Nike logo stuck with a certain shade of red and remained consistent with the makeover. Apple worked because they were an industry that had to keep abreast with the trends of the time (apparently in the late 90s, black was the new black). This is not the case with beverages like Starbucks. The colour needs to be retained – the trend they’re looking for is “what’s the hottest flavour at the moment?” In the early 2000s it was Tiramisu, with many enamored with the not quite corroborated story of high class courtesans looking for a quick pick-me-up. Then came
green tea matcha, and the irrational craze to start calling red beans “adzuki beans” (or some variant of the Japanese spelling). The only exception, of course, is when the flavour is somehow so intrinsically tied in with a cultural identity (New coke, anyone?)
It’s all very subjective in the end, and if the folks at Starbucks would like to believe that the encirclement of the siren constitutes imprisonment and the makeover is supposed to be “liberating”, there’s nothing to stop them from believing in it. Just as there’s nothing to stop me from believing I’m drinking a overpriced knockoff of what used to be Starbucks everytime I sip a cuppa when they phase in this new logo.