Starbucks unveiled a new logo this week.
You can still count the number of hours since the announcement of the logo and, of course, people across every media channel are reacting. I follow a lot of local communications professionals on Twitter and my feed has been flooded with their reactions to the new design.
People have been saying:
- “it leaves me cold”
- “Starbucks is sure as hell confident in their brand recognition to drop their name from the logo!”
- “i don’t like it”
- “why are Earth would they remove their name?”
- “the new logo doesn’t make sense!”
This really only scratches the surface. Not one person, that I’ve noticed, has said anything good about the logo decision. If you look at the progression of logos (above), the change makes a lot of sense. It does to me, at least.
Look at it.
It continues the use of that “Starbucks green.” It is simpler. It is cleaner. It pushes the potential consumer to recognize the brand.
While there is an argument that Starbucks’ mermaid lady isn’t the most memorable logo, there IS an argument that they have the brand recognition worldwide to support removing the name.
Remember, the company in discussion is STARBUCKS, for coffee’s-sake! It’s the same company that used to have a store every 60 steps in any direction. They have the necessary brand recognition for the new logo to click in nearly every coffee-drinker’s head. If someone doesn’t recognize it, there the logo contains, in my opinion, enough components for it to still work; the new logo is similar enough to the old logo to still cause the chain reaction in the consumer’s brain to think, “Oh, Starbucks.” Again, go look at the logo progression.
I don’t know how long it’s been since they’ve updated their branding and logo, and I don’t feel like looking it up, but it IS/WAS time to do it. Caribou coffee, arguably their biggest competitor, recently went through rebranding and re-logo-ing.
Comparing the two logos, Caribou went through a larger change. The logo carries the same ideas, but it’s a completely different design. The Starbucks logo cut the name, took the same mermaid image used before and increased the size, and change the entire color to the same shade of green. That’s it.
Look at the Caribou logo differences and then compare that to the changes with Starbucks.
While Starbucks’ work is not as intense, the resulting reactions are. With Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other social media tools, ONE person’s opinion can sometimes be viewed as a game-changing critique. Lord knows everyone thinks their own opinions are game-changing.
Brands have products and reputations. People have egos and people have Twitter accounts. I just hope Starbucks has the balls to stick to their guns through this process. I don’t want to see another rebranding that gives in to failure and goes the way of Gap.
Gap, which you should know, tried rebranding and updating the logo. It seemingly met outrage. Seemingly because most of the people screaming weren’t actual Gap consumers and certainly not the target demographic. The people bitching, yes, bitching, were communications professionals, not the actual audience. A Twitter account was set up to mock the new logo, an idea that’s been rampant since Twitter started catching on.
Of course Gap was going to see some complaints, that just happens, but they actually white-flagged it and RETURNED to an old brand and logo. The Mall of America Gap stores actually went through a construction and deconstruction process to introduce and rid itself of the new logo.
If you’re a brand and you announce a new logo, do your research first (that’s a given) and stick to your decision. Failures are expected, but don’t let yourself be bullied by a bunch of douche bags who still blog about the legitimacy of Twitter. If you do something, handle your PR and manage the “crisis” like a GD Company should!
Do you sense the irony in this post?