A few weeks ago, Starbucks unveiled a new logo in celebration of its 40th anniversary.
As you can see from the image below from Starbucks website, the new logo is not a drastic departure, but contains several subtle changes:
- It is all green, the color black has been removed
- It goes from an image surrounded by a circle design, to just one image, though the new image has a partial circle within it
- Most strikingly, it drops the wording “STARBUCKS COFFEE” from the design.
Only a handful of the best known logos in the worlds frequently stand alone without any wording. The new Starbucks logo in my opinion, has two main purposes:
- To equate Starbucks with other iconic brand logos like Apple, AT&T, Nike’s swoosh, the Olympic rings that can are well known without using words
- To help move the Starbucks brand beyond “coffee”. Starbucks may sell liquor at some stores. They promote music, food, and maybe other items in the future. “Coffee” in the logo was limiting in some ways for those expansions.
But in my opinion, the Starbucks logo is not well known enough to stand without the name. A better choice would have been to drop “Coffee” from the logo but keep “Starbucks”. I like the new design, I just do not like the idea of dropping the brand name. The Starbucks logo may be well known among coffee enthusiasts and Starbucks customers, but if the company is planning to try to expand its markets to new customers, the logo along – without the name – may not resonate or communicate with customers who are not their core coffee customers. Note also that most of the other logos that frequently stand alone without wording are simpler and less ornate.
Here is the USPTO application for the new design: http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85244515
I think Starbucks is a great company, but I would leave the logo and instead go for one that updates the old version, drops “coffee” but keeps “Starbucks.”