There are a handful of well-known logos that are so easily recognized and have become such a part of consumers’ lives and culture that they don’t need a brand name to go along with them. The iconic symbol is enough to evoke feelings, memories, and perceptions in consumers about the business behind the logo. Playboy, Nike, and Apple are just a few examples of logos that can stand on their own without a brand name attached to them.
In celebration of its 40th year in business, Starbucks is releasing a revamped logo that omits “Starbucks Coffee” from the logo entirely. See the history of the Starbucks logo, including the new logo for 2011, in the image below.
As Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz explains in the promotional video shown below about the Starbucks brand identity, “The evolution of the logo does two very important things. It embraces and respects our heritage and at the same time evolves us to a point where we feel it’s more suitable for the future.”
One of the most intriguing parts of Schultz’s video message begins at 1:05 into the video when Schultz makes a bold statement about the logo which makes the audience wonder about the possible future for the Starbucks company. He says, “What I think we’ve done is we’ve allowed her [the Siren] to come out of the circle in a way that I think gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee.” He goes on to ensure viewers that Starbucks will always be a leading coffee company producing top quality coffee, but one can assume that the doors are certainly open for new opportunities.
The new Starbucks logo brings up two important points in terms of brand strategy:
- Is your brand imagery and logo strong enough to stand on its own without the name? It’s something to aspire as an indication of brand value.
- Is your brand imagery and logo too limiting? It’s something to consider in terms of how it could affect long term business growth and brand extensions.
What do you think of the new Starbucks logo? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.