New Starbucks Identity

This week marks the 40th Anniversary of Starbucks, and the dawn of an entirely caffeine addicted nation. (Including me, lest you think I judge.)  They’ve cleaned up their branding a bit, simplifying their logo, creating a more modern look.  Less preachy text on all their packaging and a slightly larger font.  I like it. I like the green sleeve (even though you should be ditching paper sleeves and using your RuMe Reusable Coffee Cuff) and I like the bright green/white color palate.

But mostly, I like Carmel Macchiatos. A drink I just tried for the first time this week and boy is it yummy.  [images via Brand New]

Seriously though, changing up your corporate identity is a tough call.  On one hand, people learn to rely on the familiarity of your product, but on the other hand you can start to look and feel stale over time.

I am working with a client now who is in the middle of re-energizing a business they just acquired.  We are debating the merits of keeping the business essentially the same, or changing the messaging and merchandising strategy to something that is in keeping with the new owner’s aesthetic and likes.  I vote for the latter.  Holding onto an idea just because its been “out there” doesn’t do anyone any favors.  Customers can smell a phone-in job a mile away. And even worse: there is no way you’ll be successful as a company if you’re not 220% passionate about the direction your company is headed.  Better to distill down the best of an old biz, keep the good nuggets, then toss the rest and start from scratch with something you’ll leap out of bed for every day.

That’s not to say that a new logo or a new site redesign or a new merchandising strategy will equal instant success.  Lord knows we’ve all watched Starbucks transition through many attempts at new offerings.  But trying new things will always open your eyes to aspects of the business that might have been overlooked or forgotten.  It is a process, and if you keep it an honest process with every new trial will come opened doors to new opportunities.

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