The big news yesterday was the introduction of Starbucks' redesigned logo, which swapped a stripped-down, wordless image of the famous mermaid in place of the previous version that includes the words "Starbucks Coffee."
The new logo, which will be unrolled in stores in March for the company's 40-year anniversary, is philosophical as well as cosmetic. From the AP story:
"Earlier versions of the logo helped build Starbucks into one of the world's best-recognized brands, and the company concluded it no longer needed to reinforce its name at every turn. The new wordless logo also is better suited to Starbucks' expansion beyond coffee into a wider array of business lines and into more international markets."
I find it fascinating how Starbucks' new logo directly reflects the company's ongoing development as a "lifestyle brand" - not just a coffee company. Like Apple or Nike, the symbol on its own conveys more than a product like computers or shoes.
That isn't new, though. Starbucks has long been about creating a curated experience, rooted in the idea of their stores being "a third place between work and home." Most recently, the company rolled out their own digital network, accessible only in Starbucks stores with news content, music, shopping and even neighborhood-specific updates. Coffee is now a small part of the "Starbucks experience."
I'm not sure that having the words (or not) in the logo makes a difference from a consumer perspective. But from a company viewpoint, it is a clear representation of how they are evolving and expanding.