Starbucks goes retro for the spring!

April 27, 2008

Just like the fashions of Balenciaga, Carolina Herrera, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, Starbucks is also going retro for the spring. Its original brown label has temporarily replaced the highly recognized green Starbucks logo of a mermaid encircled by the words “Starbucks Coffee.” Since the green logo is so pervasive, the change is an immediate attention-grabber.

The reason for the switch is the launch of Starbucks’ new coffee blend, Pike Place Roast, which is supposed to have a smoother taste. Starbucks wants people to recognize the company’s shift toward brewed coffee as well as emphasize on the their coffee-roasting abilities. The new Starbucks cups are also made with 10% post-consumer recycled content, so they are not only promoting their new roast but also their efforts to serve coffee in a more environmentally friendly way.

Such a move seems unusual since Starbucks’ logo is immediately recognizable all over the world. However, the logo change was a definite strategic PR move on the company’s part. It drew immediate attention not only to the logo, but also to their new blend. The logo change raised the question of “Why did Starbucks do that?” Starbucks rarely advertises its product because its popularity sells itself. So the logo change is a subtle marketing technique for the new Pike’s Place Roast.

Even though the move has raised some controversy, I feel as though it also added to the popularity of Starbucks coffee. After all, techniques are the same in fashion, a designer has to make a drastic move to gain attention and make an impression on its audience. Since this spring bold, retro floral prints are making a come back, why not bring the retro Starbucks logo back as well?

What are everyone’s thoughts on the new Starbucks cup? Does it make you miss the old, more familiar logo or is it something new and exciting? I personally haven’t made up my mind yet! I kind of got used to the old cup over my coffee-drinking years!

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5 Responses to “Starbucks goes retro for the spring!”

  1. bry0000000 said

    Hey Olga,

    I’m torn between what I think about the logo switch. On one hand, I think the logo is a great attention grabber. The old logo has the same familiarity for me as the new one does.

    However, I wouldn’t have known that the logo change means a change in coffee brews had I not read your post.

    My final thought is that now that I know the reason behind the change, the brand sticks and I’ll never forget it. If Starbucks can get the word out, I feel it’s an excellent marketing tool.

  2. benson09oregon said

    I think the change back to the old logo is a bad idea. The brown logo is muddy and complex compared to the green logo. In Starbucks’ favor, the brown logo is still distinctly Starbucks; many of the original logo elements are presents in both logos. I recognize both cups as Starbucks.

    Nonetheless, I agree with Bryan. If you hadn’t told me that the new logo promoted the new coffeee, I wouldn’t have known.

    Coffee drinkers in the Northwest and Seattle will experience extreme nostalgia from the logo change. However, I doubt this logo reversion will successfully promote the new coffee blend.

  3. sessary said

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I love the retro cups. Good move Starbucks. It makes me admire Starbucks as a company more than a brand.

  4. patrickfoulon said

    Well, Olga, I think that the throw-back coffee cup is simply refreshing. The trendiness of the coffee chain is not compromised, in fact, it is illustrated vibrantly. I think Starbucks is giving its consumers something new, aside from just a new blend. With the new cups, it is giving consumers a change that may be one of the largest in Starbucks history (not that I would know). I feel that this says “hey, you, yeah we are a coffee chain, but we have creativity and are not afraid to ‘blend’ things up”. I think I may podcast about this…

  5. Liz Harney said

    It’s funny because when I first noticed the logo change, I didn’t notice the actual logo. I noticed the new sleeve it is printed on. The new sleeves are this brown, cardboard-looking, recycled thing. Now that you’ve pointed it out though, the logo has changed! I guess that just goes to show that when I’m drinking coffee I’m really not even awake enough to see what it is I’m drinking.

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