Starbucks’ New Logo Showcases New Brand Identity

SEATTLE -- Starbucks Corp. is looking toward the future, with a nod to the past, with its updated logo. Making its debut on Jan. 5, the new logo no longer carries the words "Starbucks Coffee," drops the black background but continues to feature the Starbucks Siren.

The new look comes as the company marks its 40th year. "Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been through it all," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer in a posting on the company’s Web site. "And now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage in ways that are true to our core values and that also ensure we remain relevant and poised for growth."

The change acknowledges that, while the company started out selling only whole bean coffee, Starbucks has expanded its offerings over the years. "Starbucks will continue to offer the highest-quality coffee, but we will offer other products as well," Schultz added. "And while the integrity, quality and consistency of these products must remain true to who we are, our new brand identity will give us the freedom and flexibility to explore innovations and new channels of distribution that will keep us in step with our current customers and build strong connections with new customers."

Judging from the comments to Schultz’s posting, the logo change is drawing a mixed bag of strong reactions. For example, one posting said, "What a beautiful and compelling way to move the company into the new millennium." And on the other end of the spectrum, another posting said "It looks cheap and tacky … Starbucks is losing its class." And still others don’t believe the change will have any effect. "To be truthful, if you hadn’t told me it had changed, I wouldn’t have noticed. Will it affect my willingness to fork over my hard-earned money for a $5 latte? No, I’ll still be a loyal customer," a posting added.

The new evolution will start this spring and Schultz promises there will be more to come as the company celebrates 40 years.

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