I will try and dedicate one post a week to marketing-related topics. After all, I am not my full “My Mommyology self” if I still didn’t (try to) practice and sharpen the little marketing abilities that I have. How will I teach it to my girls if I’m rusty and outdated?
Yesterday at a visit to the hospital for Jamie (this post is coming soon!) I stopped in for my Starbucks Coffee and noticed that they had already changed their logo.
I read about this months ago in the Reuters article and to be honest, didn’t think much of it until I had the actual cup and the logo in my groggy line of sight.
First impressions? It looked… odd. And very bare. And somewhat off — I couldn’t put a finger on it.
Thinking about it further and reading the article again, I’d have to say I do agree — what’s the motivation behind the change and why change it in the first place? Starbucks and its logo have always been associated with coffee, one way or the other, why “free” yourself from that? More consumer goods that aren’t coffee-linked?! (Side note: admittedly when I read Shultz’ book, Pour Your Heart Into It, I wasn’t too sold on their idea of instant coffee, and to think that’s a logical coffee product extension already. Bottled Frappuccinos and Ground Coffee sold in supermarkets were still alright in my book — but thinking about the purity of the Starbucks Mission as I understood it, the words instant coffee with the brand Starbucks just didn’t sit well, in my humble opinion.)
That being said, I can understand from a business / profit point-of-view that it’s much easier to “prostitute” (I apologize! But that is the term) an established brand than launch and support a completely new and different one altogether. Isn’t that always the conundrum marketing companies face. It’s an age-old discussion that will never go out of date. When is it okay to extend a brand or change part of its DNA, and how far can you go before you do go too far?
Who likes change anyway? Especially when there’s nothing wrong with it, or you find that it works perfectly as is.
If Starbucks were my client (Thought bubble: if they were paying me millions for their campaigns I would probably do whatever they wanted! No but seriously…), it would take a whole lot of convincing and a lengthly explanation than “liberating ourselves from coffee” before I could agree to such an endeavor.
Then again, maybe it’s just the PR behind it or the lack of it. There are ways to make such changes go smoothly, ways to educate your fans and followers and show them that what you’re doing has a higher purpose for the greater good, and not just another billion dollar money-making scheme (even if that is the end all and be all of all businesses.). But I am convinced that there are ways to assure your loyal customers that what they love intrinsically about Starbucks and their coffee experience will not change. Getting them on board might even be to your advantage.
So Starbucks, I can only hope that you know what you’re doing. I am still a fan of your coffee (It is comfort for when the girls don’t let me sleep), but I am not so much a fan of this particular marketing choice, or at least the execution of it. I will wait and see what you’re up to next, and then decide how I feel about you over-all.
What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear it!