Why changing logo? — Starbucks

I think you guys are familiar with Starbucks and I am sure you can figure it out with its logo. As Starbucks become more and more popular, its Siren logo is remembered by many people. However, have you noticed that this logo has undergone several changes?

This picture just shows the logo’s changes.


Why does Starbucks decide to change its logo? How does it influence its customers?

As for the first logo, it is established when Starbucks first came into the market. It is proved that when facing with new brands, people tend to choose the one they are familiar to (Reutskaja el al 2011). Since the myth of siren is well known to consumers, the picture of siren is chosen. Moreover, siren is part of culture which indicates that Starbucks is a brand with deep meaning. So customers will define the brand as of high quality and classy. Most people think the stuff they use shows their taste; just like that you may think women with Dior have good tastes (Paul Cézanne). Starbucks wanted the similar effect. Then, the color brown is easy to understand, consumers can easily relate it with coffee. The first logo was a little bit complex but could give entire information to customers that it is cultured and fabulous so it successfully attracted many customers and help Starbucks to survive in the markets.

Starbucks didn’t stop its pace. “How to make it better and how to build its own brand style? “ is what Starbucks kept seeking for. Salen Abdulaziz (2007) indicated that the change of logos do not merely show the company’s tendency to change its appearance but also underlies some other changes are taken or will be taken by the company. Starbucks also used the logo change to tell the world that it was changing. Hence, when Starbucks changed its color from brown to green it wanted its customers to recognize that it had expanded its products to more types of food. Due to the theories of colors, Brown may not be an appropriate color for food since consumer may think brown is dirty and lousy while green can make customers feel clean and fresh.

Then, Starbucks chose to simplify its logo which made siren a nearly bare woman. Even though this logo resulted in many complains, Starbucks’ spokesman said that “it is just a temporary method to stop the deduction of its stock price.”  This revealed that Starbucks just wanted to use the change of its logo to draw customers’ attention back so as to stimulate customers’ willingness to go into  Starbucks to find out what’s going on. Similarly, in 2006, Starbucks also took the advantage of “nistogal effort”. They used the original siren logo on the Pike coffee. This special offer effectively caught customers’ nostalgic mentality so as to increase sales and beat the criticisms of Starbucks. (David 2008)

In 2011, Starbucks abandoned the external ring of it brand name, which turned out to be simpler. This action implied that Starbucks would extend to more other fields.  The high recognition degree of its logo will unconscientiously impose Starbucks’ brand image to its new products. Due to consumers’ trust and loyalty, it will lead to success in popularize its new products.

16 thoughts on “Why changing logo? — Starbucks

  1. There is a very good introduction of the history of Starbucks logo. Company sometimes change its logo in order to adapt to potential and target customers. Through logo changing of Starbucks, I notice some other aspects also like that. For example, package of the perfume always be changed. Generally, a new fragrance enter into market, an attractive package is very important for gaining customers’ attention. Like use brighten colour and tempting shape. When target customers accept it, company will design another package for the same product or use same package but change the perfume smell. Because customers always want to purchase products which they familiar with, and a little change will evoke people’s curious to find out the difference, so attract them try it successfully.

    • Good blog, and interestingly enough I haven’t ever noticed that Starbucks’ logo had changed! That just goes to show what a good job they’ve done with the changes – making them large enough to represent some new aspect of the company – but small enough that consumers still recognise the brand.
      Pimental and Heckler (2003) showed in their research that consumers disliked a change of logo, but they didn’t mind adjustments to the current logo, and in this respect we can see how Starbucks have succesfully changed their logo by making 4 small adjustments over the years that has resulted in a completely new image!
      Another interesting aspect with Starbucks logo change is that it’s representative of the dominance of the market – as they get more popular their logo doesn’t need to explain what or who they are – so when they first started they had a brand name, three types of product and an image, but now all they need is the image because it’s so strongly associated with their brand.

  2. Some research suggests that the reason that so many companies change their logos recently is because they are more likely to be successful with a simpler logo. Consumers are exposed to so many different media images every day that their attention span seems to have put up a defence mechanism against too complicated logos. In order to be remembered by the customers many companies (or rather their designers) redesigned their logo by keeping the existing logo, but by limiting any unnecessary patterns (Archer, J., 2011). This can be seen at many companies (e.g. Apple).

  3. This is a very interesting topic, which let me get to more about Starbucks.
    When I first heard about Starbucks changing its Logo, I guess that it’s time to make big news to stimulate its market.

    Research shows that some consumers dislike logo changing. However, this change will be a big change for Starbucks. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said: “What is really important here is an evolutionary refinement of the logo, which is a mirror image of the strategy.” After Logo changing, Starbucks have launched a few other products with their name on it and no coffee in it.

    The new Logo is streamlined, modern, simple and elegant, but if Starbucks keeps changing, it could be like that…….Here is the pic of the future Logo of Starbucks.

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  5. I Read an article where it says that the changes were made because a group of christian somewhere in California were complaining about the fact that the logo was a siren (which appear to not be good in Christianity). And for my marketing class, I have to write a paper about something like that (changes that happen because of consumer demand).

    So do you guys have any idea or examples about any other change like this one(Starbucks’s logo)

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