Starbucks Changes Logo Ahead of Turning 40 in February

StarBucks new Logo on Cup
StarBucks new Logo on Cup

5 January 2011, USA – Nearly forty years ago – in a small retail space in Seattle’s Pike Place Market – the legacy of Starbucks began as a roaster and retailer of high-quality coffees from around the world.  It all started all as a whole bean coffee outfit.  It was more than a decade later that Starbucks started offering expresso beverages in their stores.

The elements of any Starbucks store in any part of the world has always been:

– A unique retail experience that creates a Third Place for our customers between their homes and places of work
– A carefully crafted offering of the finest, high-quality coffees from around the world
– The emotional connection that our partners make daily with our customers.

I certainly can feel the emotional connection with Starbucks as a big fan of their Caramel Machiatto and Skinny Latte.

Howard S., Starbucks Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer shares “As we look forward to Starbucks next chapter, we see a world in which we are a vital part of over 16,000 neighborhoods around the world, in more than 50 countries, forming connections with millions of customers every day in our stores, in grocery aisles, at home and at work. Starbucks will continue to offer the highest-quality coffee, but we will offer other products as well – 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.”

Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer – on the new logo

How did the Siren logo come about?

Starbucks ; An Illustrated History
Starbucks ; An Illustrated History

In a search for a way to capture the seafaring history of coffee and Seattle’s strong seaport roots in 1971 when Starbucks was first formed, there was a lot of poring over old marine books going on. Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for. A logo was designed around her.

Over the last 40 years some changes to the identity were made to keep Starbucks relevant as they evolve without losing sight of their rich heritage.  The Siren has always been there as the heart of Starbucks.

And she’s a promise too, inviting all of us to find what we’re looking for, even if it’s something we haven’t even imagined yet.  She means something different to every one who sees her, who knows her.  For people all over the globe, she is a signal of the world’s finest coffee – and much more. She stands unbound, sharing stories, inviting all in to explore, to find something new and to connect with each other. And as always, she is urging all of us forward to the next thing. After all, who can resist her?

Why the change?

Ever since the opening of the first store in 1971, Starbucks as a brand has been evolving. In celebration of Starbuck’s 40th anniversary, there’s never been a better and more exciting time in Starbuck’s history to move forward, to be innovative and still represent the heritage and values of the company.

Who is the Siren?

The Siren has been a part of Starbucks from the beginning. Her image, originally derived from a twin-tailed siren in an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut, was at the center of Starbucks original logo. She embodies Starbucks and our coffee – evoking coffee’s allure and its seafaring tradition.

Why now?

Starbuck’s 40th anniversary is an opportunity to better express what Starbucks represents to partners and customers, encompassing Starbuck’s vision for the future, while honoring their coffee heritage.

Why is “Coffee” no longer in the name?

The new brand identity will also eliminate ambiguity in their non-coffee products. For instance, in some of Starbuck’s international markets, teas called “Starbucks Coffee Tea” are offered – a label that is confusing, because there’s no coffee in it!

When will I see this in stores?

The new brand expression will co-exist with Starbuck’s current one for some time. Customers will first see new promotional merchandise and paper goods in March 2011, with additional elements coming in over time.

About Howard Schultz

chairman, president and chief executive officer

It all started with a cup of coffee.
Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company, first walked into Starbucks in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1981. Howard was drawn into conversation with these connoisseurs who took great care in not only finding and roasting the highest quality coffee, but also sharing their passion with others. Drawn to Seattle and its extraordinary coffee culture, Howard moved from his native New York and joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing when Starbucks had four stores.
In 1983, Howard traveled to Italy and was captivated by Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition back to Seattle, creating a third place between work and home. In order to pursue this dream, Howard left Starbucks to start his own coffee company called Il Giornale and returned in August 1987 to purchase Starbucks with the help of local investors. Howard went on to create two landmark programs for Starbucks partners (employees): comprehensive health coverage for part-time partners and equity in the company in the form of stock options.
From that foundation, Starbucks has grown to more than 16,000 stores in neighborhoods around the world. What remains the same from that first cup of coffee: a connection, a conversation, and a sense of community.

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