In the world of branding, the fastest and easiest route to changing a look is through a Logo & Corporate Identity Makeover. It’s the expedited method of projecting a new image, and an ongoing journey of constant changes, regardless how subtle.
Here’s a look at the world’s largest chain of cafés – none other than the quintessential Starbucks. To commemorate their 40th anniversary in March (would you believe they’ve been around that long!!??), Starbucks decided to twitch its identity.
For those in the dark, Starbucks didn’t sprout into global domination over night. The cafe with the green mermaid logo traces back its humble beginnings to a little coffee roasting facility in Seattle’s Pike Place in 1971. It was living in a comfortable shell for the longest time until CEO Howard Schultz came onto the scene in the late 1990s and masterminded and navigated Starbucks’ global ambitions into what it is today.
In short, they’ve decided to clean up the logo of any association with the word “coffee” and give the spotlight to the Mermaid (or Siren) that’s been adorning the logo all this time. I’ve heard in the grapevine that this is in line with Starbucks’ growth strategy going forward, where they’re exploring non-coffee areas, even including Wine & Beer. Unimaginable for now. But hey, you never know!
A Logo & Corporate Identity Makeover is, however, by no means what branding is all about, and the potential it can deliver. For customers already are experiencing your company’s products & services in their very own distinctive way. The MEANING of a product & service in any customer’s mind is what SHOULD matter to any organization. And it is the MEANING that needs to be thoroughly analyzed, managed, and optimized to the company’s best interest. Such is the essence of branding and brand positioning strategy.
Logo & Corporate Identity Makeover does not come without a risk. The key is in the hands of Customers, who essentially decide “WHAT’S HOT” and “WHAT’S NOT”!
Therefore, if a company changes its logo WITHOUT changing the meaning – ie. properly align and match their brand message with the positive brand experience the company WISHES customers to have – the often sizeable investment in changing merely your logo reduces to a futile and expensive exercise. An utter waste!
Companies MUST ensure that the brand experience they provide remain positive, so if your product or service still shows a weakness, complaints mount, market share is lagging, your customer service department is inundated with complaint calls, stakeholders are edgy due to weak stock performance, and staff morale is at an all-time low, and staff turnover is high… a logo makeover WILL NOT bring about improvements like a magic wand!