Starbucks was opened in1971 and has become one of the greatest international corporations today. Marketing professionals know that the secret to success is a strong brand that incorporates a well-founded name and logo, as well as advertising slogan. This essay will discuss the benefits and risks associated with changing any of these three aspects. The Starbucks Corporation changed their logo in certain cultural circumstances. This will be used to demonstrate the importance of keeping a specific name, logo and slogan in the success of a company, even when slight changes are necessary. To conclude, the author will suggest possible changes or solutions for Starbucks based on appropriate research.
The name Starbucks was inspired by the first mate in the novel Moby Dick. It evoked the “romance of the high seas and seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders” (). Since Starbucks has great marketing success, it would be risky to change their brand name. Modification could lead to a loss in recognition of the name. People are hardwired to familiar things. For example, you could change the name, but it would still always be Starbucks to them. It may also lead to consumers questioning their motives for change. People tend to find comfort in familiar things.
“In the customers’ minds a well-known name is linked with mental associations, empathy and personal preferences”(). Starbucks’s name should not be changed because since its’ inception it has built a great image of the brand. Changing the brand may be risky and unbeneficial for the company itself. One thing that they have been doing is incorporating a cultural component, which allows them to write their name along with the language of the country in which it operates. For example, in Saudi Arabia Starbucks stores are written in both English and Arabic (see image 1). This establishes local success with their franchise. As a result this also creates brand loyalty.
Similar to the name, the logo can make or break the success of a business. According to the Starbucks Company profile the logo was inspired by the sea, featuring a twin-tailed siren from Greek mythology (). Unlike the name, the logo has changed four times and underwent an additional change in Saudi Arabia. The biggest change from the original logo was the removal of the name from the image (see image 2 & 3). There has been controversy over what the image represented to some people, for example, some consumers found the suggestive split tail of the topless siren too lurid and sexually suggestive (). Throughout of the course of the history of Starbucks there remains some consistency with the relationship between the name and the logo. To this day the name and logo continue to work together within the original seafaring concept. These brand elements are currently entwined, but
there is always a possibility of change when building an image of the brand. The important aspect, in my mind, would be to ensure that no matter how small or big the change, both the name and the logo have to be connected to the business idea in some way. In Saudi Arabia the change in the logo was beneficial because of the culture within the country. In order for Starbucks to be successful, they needed to appeal to their consumers. The consumers were not satisfied with the logo, and therefore production rates went down. When they made the decision to change the logo the production rates dramatically increased. It is about meeting the needs of consumers.
Potentially the logo may change in other countries, but that is dependent on consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Another aspect to the business design is the slogan. The slogan is just as important as the name and logo of a business. Starbucks currently does not have an advertisement slogan; however, they do have a mission. Their mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time” (). This mission speaks to what they have done over the years with their logo. Though their name has never changed, their logo has adapted to the human spirit both individually (as cultures) and within countries (neighborhoods). This is shown through the logo adaptation in Saudi Arabia. There are always both benefits and risks associated with any type of change. The important aspect of this is that the benefits outweigh the risks. Consumerism is something that our world revolves around. Without it, we have nothing and can build on nothing.
When we build, we build upon the needs of others. A successful business venture will see this as mandatory for their success. As a result of researching the Starbucks Corporation and how their name and logo continues to build on their success, I would not recommend any changes at this time. I can see that they try to meet the needs of their consumer. This technique has proven to be successful for them. In conclusion, the relationship between the Starbucks name and logo has had a positive impact on the Corporation’s success.
Starbucks has become one of the most successful Franchise’s in the world today. People have a tendency to remember things based on meaning and relevance to them. Starbucks has proven to be able to successfully meet the needs of their consumers. Brand and communications are entwined in a business’s image and with Starbucks; it has worked to keep the name connected with the image. Though there is no formal slogan for Starbucks, their mission has a solid foundation and their practice solidifies their credibility within the business industry.
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