Tuesday 20 February 2018

Exciting changes brewing at Starbucks

As a Canadian living in Australia, there are a lot of things that I miss about home. Hockey (that’s ice, not field, Aussies), Caesars (fellow Canadian Dawn in our Sydney office will attest to this!), the beautiful Rocky Mountains and Starbucks (disclosure: Edelman client).  Now I know we have a few Starbucks shops in Melbourne and Sydney – but it’s just not the same!  Where are the fireplaces, the comfy couches, the students cramming for exams, the bear claws?

Before I continue – people of Melbourne relax.  I love the coffee in Melbourne – and agree that it’s definitely amongst the best in the world.  My love for Starbucks goes beyond coffee; I love the whole Starbucks experience.  Browsing the new thermoses and mugs, checking out the CDs, finding out if there is something new to order – I love it. 

And there is something new.  A few things, actually.

Firstly, there is a new logo!  A few weeks ago the company removed the words “Starbucks Coffee” from its logo, making the mermaid (or “siren”) icon, more prominent.  I suppose the idea behind this change is that Starbucks doesn’t want to limit itself to coffee.  They are even talking about serving wine

Image sourced from: http://www.starbucks.com/#/meet-the-starbucks-siren

I’m okay with the new logo.  It actually hasn’t changed that much – we all know where that sultry siren comes from.  Since its unveiling the public’s reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. As business administration professor at Harvard University, Nancy F. Koehn, said,

                …I’m not sure what’s more interesting – [Starbucks’] decision to change the symbol of its
                powerful brand or the intensity of the reaction to it. What I am certain of is that Starbucks and
                its CEO, Howard Shultz, have a history of breaking new ground with the company’s brand, and
                that one of the core attributes of this brand is customer engagement. Seen from these two
                vantage points, I’m betting that Starbucks will come out a winner with this move.”
Sourced from: http://blogs.forbes.com/elainewong/2011/01/13/starbucks-logo-change-how-many-…

Unlike when Gap made the colossal mistake of changing their iconic logo to something that looks like it was created in five minutes by an eight year old playing with Microsoft SmartArt.  After a week of severe criticism, Gap went back to the original logo, and the world heaved a sigh of relief.

Image sourced from: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/10/new-gap-logo-despised-symbol-o…

But I digress.

Another thing Starbucks has recently announced is that it will be introducing the massive Trenta size cup for iced drinks.  How big is Trenta?  This should put it into context.

Image sourced from: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/17/graphic-how-big-exactly-is-starbucks-…

Now that is a lot of frappuccino.  It will be interesting to see how many Trentas are ordered over the American summer.  While I don’t think I would be able to drink an entire Trenta myself (I sometimes struggle with the Grande option) – wouldn’t it be cute to get a Trenta on a date?  Two straws, one cup, awww. 

And the latest announcement from Starbucks? Pay for your coffee (or wine!) with your smartphone.

Starbucks Card Mobile lets users add their Starbucks Cards, track rewards and reload cards as needed via PayPal or credit card.  In order to pay with their phone, app users select “touch to pay” and hold up the barcode on their mobile device screen to the 2-D scanner at the register.  Pretty cool.  It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit.  And hooray for no change!

Image sourced from: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/starbucks-card-mobile/id331379009?mt=8

So what do you think? Like the new logo? Would you order a Trenta?  Want to use your smartphone to pay for your drink?

One thing is for sure – Starbucks continues to be an innovative company that isn’t scared to try new things.  I for one am excited to see what they do next (hopefully in Australia!).


  • Oscar

    1st thing I thought of when you mentioned the Trenta size was that it should be shared, great tact for marketing the new size option.

  • FuzzWing