You know the story. Visionary leader builds a revolutionary brand. Visionary leader steps away and hands it off. Brand falters. Said leader steps back in to turn things around.
The first big changes are taking place since Howard Schultz stepped back into the head spot at Starbucks, and honestly, I’m excited to see if and how he makes the chain unique again. I used to love hanging out at the local Starbucks, but recently they’ve just been crowded places with cluttered stores and dirty bathrooms. I guess it deserves an apology to my Sbux barista friends, but hey, at least Peet’s smells like coffee!
That said, changes are underway! One of the first is the company’s new Pike Place roast, named after its first store. Unlike recent practice, the beans will actually be ground in the store (bringing back that coffee shop smell).
It looks like they’re also making the gutsy move of changing up the brand a little (at least for a while). According to Brand New and pictures from the chain’s website, they’ll be using their original logo in the store and on the cups. I’ll be interested to see how the general public takes to the look. People love their Starbucks, but I’m not sure if they realize that character in the middle of the green circle was originally a bare-chested, split-legged mermaid.
(Image from Brand New)
But hey, it signals change, and maybe that’s what’s needed. The store shots from Pike Place look great. If they can give other stores the same feel, it might bring back that original “coffee shop” ambiance. I’m tired of my local third place feeling like McDonald’s!
(UPDATE: Thanks to Jeff’s comment below, we now know the logo is “tweaked” a little from it’s original version. There’s a picture of the cup here. Looks like the mermaid has longer hair to cover herself a little more 🙂 )
For you Pasadena folks, the Starbucks tasting tour (where I guess they’re showing off their new blend) is stopping at Paseo this weekend. Here’s the info.
280 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For everyone else, here are a few other posts about the changes…
- A great post from Brand Autopsy summarizing all the new changes
- Starbucks site – Pike Place roast
- Brand New – about the logo and changes
- TIME – Starbucks looks for a fresh jolt
- An older series from Brand Autopsy about changes Starbucks must make
- Idea Sandbox and the “aroma first” rule