Starbucks Goes Public

by Omatic Design

Get out of the shot, hippie!

ON THE HEELS of Gap and Comedy Central comes yet another high profile brand identity evolution, now in the form of a caffeinated, easy listening mermaid goddess with no brassiere. Starbucks just very publicly dropped the big announcement of their new mark. Coming March, 2011. To a mall near you. In 3D.

Unless you get all huffy about the earlier eros-of-the-sea versions, there’s not much to take issue with here. With that pesky typography stripped out (“Guys, everyone’s freaking got it. Move on.”) they’ve allowed the core of their identity to breathe. And they are now free to market truck engines and fur coats under the Starbucks Experience Brand on Mars.

For such a large consumer brand, this seems like a slam dunk move. It’s a New Year PR kickoff with two months of pre-awareness in the bank. The execution is a clean heritage evolution (although I find it much easier to notice those cropped-off naughty spread fins). It’s inoffensive and seems much in line with their business strategy.

And here’s the new model in action: bring in the people. Don’t just lay it out there; let them be part of the process, as baked as it might be. Allow them access to, and by extension involvement in, the secret chambers and functions of your brand. That says: “You’re part of this too.”

A lot of people will embrace the opportunity, for better and worse.