Monday, January 10, 2011

Big brands in the news

Two big brands have been in the news recently regarding changes to their logos.
There has been mixed opinions amongst the design community on the news that Starbucks is to change their logo to exclude the words 'Starbucks Coffee'. The logo will now be just the mermaid image that has now become synonymous with the brand.

Recently in our article on 'Your brand is not just your logo', we pointed out that your logo is what triggers a feeling about or recognition of a brand. The rebranding of the Starbucks logo will allow the company to expand into other products. Is this such a bad thing for a business?

The logo is now well known, as is the brand. Everyone knows that Starbucks means coffee, particularly in the United States. So how will the new logo affect the brand?

The answer is, it won't change the fact that Starbucks makes coffee. It will gradually be recognised as the new logo for Starbucks, but the brand remains the same. Their product, reputation, image and customer experience has not changed, nor has the message they send to consumers.

The logo change purely means that consumers that know the brand will now need to train their memories to include the new logo, which will probably conjure up images of the old logo which will still lead them back to the brand.

The business of Starbucks actually began back in 1971 with their initial logo being a brown mermaid and including the words coffee and tea. 
To see how the logo has changed since the initial design was implemented, go to

It's very simple. Rebranding can work if it is developed in a way that keeps the brand familiar with customers. If it is a radical change, there is more work to be done to educate current customers and entice new ones.

Has anyone noticed that Woolworths is the old Safeway? How many people would remember the old Safeway logo? Is the new one easy to identify and does it represent the brand?

Rebranding of Target has also been in the news in the United States. There is talk that they may do away with the bullseye symbol and replace it with just the word 'Target'.
Is there really a need anymore for the bullseye symbol? The brand is now well known enough to just be a word.

I for one will miss the ads that those creative geniuses keep coming up with using the bullseye logo to demonstrate the products. I will be eagerly looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Don't be afraid of change. It can be as good as a holiday you know!

Click here to view some of our rebranding successes.

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