In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last week, Starbucks is changing their logo. Gone is the outer ring reading “Starbucks Coffee” leaving just an updated version of the mermaid or siren in its place.
I’m no designer — not by a long shot — but taken into the context of the company’s three previous logos, the new version looks like a logical extension of that development.
But what fascinates me most, from a branding perspective, is that Starbucks has become so universally ubiquitous that the name is no longer needed. Green mermaid in a circle? Sure, that’s clearly and undeniably Starbucks, just as much as the golden arches are the unmistakable symbol of McDonald’s, or the swoosh undoubtedly belongs to Nike.
By removing the “coffee” from the logo, it also allows Starbucks to expand the brand. Expand to what, exactly? I’m not sure, but then again, 10 years ago I didn’t imagine that I’d be sitting in a coffee shop writing this post, so only time will tell.