Everyone has now heard that Starbucks has removed its name from its ubiquitous green circle-encased siren. This symbol-only brand identity is very risky given the backlash against Starbucks in recent years. Starbucks has been accused of being too big, not offering sufficient employee benefits and for offering coffee mainly from non fair-trade sources, and sweets and pastries that contain more calories than most people need to consume in an entire day. I have not seen them do much to address these core issues. And now this move sends a signal that “we are so big and powerful, we don’t need to use a name.” That’s a risky position, especially internationally where Starbucks is intent on growing its brand presence and where the United States is viewed as being less than humble.
I predict that the only good outcome of this for Starbucks is the huge number of blogs and media coverage.