Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post 26: Brand Bender for Starbucks

I was browsing NPR again and I noted this article on Starbucks. Apparently they've opened a nameless cafe somewhere in Seattle that now sells cheese and booze along with specialty french pressed coffees etc.

Makes me wonder about branding and what this move will do to Starbucks. Far be it for me to predict, but I think that the people who prefer to go to independent coffee shops will continue to do so no matter how anonymous Starbucks may become.

Here are my thoughts:

Not sure how this is going to play out for brand extension (or contraction as the case may be). It appears to be yet another marketing ploy to extend Starbucks' brand further and diversify its clientele.

Again, I don't think this is going to work so much. If your coffee shop needs to send people on field missions to figure out what a real coffee shop is like, you've kind of lost your way. Far from attractive, I think it might even repel people away from the place. Regular clientele may not recognize the brand and thus not want to buy. If it ain't broke, don't fix it?

And then there's the anonymity of the new layout. Really, am I going to walk into no-name land? I prefer to know the place where I'm going to be ingesting something.

Kind of reminded me of the artist, Prince. Even when he became "The artist formerly known as Prince" and then the Artist formerly known as the Artist formerly known as Prince, he was still the same person. Same fans, same music.

This may or may not work. It's for the future to tell. I personally think it's a strange way to go about your business.


Anonymous said...

Behold how I leave an anonymous comment of encouragement so as to be in keeping with this post!

Halfway home! AWESOME.

Mehnaz said...

haha! awesome!

Monique said...

I saw this story as well. It seems deceptive to me ... I mean, if you think you are going to a local coffeehouse, to support a local business, but it's really Starbucks? Not cool!

I found you via the Blogathon site, so I thought I'd stop and say hi. :)

Mehnaz said...

My thoughts exactly, Monique!