Peace, Love and….Coffee?

While coffee lovers around the world await the eagerly anticipated Starbucks holiday cups, the company has thrown a brand reinforcing tidbit our way in the form of its newest reusable cup.

Sold at the register for $2.00, these cups are “grande” size and can be used when ordering drinks. Made of plastic, they are designed for multiple use and can be recycled. To date, they have all been primarily white, mimicking a regular Starbucks paper cup. From time to time, they have had a thematic or purely artistic design, but always retained the large central Starbucks logo as the visual focal point.

Different and yet instantly recognizable

The back of the cup does have the Starbucks name and the different boxes for your coffee drink order. The front of the new cup is different, however, in a few ways.

•  First, the cup background isn’t white, but black

•  Rather than the large logo in the center, the focus is on three large words in white stacked vertically: Peace, Love, Coffee

•  Finally, while the logo is there, it is very small and at the bottom below the three much larger words

Despite this relative lack of branding, most viewers instantly identified it as a Starbucks creation. Even when the logo itself was covered, a random, non-scientific sample universe still guessed that it was a Starbuck’s product. Why?

1. The brand style is so strong and pervasive that with or without a logo, you know it’s Starbucks

2. Starbucks is becoming the “kleenex” or “xerox” of coffee – we are on our way to a point where people don’t go get a “coffee” anymore, they go get a “Starbucks”

Winning brands are recognizable with or without a name or logo through consistent and stringent application of brand essence throughout every product or service they offer. Optima Group helps wealth and asset management firms become brand leaders in the industry.