To reflect a new, more mature corporate identity, Starbucks is revising its logo and removing the words from it. From the AP:
…The fresh look goes with a new direction for the company as it makes its way back from its toughest times in its 40-year history….Starbucks leaders say the changes to the logo are in some ways a metaphor for the company dropping the boundaries of its own business and growing into new areas. Marketing experts agree.
“The brand is now evolving to a point where the coffee association is too confining and restrictive,” said John Quelch, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School. “Starbucks is fundamentally selling an experience, but by no means is coffee the only part of the experience. It is important that they not have a logo that is too confining.”
Starbucks looked to companies like Nike Inc. and Apple Inc., which had earned the clout with consumers to drop the words from their logos.
The logo is strong enough to stand alone without words, I agree with Starbucks marketers on that front. The question is whether Starbucks’ product and service innovations, like serving beer and wine, will buoy the company enough to keep it strong for decades to come.