Yesterday, Word Broke That Starbucks – The Quintessential Corporate American Coffee Chain – Is Testing Out A New Branding Strategy. See This CNN Money Article for all the details.
Starbucks is the chain we all love to hate. They are, simply put, accessible. They
are everywhere, though not as omnipresent as they were a year ago. Regardless, there are still 2 on every corner in NYC. But this chain of anonymous cafe’s is in some serious trouble. American’s, myself included can’t afford their pricey crap anymore and have realized that they can save a lot of money getting it elsewhere.
I Can’t Imagine That McDonalds’ “McCafe” campaign has done much – those commercials annoy the hell out of me & I have absolutely no interest in buying coffee in a venue that reeks oily french fries. But Maybe That’s Just Me.
Dunkin Donuts notwithstanding, I’ve chosen to abandon all corporate coffee, altogether; instead running next door to the closest family owned cafe, diner, or deli for a plain old cuppa joe – No Fancy Lattes or Iced Caramel Machiattos.
But back to the issue at hand. Starbucks has chosen to “rebrand” by completely abandoning anything and everything “Starbucks”
According the the Chicago Tribune:
A Seattle outlet of the 16,000-store coffee behemoth is being rebranded without visible Starbucks identifiers, as 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea.
Two other stores in Starbucks’ native Seattle will follow suit, each getting its own name to make it sound more like a neighborhood hangout, less like Big Coffee, a Starbucks official told The Seattle Times on Thursday.
Here’s the problem – The Execs at Starbucks aren’t addressing the issue at hand. Rebranding a few stores as old school, local, homey, coffee shops is great. It’s much more appealing than their bland & sterile unitheme. But the reason they’re seeing less “Foot Traffic” isn’t because of the atmosphere, decor, lack of music, or lack of alcohol – It’s because they sell overpriced crap. And the only way to fix things is to start selling better coffee for less $$$$.
The luxury of Starbucks, so enticing only 1, 2 years ago, has dissipated as value now trumps the accessibility and semblance of cleanliness they might exude. This rebranding would have probably boosted sales immensly, back then. But I don’t think it will help now, even in the slightest, save for a few alcoholics looking for a quick buzz.
This “Rebranding” Reeks of Desperation. It’s something that they should have done years ago & have implemented too late and is grossly misdirected from a marketing standpoint.
What do you think? Will This help the failing chain? Can Anything Save Starbucks at this point? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the new look, the liquor, the music. I just don’t think it addresses the cause of their decreased sales & foot traffic.