Starbucks Has Tricks Up its Sleeve to Recapture Customers

April 15, 2008 11:30 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
As part of reinstated CEO Howard Schultz’s move to rekindle Starbucks’ bond with customers, the coffee chain is bringing back its original logo.

30-Second Summary

Starbucks plans to use the mermaid logo that was designed at the company’s inception in 1971 on its cups and sleeves for eight weeks. Modeled after a mermaid found on an Old Norse woodcut, company founder and recently returned CEO Howard Schultz believes that the temporary switch will recall warm memories associated with the brand.

After the eight-week period is over, the logo will still be used on the packaging of its new Pike Place Blend.

Rob Giampetro of New York-based design firm Giampetro and Smith likens Starbucks’ 1970s throwback to those of Major League Baseball teams who charge upwards of $100 for families to attend games. “Now that Howard Schultz is back at the helm, this is definitely a nostalgia effort and a strong push to get back to the core values of the company," says Giampetro.

The 48 percent year-on-year slump in Starbucks shares from March 2006 to March 2007 has prompted Schultz to go on a campaign to combat the chain’s negative media and connotations.

The coffee giant has launched a new Web site,, specifically geared toward customer feedback.

In late March the chain installed new, smaller coffee machines to make it easier for baristas to interact with customers. Other initiatives planned for 2008 include customer loyalty cards and free refills for brewed coffee.

Early reactions suggest that the new measures could work to Starbucks’ advantage. reports that some financial analysts recommend holding or buying its stock.

Headline Link: ‘Starbucks’ Retro Logo’

Background: Starbucks introduces new, customer-friendly features

Key Player: Howard Schultz

Opinion & Analysis: Is Starbucks a wise investment?

Reference: Starbucks and its new site

The new Starbucks site

Related Topic: ‘Mom 'n' Pop Coffee Stores Take On Starbucks’


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