It’s all the buzz in the Twittersphere – Starbucks, the legendary coffee company – is changing its logo. As you can see in the image, the most recent transformation (bottom/right) leaves off the Starbucks name and seems to try to disassociate it from its coffee roots.
A Reuter’s article quotes Starbucks‘Ã‚Â Chief Executive Howard Schultz as saying, “Even though we have been, and always will be, a coffee company and retailer, it’s possible we’ll have other products with our name on it and no coffee in it.”
It’s not unusual for brand loyalists to revolt when a company makes a major change like this (for example, GAP recently ditched its new logo due to pressure on social media channels). But a new logo without the company name? That is an interesting move.
The Reuters article quoted James Gregory, chief executive of brand consulting firm CoreBrand:
“I think it’s nuts,” he said.Ã‚Â “What’s it going to be — the coffee formerly known as Starbucks?”
The new logo probably will not hurt cafe sales in the near term because most Starbucks customers are enthusiasts, Gregory said. But, he said, a nameless logo was a bad fit for Starbucks products sold by grocery stores and other retailers.
“There you’re dealing with people who aren’t enthusiasts. You’re looking at something that’s almost generic, and it’s not shouting out as something that is Starbucks.”
THAT (bolded) is the quote that really grabbed me, and convinced me to jump on the bandwagon and write about this issue. (Which, admittedly, as many on Twitter have noted, is not a matter of life and death.)
If you’re a typical job seeker, you can’t do what Starbucks is doing — go generic. They are banking on the fact that enough people recognize their logo and brand that they do not even need a name to go with it. Is that what you are doing? Maybe your resume and job search materials are okay if you already know the person you need to meet. (Akin to a Starbucks loyalist shopping in a grocery store who sees a new product, with the nameless logo, but automatically makes the association that it is a trusted brand’s item.)
Going generic is a big gamble, as Gregory noted in his comments. It might work for current customers/people who already are “sold” on you, but, unfortunately, job hunting today is more about impressing the people who DON’T know you already. The people who are NOT already your fans. What are you doing with your materials (and your networking efforts) to impress them?
This situation is a great reminder to job seekers and everyone planning to manage a successful career: look at YOUR materials (they are, essentially, your logo). Look at your resume, LinkedIn profile, social networking bios — are you generic? If you have not already built a name for yourself to the point that employers are knocking on your door, you cannot afford the equivalent of a logo with no name. (It’s possible that it’s not even a good idea for an otherwise very established brand like Starbucks; only time will tell.)
Stay tuned to the blog for tips and tricks to help you stand out online and in person! (And maybe a blog about how Starbucks may be trying to do the equivalent of a career change — and what you can learn from that!)