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Half Naked Mermaid on Starbucks logo!! πŸ§œβ€β™€οΈ πŸ§œβ€β™€οΈ πŸ§œβ€β™€οΈ πŸ§œβ€β™€οΈ

Branding Mistake or Genius?!

Don't be afraid to break the rules when it comes to your logo. Innovation can sometimes be more effective than conformity.

- David Carson

It was 1971 and the 3 founders from Seattle decide to open a coffee shop. Inspired by a prime character from Herman Melville's Novel "Moby Dick", they decided to name their venture Starbucks.

Further, seeking a logo that reflected their city's maritime heritage, the founders took inspiration from a greek mythological character, a Siren.

In Greek Mythology a Siren would would use her beauty to seduce the sailors and lure them into crashing their ships off on coastal islands, which is exactly what β€œStarbucksβ€œ wanted, except their logo would lure customers into buying some super amazing coffee.

Initially, the siren was depicted with bare breasts, with her twin tails spread seductively. This sparked controversyΒ and ignited debates about its appropriateness. The controversy gave the brand a lot of free publicity to get the business up and running. The image quickly gained recognition and became deeply intertwined with the brand's identity.

In essence, the half-naked mermaid on the Starbucks logo is a visual metaphor for the irresistible allure of their coffee.

However, in the year 1987, the original owners sold Starbucks to their former director of marketing Howard Schultz, who rebranded his Giornale coffee outlets as StarbucksΒ and began to expand the company. This expansion meant opening multiple outlets outside of Seattle and a Half-Naked Mermaid didn’t make the cut, as it might have brought more backlash than publicity. Schultz wasted no time in rebranding the Logo to the iconic green logo which we see today.

The mermaid received a makeover. Her breasts were covered by her long hair, the words Tea and Spices were dropped and the green colour defined the freshness of the brand’s coffee.

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Later In 2008, the company attempted to rebrand by going back to its very first Logo, for which they received massive backlash for the nudity, also their audience was now so accustomed to their signature green branding that the company had to take it down. Later in 2011, they introduced a more minimal and text free green logo which you see now.

The Starbucks’ logo might not be regarded as the best marketing strategy even by the top designers and marketers of today, but at the end of the day, IT WORKED!!

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