As part of its efforts to grow the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand via expansion to fast-food channels (i.e., Burger King), convenience stores and even vending machines, Starbucks has rebranded Seattle’s Best identity with a simpler, more contemporary logo and design.
Brandweek discussed Seattle’s Best growth plan and rebranding effort with Michelle Gass, president of Seattle’s Best Coffee, as well as Robson Grieve, president of Creature, the Seattle-based design firm that worked on the brand’s new identity. They offered some interesting insights on what they are trying to capture and accomplish with the new brand and logo identity:
On what challenges and category nuances they considered in the rebranding:
We started with the history. When you go back to the early approach, in the 1970s, the brand was very [whimsical] and fun, but some of that got lost and when we assessed the market today, we thought it was time to bring a little bit of that fun back. We don’t have to take the category too seriously.
On the goal of the rebranding and logo effort:
We are looking to create a global identity and this is not just a domestic play. We need a brand that reflects our values, and the ones I’m speaking about are fun, optimism, simplicity and mobility and also showing that with great design. When you see Seattle’s Best Coffee and all of our marketing, you’ll get a very clear picture of what we stand for.
On what drove the final creative execution and logo decision:
The thing it boiled down to was as we looked at the business plan, [we realized] that coffee was a bright spot for people and our coffee, [in particular], was a bright spot for people, whether they encountered it at a cafe or at a partner restaurant. We wanted to build a brand around this ideology . . . We wanted to take it and liberate it from this dense to dark structure and put it in a more modern form and turn it into a more flexible, universal symbol of great coffee not rooted in geography or culture, but really from place to place and all of these new places that we need to take it.
We love the new, clean design – but hope that its identity is maintained and noticed when its served at other food service venues with their own brand identities to push.