Coffee has been more than just a refreshing beverage. It is a perfect companion to begin your morning blues with, a great break between a busy day, an ideal thought-booster and it smoothly integrates itself within every aspect of our day. Starbucks has always been one of the favourites among coffee lovers. But do you know how this brand came into the market?
The Origin Story
An American Multinational chain of coffeehouse “Starbucks” was founded by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl. Three partners who met while they were students at the University of San Francisco opened their first store in 1971 at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
Alfred Peet, entrepreneur and the founder of Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Berkeley, California in 1966, was a major inspiration to the founders of Starbucks. The three partners were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and coffee instruments when Alfred Peet taught his style of roasting beans to create their own blends and flavours.
Peet’s became one of the initial suppliers of green coffee beans to Starbucks. By
the 1980s, Starbucks had opened a total of four stores in Seattle. In the same
year, Siegl left the company as he decided to pursue other interests.
In 1984, the Jerry Baldwin original owner of Starbucks purchased Peet’s Coffee. By 1986, the company operated a total of six stores in Seattle. Later in 1987, the original owner sold the Starbucks chain to Howard Schultz. The same year Starbucks opened its first outlet outside of Seattle in Vancouver, British Columbia and Chicago. By 1989, they opened around 46 Stores in Northwest and Midwest. This continued, by 1992 Starbucks had 140 outlets with revenue of US$73.5 million.
Later Starbucks entered the Indian market in October 2012 through a 50/50 joint venture with Tata Global Beverages called Tata Starbucks Ltd. and currently operates 191 stores in India. Apart from the food, beverages and products which were offered internationally, Starbucks in India got some Indian style food products such as Tandoori Paneer Roll, Chocolate Rossomalai Mousse, Malai Chom Chom Tiramisu, Elaichi Mewa Croissant, Chicken Kathi Roll and Murg Tikka Panini. Espresso sold in India is made from Indian Roasted Coffee supplied by Tata coffee. Later in 2017, Starbucks introduced its own Starbucks Tea brand “Teavana” which offered 18 different varieties of tea across its outlets in India.
Logo and Branding
Bowker, who owned an advertising agency with Terry Heckler, thought of beginning words as “St”. According to him, these words were powerful. The founders started making a list of words beginning from “St” and eventually landed on “starbo”. The team suggested the name “Starbuck”, the name of chief mate in the book Moby Dick.
The Starbucks logo has been designed as a twin-tailed mermaid also known as “Siren” known in Greek mythology. The logo has a bare-breasted, two-tailed mermaid. After lots of research, Heckler decided on a 16th century-old woodcut of a siren as his final inspiration.
The first version of the logo which was used from 1971-1987, the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully visible double fishtail. The logo had Starbucks coffee, tea and spices displayed a mermaid inside of a circular ring in a coffee brown colour palette
From 1987-1992, In the second version, which was used by Starbucks, the mermaid’s upper body was covered by her flowing hair but her navel was still visible. The logo’s colour was changed from brown to a kelly green which says more about fresh start, growth and prosperity. The logo also added two stars on either side.
The third version, used from 1992-2011, the logo colour and rest was kept as it is, they just cropped the mermaid where the navel and breasts are not visible at all. The tail was cropped too from the bottom, wider lines, significantly big face.
Later in January 2011, Starbucks announced few changes in the logo by removing the Starbucks coffee wordmark around the siren by enlarging the siren image and the palette colour to green by making her the face of the company. Since then the logo has remained unchanged.
Starbucks Gift Card
Starbucks introduced its first Gift Card in November 2001, the cards came with a tiny owner’s manual with instructions and a toll-free number. Since 1994, gift cards had been around as an alternative to paper gift certificates. The first major retailer who offered a reloadable card was Starbucks. Starbucks became the most popular holiday gifts of the season, who sold around 200,000 in the first week. Customers could give a meaningful gift to friends and family and helped to spread the word. Starbucks’ number of stores grew from 3,500 to more than 32,000 around the world.