Saturday, July 25, 2009
The Debranding Of Starbucks
The other day some colleagues of mine and I decided to go out for a cup of java before my show. When we hit the lobby of our building the inevitable question came up - Starbucks or another coffee shop?
In Manhattan you're never more than a few blocks away from a Starbucks. But sometimes you want a change of pace. Perhaps grabbing a cup of joe from a local coffee shop with its own, unique atmosphere.
Well the brain trust at Starbucks recognizes that people sometimes go for a local alternative. So they've come up with a way to avoid an erosion of business to a competitor. They are rebranding or debranding or unbranding some stores to make them look like independent coffee shops. But in reality - they'll still be offering the same chain brand fare.
For Starbucks it's a brilliant move. But for local coffee shop owners, it may seem like a stealthy, unfair tactic. And for the coffee consuming public, it makes it just a little bit more difficult to choose a local shop with its own unique ambience and product.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/miskan/18742153/