February 3, 2007
The Week the Starbucks Brand Name Should Have Stayed in Bed
The Starbucks brand name has had a heck of a week.
- First of all, its detractors regarding its Ethiopian coffee names have not lessened the attack, with an Oxford professor weighing into the debate yesterday.
- It just resumed the fight to protect its name against a small time roaster in New Hampshire named "Charbucks."
- Worse, yesterday, according to Consumer Reports, customers ranked McDonald’s coffee higher than Starbucks, calling Starbucks coffee "strong, but burnt and bitter." Ouch!
- People are also starting to give the baristas fake names when they order — some customers call themselves "Chewbacca" or "Frankenstein" or just "The Man."
- As if all that wasn’t enough, a Chinese news anchor is leading a movement to get Starbucks kicked out of the Forbidden City because the company's presence there "undermined the Forbidden City’s solemnity and trampled over Chinese culture."
I think Starbucks should just write this week off entirely — sometimes, when you are the top company name in any field, you just gotta duck and cover because everybody has it out for you. Chin up, Starbucks: as the saying goes, "nobody kicks a dead dog."
The Starbucks brand name can withstand this onslaught. Starbucks is a great iconic brand name, with a rich heritage and great future.
But I do need to ask, are you giving fake names to your local Starbucks? What’s yours?
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