Is there a person in this country who doesn’t know about Starbucks? What a testament to a brand name. Well, yesterday’s story in The USA Today indicates that Starbucks is experimenting with the idea of changing their name. To be perfectly honest, they’re only considering a name change as an extension of their brand. They opened a new store that sells wine and beer called, 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea inspired by Starbucks. (Obviously they weren’t worried about the size of the domain name). Depending on the success of this store, more like it could be seen in other locations. Scott Bedbury, CEO of the Brandstream consulting firm (and former marketing chief at Starbucks), says it like this, “If you stop innovating, you’re dead.” I guess with that in mind, change is a good thing!
Starbucks selected the name for the experimental, new store based on its location. But where did the name Starbucks come from? Inquiring minds want to know! According to the book, From Altoids to Zima by Evan Morris, Starbucks founders, Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegel liked the seafaring connection to the “coffee-loving first mate”, Starbuck, in Herman Melville’s classic story, Moby-Dick. In fact, this is why the first store had a nautical theme and the famous Starbuck’s logo has an image of a mermaid.
To make the topic of Starbucks and names even more interesting, consider this. You can also have your own Starbucks Name. I don’t know what started this phenonomenon, but sometimes in busy Starbucks stores, people have started giving baristas a pseudonym when placing their order. Intriguing. What’s behind this trend? Busy stores? Complicated names? Thick accents? Someone with too common a name desiring something a little different? (Maybe some of the 4 million Jim’s are tired of fighting over the same order…or do people with the name “Jim” actually go to Starbucks?)
Think about it. Just as Starbucks is opening a store with a new name, you can go into Starbucks and have a new name as well. In fact, there is even a Starbucks Name Generator where, if you’re not feeling particularly creative, you can have a database-generated Starbucks name for yourself.