On the Starbucks Newsroom website, I found this article about Starbucks hiring US veterans, which reminds me of the improvement on brand image that PR activities can bring. Starbucks announced to adopt a comprehensive hiring platform for veterans and active duty spouses in anticipation of a 500,000 person in the future global workforce. This action will not only decrease the high unemployment rate of veteran groups, but also help Starbucks build and maintain a positive image, showing that it produces tasty coffee & beverages along with supporting the community to become more socially sustainable.
By publishing articles online and releasing news, Starbucks made efforts to let potential consumers realize the incredible value that Starbucks has created. It emphasized the idea that many veterans are talented individuals who have team work skills, high level of integrity, the ability to handle stress and learn to utilize those transferable skills into workplace. Hiring those individuals are beneficial to both the veteran community and Starbucks itself.
To enhance the positive impact of this PR activity, Starbucks emphasized the fact that it received the recognition and applause from Joining Forces which spoke on behalf of the First Lady and Dr. Biden. The great brand image and reputation that a successful PR activity creates will definitely motivates more companies to think about how to reward the community and make smart business decisions just like Starbucks. Most importantly, the PR activity has to do something real good for the society, otherwise there may be serious backfire incurred to damage the brand image.
Video: Interview with veterans who are hired by Starbucks
Anita’s blog inspired me to write another blog about brand repositioning. Here is the link to her blog for your convenience. http://blogs.ubc.ca/anitafacundo/2013/10/15/30/
Rebranding refers to a strategy in which marketers change a brand’s focus to target new markets or realign the brand’s core emphasis with changing market preferences. Often companies and brands need to reposition or rebrand themselves in order to stay up to date with society and often due to losses in market share.
In 2011, Starbucks abandoned the external ring of it brand name, which turned out to be simpler. This action implied that Starbucks would extend to more other fields. Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks, said in a webcast: “We’ve allowed [the Siren] to come out of the circle in a way that gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee.” The high recognition degree of its logo will unconsciously impose Starbucks’ brand image to its new products. Due to consumers’ trust and loyalty, it will lead to success in popularize its new products.
With the evolution of the brand logo, consumers can taste the changes in Starbucks’ business strategy which is to further implement its brand extension, such as snacks, coffee mugs, candies… Meanwhile, it stays loyal to the image of Siren – a storyteller, who carries the lore of Starbucks ahead, and remembers their past; a muse, that is always there, inspires them and pushes them ahead. (Steve.M)
Since the myth of siren is well known to consumers, the picture of siren is chosen. Siren is part of the culture which indicates that Starbucks is a brand with deep meaning. Thus, customers will define the brand as of high quality and classy, and keep buying its coffee and more.