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Logos are vital tools used by organizations and companies to give them that competitive edge. The adoption of logos generally portrays creativity and the artistic nature of the organization in context. Good logos are those that are seen to be unique and distinctive. Adapting to a logo and trademarks has overtime become a universal trend acting as the podium where companies have to outdo each other. Usually, logos are expected to be unique and distinctive in the business world to allow an organization to not only differentiate itself from competitors but also assist in the establishment of an organization’s identity.

The article,’ Logos by the Numbers’ (James Bowie, 2005) asserts that the designers of logos and trademarks by all means avoid presenting their work for scrutiny and analysis from external entities. This according to the author is a channel of work devaluation and undermines creativity. With prejudice from all cycles, Bowie gives an objective perspective into trends and patterns that characterize creative patterns and designs. The evolution of the Starbucks logo has transformed since 1987 usually marked with alterations in the logo. The classical bare-breasted mermaid dubbed as a ‘siren’ is an original from the sixteenth century Norse woodcut. It has however been transformed into a more modest image to avoid any gender offending controversies. The logo was intended to pay tribute to all ancient coffee growers and sellers with maritime origins. Notably, the logo’s color has changed from brown to green which according to the company is more appealing and seems more refined. The latest rendition of the Starbucks logo consists of a mermaid with a pentagram on top of her head and inverted crosses below her eyes.  As expected, a myriad of controversies were sparked by the rather ‘absurd’ symbol.

The Starbucks Company Logo

Despite continuous changes over the last forty years of the group’s existence, one symbol remains constant; the mermaid siren. A siren is a marine creature in Greek mythology that lured mariners to death traps using their songs. In most contexts, the mermaid siren is perceived as a satanic imagery of a woman who spreads her circuitous legs. The black and white colors have also been linked to Masonic duality with the inner circle of the logo portraying a secretive inner society of unknown individuals. The mermaid’s wavy hair represents the waves in the ocean with some reflection of 666 which again has over time been linked to Satanism. At the end of the tail fins, the mermaid makes a sign of an ancient rune sign that symbolizes death; although other spheres of information argue that the sign is a peace symbol.

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Starbucks and Religion

Criticism has always been sparked on issues concerning the Starbucks logo. In March 2011, Starbucks unveiled a new logo to commemorate its 40th anniversary in the American market. The new redesigned logo incorporates the company’s signature mermaid symbol on a ring with green and white color schemes. However, a notable change was the omission of the company’s name on the logo. During the unveiling, the group’s CEO, Howard Schultz applauded the works of the involved designers who assisted in simplifying the logo s that more customers could easily identify with the logo not only in America but also in other parts of the world. Religious based groups however immensely criticized the logo with arguments that the logo, especially the latest rendition portrays devilish images and symbols. These views have linked the organization to Satanism thus portraying it as an evil company to some individuals in the society. Since its inception four decades ago, the Starbucks Company has been accused of promoting pagan values and Satanism. The Seattle-based company has relentlessly in its defense maintained that any imagery portrayed in the new logo was not intentionally placed to promote Satanism or any alleged cult or religion. On legal dimension, it is argued that as a licensed corporation, Starbucks has full rights to exercise or support any religion of choice in justification of their rights. In addition to this, the company has been tasked with fights against negative propaganda concerning the ingredients of their coffee. A case in point was the allegations that Starbucks coffee contained processed bones and eyeballs and other ‘nasty stuff’.

To counter the effect of negative publicity brought by religion spheres, Starbucks launched an incorporation of a God quote on every cup. This according to the company would give the consumers a spiritual shake and bring a stop to the upheaval that resulted from the logo of the company. Utilizing the services of Reverend Rick Warren of the famous book,’ The Purpose-Driven Life’, the coffee company will be the first mention God in an apparent provocative campaign. The message reads, “You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He wanted you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your real purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only through God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance and our destiny." Analysts avow that with modernization, more Americans have learnt to be accommodative of even overt ideas on religion and Starbucks has taken this to another level with of course a light touch.  Undoubtedly, the logo sparks applaud and criticism in equal measure.

Starbucks Company is established in the United States but due to rapid growth, it has expanded to the rather unexploited markets of china, India and the Czech Republic. Starbucks believes in community service and are committed to assisting the community to prosper wherever they launch their business. Giving back to the community has become a heritage for the company with the objective to be an agent for positive change. According to the company’s reports, Starbucks employees, partners, customers and friends join together to carry out noble intentions of leaving a positive impact in societies. For instance, the report asserts that in April 2011, over sixty thousand volunteers from four continents were involved in service in thirty countries. Monetary support provided by the company to fund different projects also amounted to estimates of up to 3.3 million (USD) in one year.

The importance of education cannot be over emphasized in our contemporary society. With this spirit, the Starbucks Company has maintained its support in the sector in china and the United Kingdom. Young people are trained on emerging issues that directly have an impact on them with the aim of enabling them to solve their problems. Similarly, volunteerism is exhibited in activities such as establishment of irrigation systems in arid areas, rubbish management, schools’ renovations, and transformation of community facilities such as parks and provision of basic healthcare. In all this activities, the company maximizes on community participation to encourage ownership, support and pride in achievement.

 

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