Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stealth starbucks, or just a new brand from Starbucks?

If you google for 'stealth starbucks', you'll find several references to Starbucks opening cafes that lack the Starbucks branding, apparently to try to pose as a local coffee shop. This is kind of hilarious. I thought branding was the 400 pound gorilla of marketing: why would anyone abandon such a well-known brand?

According to a couple of the articles, Starbucks employees have been seen taking notes in local coffee shops.

Oh, maybe it's not popular. One article said it's been losing money. Ok. I didn't know.

This has got to backfire, this day and age, word of the real source of any such company will spread fast.

On the other hand, it's delightfully weird. I would go look at such a thing if one opened nearby.

Some good comments here to give some perspective. Maybe it's not so odd. Selling wine might be the difference, so if they try out a store under a different name that also sells wine...that's more creating a new brand than hiding their brand.

Thanks to David Cramer for the tip about this phenom.

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