Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marc Massoud

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Rights Information

© 2012 Brittany Isobe


When the first Starbucks opened in 1971, not even the founders expected that just two decades later, it would become one of the strongest international corporations. Starbucks has experienced unprecedented growth and unfathomable success. The company grew from 17 stores in the company’s founding years to approximately 17,000 stores across 55 countries just 40 years later.1 According to the corporate website, the Starbucks mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time”.2

In order to fulfill their mission statement, Starbucks has to mold their company to align with the ever-changing consumer interests. Starbucks has continued to use its logo as the symbol of change in the company’s product base. Over the years, Starbucks’s brand name has consistently strengthened and was a determinant factor in the company’s unparalleled success. The corporation’s first major logo change in 1987 reflected the move away from a main-street coffee shop and into a more modern espresso bar that offered a broader array of products. The company’s second major logo change occurred in 1992 when Starbucks had their initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange.3 Finally, this thesis will examine the impacts of Starbucks most recent logo change in 2011, and will conclude that better accounting methods must be created to quantify the value of a strong brand like Starbucks.

1 "Year in Review: Fiscal 2011." Starbucks Global Responsibility Report – Goals and Progress 2011. Starbucks Corporation. Web. 2 Feb. 2012. .

2 Starbucks Corporation. "Our Mission". Starbucks Home Page. 28 Feb 2012. Web. .

3 Schultz, Howard, and Joanne Gordon. Onward: How Starbucks fought for its life without losing its soul. New York, NY: Rodale, 2011. 1-11.

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Economics Commons