When is a Starbucks not a Starbucks? How about when the company changes the name of the store and remodels it to give it more of neighborhood feel?
According to a report by The Seattle Times, the coffee giant is opening three stores in the Seattle area with nary a mention of Starbucks in the store or on product packaging. A test store on 15th Avenue East will open as 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea.
Tim Pfeiffer, senior vice president of global design, said the name change is intended to give stores "a community personality."
The store will serve wine and beer in addition to coffee and tea. It will also host live music and poetry along the line of traditional coffee houses.
Michelle Barry, senior vice president of the Hartman Group, said Starbucks was looking to provide a compelling customer experience. "It's not about nostalgia per se, but more about telling a story and reappropriating some things from the past and re-imagining them in a new environment," she told the paper.
Discussion Questions: What do you think about Starbucks' attempt to present "a community personality" with its new store test? Is the chain acknowledging that it has brand image problems?
What chance for success do you give Starbucks' new community coffee and tea shop concept?