Great branding is the result of a uniquely memorable image and name, and widespread consumer recall of all of the components of your brand. Brand guru Martin Lindstrom suggests the “smashing your brand” test to examine the quality of your branding by acknowledging the value that every single element at play in defining your brand's identity. A brand is indeed a cross-sensory experience—how it feels; is touched; how it sounds and smells; and how it looks; and how it evokes personality.
The folks at Starbucks know a thing or two about branding, and it appears they understand how their brand can be “smashed” and still evoke its brand personality.
Recently, Starbucks collaborated with the designers at Rodarte—a fashion label, to create a few limited edition gifts during the 2012 holiday shopping season. They designed a tumbler, a tote bag, a reusable up sleeve, and a Starbucks card.
What they didn’t use on these items was the Starbucks logo.
Or at least in its traditional form.
Rodarte’s Starbucks logo is highly pixelated. At first you might think your eyes are playing tricks on you—and they are. The pixelated logo still screams Starbucks with its familiar greens and grays, and the vague suggestion of the mermaid logo. It is all there—just not the way we are used to seeing it.
Even smashed, the Starbucks logo delivers instant brand recall.