Competing with Starbucks


Why do coffee companies need a great logo and professional branding services? Because, at the heart of the matter, they are all competing with the global giant Starbucks. Starbucks is present in nearly every city, town and borough of our nation and in many outside the nation as well. It is the most recognizable coffee brand in North America and thus the brand to which all others are compared.

49th Parallel Roasters is a Vancouver, BC coffee roaster that is attempting to compete with Starbucks and other giants in the industry. They recently redesigned their logo. The original logo had a circular shape reminiscent of a globe along with a swoosh-like line at about the 49th parallel. The word “49th” was placed inside this shape (rather awkwardly, if you ask our expert opinion) with the word “parallel” layered on top of this, directly above the parallel line. The words “Coffee Roasters” were placed below in a font that, well, seemed to have little to do with the rest of the logo design. It was not the worst logo we have seen, but it doesn’t scream “global competitor” either.

The new coffee shop logo is a huge improvement. It is retro and modern at the same time, with a sleek and upscale look that will appeal to buyers of fine coffee. The blue color has been changed to a more aqua tone that is reminiscent of Tiffany, oozing quality and retro charm. The logo is now a true circle with information about the coffee inside. It feels like a stamp, implying quality once again.

This logo is professional and attractive, yet it does a great job of differentiating the company from the competition. It has a retro feeling that will appeal to many coffee drinkers. It also names it town and the Pacific Northwest as points of origin to give it a more local feeling.

One thing that we love about this coffee logo is that the deep brown so often seen in coffee related logo design has been given secondary status. The brown is simply overdone and obvious. We love the blue, and we think that it creates a calming brand that modern people will appreciate. This logo just feels high quality, which says only good things about 49th Parallel’s products.

Infusing your brand and your coffee website design with a small, local feeling is very important to modern businesses. More and more, consumers are giving preference to local companies and trying hard to patronize them over their global or national competition. While it used to be important to look “big” in your logo and brand, just the opposite is true now. In fact, we are seeing companies such as Starbucks rebrand to give themselves a smaller, local feeling.

Competing against global corporations with seemingly unlimited marketing budgets is one of the key challenges for modern small businesses. However, your business has the key advantage of being a smaller, more personal establishment. Make sure your logo and your brand show this advantage.