Starbucks’s decision to drop its name from its two-decade-old logo led to a swarm of negative reaction online, in the news and in under-caffeinated lineups everywhere. It was pretty predictable—numerous studies have shown that customers loathe label-fiddling, as the likes of Wal-Mart, Pepsi and the Gap (which was forced to revert back to its old logo due to negative reaction over its redesign) have all discovered in recent years.
But marketing experts say there is an upside. If successful, the move could lead Starbucks to the same level of über-brand recognition as the wordless Apple and Nike logos. This would come at the perfect time, as Starbucks is currently planning to increase its expansion into international, non-English speaking markets, with its number of stores set to more than triple (from about 400 to 1,500) in China alone. Now it just has to hope that “the logo formerly known as Starbucks” actually catches on.