Starbucks Timeline Essay

Starbucks is a coffee company that aims to sell high quality coffee beans. The name Starbucks is a character from Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick. Their logo is a two legged siren from Greek mythology who is known to lure sailors in and crash their ships. The owners wanted this to have the same impact but instead they would lure coffee lovers to buy their coffee (Tailor Brands 2022).  They have a holistic approach to branding as they let the coffee advertise itself through the taste rather than market the company. They welcome feedback from customers and have a more personal way of doing business.

In 1966 Alfred Peet opened a small store, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, in Berkeley, California. This was the inspiration for Starbucks business model (Petruzzello 2022).  The first Starbucks was founded by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl in 1971 near the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle (MBA Knowledge Base 2018). The initial logo was released with a brown color. In 1980 Siegel decided to leave the company in order to pursue a separate path and Baldwin became the company president (Petruzzello 2022).  

In 1982 Satarbucks gained a new member, Howard Schultz,  hired as the head of marketing. Schultz was originally a sales representative for Hammarplast, a Swedish company that would sell Starbucks their drip- coffee makers. Starbucks would order a lot of inventory and so Schultz decided to see what the company did. He was so astonished by their work that he requested a job (Petruzzello 2022). This would lead to a new opportunity for Starbucks as Schultz introduced a more friendly approach to customers and designed pamphlets to show all their coffee and description. This was a new approach to customer service.

Things changed when in 1983 Schultz made a trip to Milan and was inspired by their cafes. He pitched the idea to the owners on expanding their coffees to lattes and cappuccinos but they refused as they wanted a more simple approach (MBA Knowledge Base 2018). This did not discourage Schultz as the first Starbucks latte was served in 1984 in downtown Seattle to test Schultz’s idea. However, in 1984 Schultz left Starbucks and created “Il Giornale” to pursue his cafe idea. He was an immediate success and soon branched out to make more cafes. Unfortunately, in 1987 the original founders, Baldwin and Bowker, decide to sell Starbucks and Schultz buys it with the money he made from his previous cafes (Petruzzello 2022). Schultz implements a new logo that creates the iconic green. To go along with it he creates new uniforms, green aprons (Tailor Brands 2022).

Once Schultz came into charge there were many redesigns and additions to the company.  In 1992 Schultz refined and simplified the logo by cropping the siren so that only her face is shown (Raghav 2022) . Schultz also introduced the first drive-thru service in 1994 in order to increase sales. Starbucks began expanding and even opened stores outside North America in 1996. Some of which are in Japan and Singapore. In addition a new drink,Starbucks’ iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte, was invented in 2003 (Meisenzahl 2021).

In 2007 Starbucks had difficulty as stocks dropped as competitors such as McDonalds and Dunkin’ ros in popularity.This led to the decision of Schultz returns as CEO in 2008 to make cutbacks and make changes such as adding baked goods and instant coffee (Meisenzahl 2021). They attempted to bring back the old logo for the 40th anniversary which they ultimately revoked because customers disliked it and wanted the old one back (Tailor Brands 2022).  In addition to this in 2009 a new mobile app was created which allows customers to earn points with every purchase as well as order ahead. They also give a free drink as a birthday gift (Meisenzahl 2021).

There have been other additions to the menu since Schultz came back which were the last updates of Starbuks as of now. There was a redesign of the logo in 2011 where it takes away the “Starbucks Coffee ” logo and has been minimized to the siren (Tailor Brands 2022). This logo has been kept and is what we see currently in their branding. In 2012 they had a huge addition by buying out Teavana and now adding  refreshments to their menu. 2015 was when cold brew was introduced and in 2016 Starbucks added vegetarian options such as the impossible sausage as well as lactose free milk. This is done to attract more customers with more variety and options. Finally most recently in 2017 customizable drinks increased with the rising trends on social media. There are more ways to customize drinks by adding or removing ingredients (Meisenzahl 2021).


Petruzzello, Melissa. “Starbucks.” Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Apr. 2022,

“History and Background of Starbucks.” MBA Knowledge Base, 20 Sept. 2018,

“A History of the Starbucks Logo.” Tailor Brands, 2 May 2022,

Meisenzahl, Mary. “The 50-Year Rise of Starbucks, from a Single Seattle Location Selling Roasted Beans to One of the Most Recognizable Brands in the World.” Insider, Business Insider, 20 Mar. 2021,

Raghav, Saumya. “Starbucks Logo – an Overview of Design, History and Evolution.” Designhill, 14 Apr. 2022,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.