The expand-at-all-costs model used by so many retail and food chains over the past decades is a wrap, and it's been interesting to see what some of the massive chains are coming up with as a new plan. Which brings us to Starbucks, which is opening three unbranded coffee and tea houses in Seattle.So what does "unbranded" even mean? No logos, customer-organized poetry readings, wine and beer in the evenings, bring-your-own-CD-and-put-it-on policies, etc. Even the name "Starbucks" only appears in a small font, in a few locations, with the phrase "Inspired by Starbucks." (Unclear whether the tall, grande, venti sizing has also been retired.)This seems to have the potential to create a whole different kind of location-specific loyalty (not to be confused with the "brand loyalty" every company seems to have been trying to create for eons)-a far cry from the latte-to-go-within-spitting-distance-of-wherever-you-are model. Main angle here: Local.Is it, as one blog
called it, "one of the more brazen attempts by a corporation to disguise itself as a locally owned business"? Or, as another
put it, an example of Starbucks "returning to its roots"?We haven't been to one yet, so we're not going to weigh in, but as an idea, it's undeniably compelling.Image via Full disclosure: GOOD occasionally works with Starbucks, like on our GOOD Sheet project.