Starbucks Soon To Equal Coffee?

Over at Branding Post, we saw this quote about a grim dystopian future in which the word coffee no longer exists: when you pendulously breasted IHOP waitress emerges in a puff of brown cigarette smoke from the kitchens to demand your order, you won’t ask for a cup of coffee. You’ll ask for a Starbucks.

    (Starbuck’s) planned to raise hot coffee prices in the fall and wanted to use the iced summer drinks to help consumers become accustomed to the $2.60 price. Starbuck’s is always thinking at least two moves ahead, which is why some analysts have suggested that someday ‘Starbuck’s’ will be a synonym for coffee the way Jello is a synonym for gelatin and Kleenex is a synonym for facial tissue

What sort of idiot analysts are these? Why would that be a good thing for Starbucks? Jello and Kleenex are constantly trying to push the Sisyphean boulder of their own branding success back up the slope before it slides into common usage and they lose their trademark. In fact, Starbucks sues companies that even trivially violate their trademarks (see DoubleShot Coffee)… you can’t imagine their ominous corporate strategy is to make their trademark the common use term for a cup of joe the world over.

The Branding Post entry ends with this musing: “Before you scoff, think how big a bet you would have made, back in the day, that people would eagerly hand over a five-dollar bill for a cup of coffee, put a tip in jar on the counter and not have change left over to feed the parking meter.” What day was that? The day before people were easily influenced idiot buffoons? Sorry, we weren’t alive. Was anyone?

Jello=gelatin, Kleenex=facial tissue, Starbuck’s=coffee? Maybe not yet, but…

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.