Has Starbucks become so iconic they no longer need to include their logo on products?

You may notice your coworker walking in with a rather bright coffee cup today and wonder where it came from. But one quick look at that iconic circle will tell you exactly where she got her coffee and that it’s from the international coffee giant Starbucks. To kick off the new season upon us Starbucks is unveiling something you’ve never seen before: pastel-colored “spring” cups.

No, they’re not Easter-themed cups, although one design illustrates a bunny. No, they’re not promotional material for new beverages, even though Starbucks unveiled two new iced drinks this month. They are for, as Starbucks puts it, “[…] celebrating the season with its first-ever spring hot beverage cup.”

I’m a loyal Starbucks connoisseur, even living in a coffee-rich area such as Portland I still find myself going to the green siren for my caffeine fix. I was shocked to see that Starbucks eliminated their signature logo on these new spring cups and instead left a white circle in place of the famous mermaid. This got me thinking, is Starbucks so large and iconic they can now surpass putting logos on products and transcend their own brand identity?

This isn’t the first time Starbucks has decided to nix the siren on their hot Starbucksbeverage cups. Notably, in the past they have made headlines for changes in cup color or lack of design in anticipation for their holiday cups.

I’m interested to see if there will be any controversy with the unveiling of Starbucks’ new spring cups, as with previous designs in the past. Some critics have claimed they are Easter-themed cups, despite being available a month before the holiday. As my colleague Mike puts it, “It’s interesting that such a tame controversy is making national headlines. It’s just a pastel cup.” I couldn’t help but agree, and also mentally note how I am going to visit Starbucks so I can get a pastel cup for myself. And no word yet if they will be launching a specialty drink in association with them. Even without the logo, I’m willing to bet the white circle alone on these cups will be enough to indicate to by-passers which brand its affiliated with. Prepare for the onslaught of trendy pictures on your social media (I will be guilty of this) with these pastel cups and know they are Starbucks way of saying hello to spring.