STARBUCKS COFFEE "The design process began when our company officers asked, 'Does our current packaging accurately reflect the image of Starbucks?' As a result, the brand now looks like the quality coffee that it is." the decisión, for instance, lo select a single color for all the bags, rather than different colors for each of the three bag sizes. At this point the design team had the foundation for the Starbucks "kit of parts" to be applied on various projects, where and how they worked best. LISTENING to THE client: It was during the design process that HADW demonstrated a strength that would prove key to success: the ability to listen well. This was doubtless one reason that, Chasan says, Starbucks saw very little from I1ADW that was "wrong." Assignments were made, and the design team consistently responded with workable solu- tions, demonstrating their grasp of "who Starbucks is," the company's needs and its reactions. The result was a sense of trust. Anderson emphasizes the collaborative nature: "We presented ranges of solutions, which we brought to the client for lurther development in partnership. We never go to a meeting without an opinión—and we are passionate about our opinions! But we're not rigid. In spite of how detailed the inlormation-gathering step may be, another 20 to 30 percent of input is gen- erated at the first working review meeting." "We're not the experts in their business—they are," Anderson adds. "We become translators, listening carefully and steering the design in the direction that's most effective for this client. Throughout the entire process we continuously ask ourselves how we can continué making this both fresh and hard- working, in a bottom-line way for Starbucks." Starbucks's Chasan recalls that a lot of emotion was involved. "We were pretty intense as a client, but we liked each other and got along well. Both of the 'teams' had an opinión about everything." Several Starbucks principáis participated in the design process, including Chasan, sénior VP-mar- keting George, Reynolds, marketing services man ager Myra Gose, and VP-merchandising Chris Harris. CEO Howard Schultz reviewed design deci- sions at critical points. At HADW, the Starbucks project was a team effort using the firm's "working partnership approach," coordinated by project manager and designer Julie Tanagi-Lock. Anderson underscored the word part nership. "There are no 'presentations' as such. The client will never hear, The design firm is now ready to come over and present our solution.' expanding the lineup: From the coffee bags, other design tasks quickly followed. HADW was asked to do syrup labels using many of the elements in the "kit," adding selective use of calligraphy. Other end products were added: first carne shop- ping and serving bags—even the tissues that accom- pany pastry Ítems; these were followed by food products, gií't sets, and various collateral, including the new annual report (Starbucks had ¡ust "gone public") and mail-order catalog. Anderson occasionally arranged for studio photog- raphy of the various design end products so the Starbucks team could see how all of the new Ítems looked together-the integrated, "branded image" of Starbucks, in which distinct components were designed to hang together as a family. Anderson notes how the mail-order catalogs, like the packaging, were drawn from the by-now evolved "kit of parts." "Here we attempt to reproduce the warm feelings of community unique to Starbucks's stores," he says. "In addition to the warm, rich design, anecdotes and helpful tips are employed to portray a friendly, sharing service attitude." The Starbucks white cup represented a special design issue. HADW developed alternative cup designs, but they didn't push the company too hard to malee a change away from puré white. Ultimately, it was decided that the Starbucks white cup is a kind of "sig- nature" for the company and should not be changed. The Starbucks graphics program developed by HADW has received international acclaim both in the design industry and the business community, winning more than 40 awards to date. The packag ing components and annual reports were also selected by the Library of Congress for inclusión in its permanent collection in Washington, D.C. Asked to summarize Starbucks's experience in working with a top design firm to get award-winning results, Chasan said packaging is crucial because it reflects the face of the brand. "In our case, the design work wasn't done to alter the image of the company—it was done to reílect an already positive and popular image," he said. "It was a process that began when our company officers asked, 'Does our current packaging accurately reflect the image of Starbucks?' Where the answer was no, we took steps to malte it stronger. As a result, the brand now looks like the quality coffee that it is." [87|

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