Reputation Survey: Starbucks stays on top

The public has a higher opinion of Starbucks than any other high street coffee chain, but nearly half believe that plans to rebrand are a waste of time.

Staying on top: Starbucks
Staying on top: Starbucks

[Photo: Getty]

As Starbucks prepares to rebrand, new figures show it remains the UK public's favourite high-street coffee chain.

According to PRWeek/OnePoll's latest survey of 3,000 coffee drinkers, 44 per cent said Starbucks served the best-tasting coffee and 41 per cent said it was the chain of which they had the highest overall opinion.

And 46 per cent chose it as the high-street coffee chain that acted in the most socially responsible way.

But when asked which high street coffee chain or outlet serving coffee had the most reasonably priced coffee, McDonald's was the clear winner chosen by 33 per cent of the public, followed by Costa chosen by 20 per cent. Starbucks was only chosen by 16 per cent of respondents.

When it came to choosing from which outlet to buy coffee, 34 per cent of respondents said convenience of location was the most important factor, while 32 per cent picked the taste of the coffee. Just two per cent said they would choose a coffee outlet to buy from based on strength of brand.

On 11 January Starbucks announced that it was to change its iconic logo, removing the 'Starbucks Coffee', and get rid of its chunky white mugs in UK stores. While just ten per cent of the public thought the logo redesign was a good idea, 44 per cent said it would make no difference. But 66 per cent said the decision to get rid of the mugs was a bad idea.

There was more support for Starbucks' plans to open 30 'drive-thru' coffee shops in the UK, with 64 per cent saying this was a good idea.

Survey of 3,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll

HOW I SEE IT - Chris McCafferty, Founder and MD, Kaper

I personally like the proposed changes, and I've not historically been a big Starbucks fan. But it appears I'm in the minority.

The key statistic is that only two per cent of people choose their coffee on the strength of the brand. Starbucks has focused on convenience to the detriment of quality, with push-button machines prevailing over an authentic coffee.

The good news is Starbucks receives the highest scores in 'overall opinion,' and this gets to the heart of the new branding: its ambitions to stretch way beyond a double-shot latte. However, if you have to drop your core product in order to sell a different one, are you diversifying too far?

Starbucks has a long tradition of marketing innovation and is a massive global brand, so this will all no doubt pass like a storm in a non-branded coffee cup. But judging by the figures, there's a lot of work to do in communicating what the new logo's all about.

- Keep the mugs

66% of respondents said plans to remove Starbucks' chunky white mugs from its UK stores was a bad idea

- High street threat

47% agreed that high street chains threatened independent coffee shops

- Logo redesign

46% said removing 'Starbucks Coffee' from the firm's logo was a waste of money

- Convenience

36% of respondents said they would rather buy coffee from whichever outlet was closest

- No chains

13% said they never drank coffee from coffee chains

Which of the following high street coffee outlets do you think ...
...serves the best-tasting coffee?
Caffe Nero 13
Coffee Republic 3
Costa Coffee 33
Starbucks 44
Pret a Manger 3
McDonald's 3
Greggs 1

...serves the most reasonably priced coffee?
Caffe Nero 11
Coffee Republic 4
Costa Coffee 20
Starbucks 16
Pret a Manger 4
McDonald's 33
Greggs 12

...acts in the most socially responsible way?
Caffe Nero 7
Coffee Republic 10
Costa Coffee 21
Starbucks 46
Pret a Manger 7
McDonald's 7
Greggs 2



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