Past Winners

Starbucks Brand Transformation Winner

By the fall of 2010, Starbucks had posted its slowest two years of growth in its 40-year history. Customers, partners, and stakeholders worried that the coffee giant had lost its identity. The company understood it had to rebuild trust before it could realize its goal of sustainable global expansion. Along with Edelman, Starbucks conducted research to discover that stakeholders globally felt they were no longer engaged with the brand. A connection would have to be reestablished and tailored strategically to ensure priority and relevance in every market. One goal was to demonstrate Starbucks’ transformation, which included the unveiling of a brand new look worldwide and a reclaiming of its coffee heritage through a global beverage and food launch. From there, moments would be created to reinforce a personal connection with various stakeholders. Starbucks’ 40th anniversary celebration would be a constant theme that was brought to life through new cups and logo unveil events in five cities worldwide. Global efforts continued in the form of an Onward Book Tour with CEO Howard Schultz. He visited 16 markets to promote his book and share the story of Starbucks’ transformation and engage with attendees in town hall-style meetings and lectures. On the heels of these efforts, a Morgan Stanley analyst was among many to upgrade his stock recommendation of Starbucks. Moreover, in Q3 2011, the company posted record revenue, operating income, and earnings per share. “Starbucks showed how PR can lead to tangible business results,” said one judge. “PR was a hero in this turnaround.”





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