BR Video: Are 'stealth' Starbucks cafes a good idea?

LONDON - After last week's news that Starbucks is trialling a new store format branded as independent local cafes in the US, we asked UK consumers what they make of the strategy in the latest Brand Republic video -- watch it now.

The Starbucks unbranded cafe trial, which is running in the coffee giant's home city of Seattle, uses the address of the cafe in its branding -- for example one is called 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea. In addition the products sold are also not Starbucks-branded.

Some people we talked to felt that approach might bring them through the door because the outlets would seem like independent stores, which they are in favour of supporting.

Others said the strategy would not work for them because the shop "would still be Starbucks even if it was rebranded" and that they would be more likely to visit the coffee shop chain if it reduced its prices.

One person said: "If I didn't know it was a Starbucks I would probably wonder about the quality of the coffee. Whereas if I knew it was a Starbucks I would know it was good quality coffee."

One respondent said: "I would be more likely. But I think it's a bit of a con and if I knew that it was a Starbucks I wouldn't go there because I would feel cheated."

One of the rebranded Starbucks outlets is also trialling poetry readings and live music.

Many people thought this was a great idea to draw customers in, but some also suggested the chain try offering more food products, a selection of books to read and something to occupy children, such as pens and paper.