The basic question is: Do you know this mermaid well enough for her to carry an entire global brand?
Even though you may have seen her everyday for the past 40 years, I don’t think anyone has really noticed her. The Starbucks logo is being revamped and she’s the siren(not mermaid) who has quietly sat in the middle of their logo since 1971. But she’s now front and center. And alone without the words “starbucks” or “coffee”.
It’s a fact that logos need to be updated (or you’d still be looking at the nipples on the original woodcut version of the Siren while sipping a Caramel Macchiato).
But logo evolution, like all forms of brand evolution, needs to be a very slow and incremental process. I can see dropping the “coffee” out of the logo; but not the “Starbucks”. After all, Starbucks customers don’t go there for the coffee. They go there for the CUP.
In any case, it’s a treacherous time to be messing with a logo. (just ask GAP).