Talk about a lovemark. Arthur Odle and Rebecca Lightfoot, both of Montgomery, Ala., were married in a Starbucks coffee shop last week. The two had met there every morning before work, and Arthur even proposed to Rebecca over coffee.
Brands are increasingly playing a role in traditionally personal spaces that they never have before. Not only are they becoming places we tie the knot, but places that we call home—witness Ian Schrager's apartments at the Gramercy Park Hotel and W Hotels' residences in Dallas. This goes beyond the brand cult—communities of Harley fanatics, MINI motorists, or Mac addicts—to people who are branding the highly personal spaces in their lives. It's certainly a testament to the power of Starbucks as a third space—there's our homes, our workplaces, and now, our coffee-shop-cum-nuptial-site—and to the relationship it has with its customers. But what's next? Pottery Barn branded subdivisions? Churches named after Rick Warren?