A look at the brand marketing and design stores that caught our attention this week, with an eye on what's important, not just what's next:

Starbucks seeks to end 12-year deal with Kraft.Looking to regain control of its brand, the world's largest coffee chain wants out of its agreement with Kraft, which markets and distributes Starbucks and Seattle's Best coffees to supermarkets and stores. If forced to compensate Kraft for its business, Starbucks could end up paying more than $1 billion. Details here.

The evolution of the just-in-time consumer.For two decades, Americans thrived on bulk shopping. But the effects of the long recession have altered the way people make purchases-buying just what is needed for a specific time, as opposed to stocking up.The Wall Street Journal analyzes the effects of this new buying behavior.

Five essential packaging tips from a Snapple marketing veteran. Hired by Balance Bar to turn the struggling brand around, Michael Sands, former chief marketing office of Snapple and Ben & Jerry's, shares hiseffective packaging strategies.

Why mumbling louder is not a branding strategy.From Twitter to Facebook, the increase in social media has made it easier to communicate a brand's message. The only problem? Brands are still just as confused about what to say and how to say it.BRANDWEEK looks at the importance of a well-crafted and concise story.