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Branding Is Not Everything

Branding Is Not Everything

I recently saw a dangerous meme posted online showing two 16oz coffee cups side by side. Above the plain white cup was a price, $1.00. The other coffee cup was a striking green Starbucks cup with a cost of $3.00; the caption reads, "Branding is Everything."

The post implies that the superior Starbucks branding commands a 200% premium in price for the same product. This misconception is common among many business owners.

The idea that the Starbucks logo is the reason for the difference in price is a fatal flaw in reasoning.

I want both business owners and graphic designers to understand that this is not true.

I am a marketer, and I understand the power of a great logo and fantastic design. It drives me crazy when I see great businesses with terrible logos or branding. But the idea that design or branding is the difference maker is wrong and dangerous.

A great logo or branding package does not guarantee success and itself offers little that increases the bottom line. Very often, companies spend way too much time, money, and energy into branding with few real results.

Since the meme was about Starbucks, let's look at why the green logo commands a premium in price and maintains its outsized position in our minds.

A Brief History of Starbucks