Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Importance of Branding

I was working through some ideas to find that signature item that would help define my store.  I’m find inspiration from two great print makers followed on Instagram, Read Between the Lines and Hello Tosha.  I see both these prints regularly on Instagram from their fans or other websites I might stumble upon

Image of Framed Art Print - YOU ARE MY BUCKET LIST
You are My Bucket List – Read Between the Lines
Pineapple of My Eye – Hello Tosha

Haven’t found my signature item just yet but it got me thinking about important branding is for any business.

I know someone who worked as a buyer for Starbucks.  He once had the supplier who couldn’t deliver shipments of the signature green straws.   To drive home the importance of this position.  He was responsible for consumable materials (which includes straws) for all of North America for Starbucks.   You would think, well if they ran out, they could just use any other brand right?   Nope. 

That issue actually caused ripples of controlled panic. 

There was no way they would allow their stores to run out of green straws.  Why?  It’s part of their branding.  All brand name products, you expect consistency.  If it makes you feel good, you want to repeat that experience over.  Every little thing of that last moment you enjoyed; it’s important for you to have it again.  Even something as different as drinking from a different straw changes that experience.

Yep, brand association.  There’s a lot of people who glimpse the green straw and think, “Mmm…I could go for a Frappuccino”.  If a store when with a white straw or something that is just a different shade of green, that “Mmm” moment may not happen.

You might be thinking:

Really, that’s just silly, how can anyone be so silly as to reject a drink due to drinking straw?

My sister-in-law works in the downtown core in a law firm.  The hustle and bustle of high end shops and career driven corporate executives.  She told me many people, including the lawyers she work for who view having a Starbucks every day, twice (or more) a day.  Some even brand them as a status symbols.  I get it.  If you pay $7.00 for a coffee twice a day 5 days a week, that’s $3640.  If I was CEO of Starbucks, I want to make sure they have the same satisfying experience every drink my customer has.  If those green straws are part of that encourage to buy the afternoon treat, my stores better of them well stocked.

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