What can a brand do for you?

This is a little something I originally wrote back in October 2011, but my feelings about brands remain the same, if not stronger now in 2013. I know we can all relate to this somehow or another, even if its a different brand other then Starbucks…

Does having a specific brand make you feel superior to your peers? Come on, you know that when you get something new and expensive for yourself you always feel like you have one up on your friends. Now I’m not talking about the newest Rolex or Chanel bag; I’m speaking strictly coffee.

Take Starbucks, for example. It’s twin-tailed siren logo makes its way onto every cup, fostering a delicious beverage that comes across the counter to you, the consumer. Most of us sip on our drinks, not giving a second thought to the green mermaid who holds our cup of Joe. However, for some this sea creature represents the power and image of the well-known brand Starbucks.

Now I agree that not everyone is going to fall for the idea of a three-dollar designer latte, but when you see that siren, you know you’re getting what you pay for. People often associate the logo with superiority, like for some reason your coffee is suddenly better than the person’s across the hall that brought theirs from home in some dinky silver mug. You have the green siren on your cup; therefore, yours is better.

Could this possibly be the frame of mind that consumers get when they have Starbucks, or the driving force behind their purchases? My coffee is better than yours; therefore, hey, I’m better than you! Perhaps. Consumer behavior is a strange thing that still cannot be fully understood. But it often seems that way, doesn’t it? The way people present themselves when they are holding a cup of Starbucks often seems more educated, sophisticated, modern, and conceivably cool.

Is it possible for brand image to be so strong that we don’t even necessarily care about the product anymore as long as it gives us status? Not to say that Starbucks beverages are not quality, after all that’s why I am an avid drinker (Peppermint Mocha and Carmel Frapp, preferably). However, I would bet money that there are people out there that are drawn to the powerful mystique that the green mermaid holds. But whether the driving force behind the purchase is for the brand, or the coffee, Starbucks is winning.

So next time you decide to go get a cup of coffee, where will you go? Maybe the fact that people will perceive you differently based on your coffee brand will make you think twice.



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