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I read a great book this past Spring called The Various Flavors of Coffee, a delightful book by Anthony Capella, about – what else? – that black liquid ambrosia that gets so many of us going in the mornings. Coffee! It’s a fascinating, fun read with delightful characters and, as a person who lives by the nose, amazing descriptions of the nuances of scents and flavors in coffees. There’s one section where Pinker, the owner of the coffee warehouse that sells and distributes Castle Coffees, is in a meeting with two advertising men. I loved this dialogue:
“How are you marketing your brand at present, Mr. Pinker?” he inquires genially.
“With methods you yourselves, I believe, pioneered in America,” Pinker answer promptly. “Every packet of Castle Coffee has a voucher on the wrapper, which can be redeemed for a ha’penny off the next purchase.”
“That’s all well and dandy, sir. But I think you misunderstood my question. I did not ask how you were selling your product – I asked how you were marketing your brand.”
Her father looks confused.
“The product,” Mr. Cairns explains, “is what you sell. The brand is what people buy.”
Mr. Cairn goes on to explain that the brand is the expectation people have of a seller’s goods and the importance of creating an “expectation of superiority.” It all comes back to a psychology of marketing and doing business, wooing consumers with how wonderful the products are, not bribing them with coupons.
What do you think of these assertions? Would you agree or disagree with Capella’s summation of how to market and sell products?