Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What is your brand's "Guinness Glass"?

I'm sitting here drinking from my one and only Guinness glass. And I'm not talking about the standard pint glass either. This glass is the one that is smaller at the bottom and then rounds outward halfway up - the Tulip glass. But, unfortunately today, there is no Guinness in it. But, as I look at this glass, I realize an amazing brand element that Guinness has created - the glass the beer is served in. Not the the bottle the product comes in. Not the packaging the bottle comes in. Not the product itself, but a glass that the product is served in. It is not a product that Guinness even makes (as far as I could research), although I'll bet they have a stake in it somehow. Creating a brand association from some other company's product – that is truly branding perfection.

Think about that. I look at a glass (that I can use for Cranberry juice if I so desire) and I am instantly reminded of Guinness, and how nice it would be to have one right now! How many companies can say their brand has that kind of emotional bond and brand association with something that they don't even own. It's like going in to any restaurant or fast food chain, ordering a Coke and getting a glass or container in the shape of the Coca-cola bottle. That is the kind of branding that elevates you from your competitors. Okay, having a product like Guinness doesn't hurt either, but hopefully you get what I mean.

It is about creating emotional and cultural capital through experiences and associations that connect your brand to your customer. It isn't about new creative or marketing, although that can usually get the ball rolling, it's about understanding and delivering a consistent promise through whatever means will achieve that connection with your customer over and over and over…

So, does your brand have a "Guinness Glass"? How did it come to be? I want to know. Tell me what your brands "Guinness Glass" is?

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