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The power of successful branding

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Do you know the story behind the famous New York City Greek coffee cup?


I am both a New Yorker, born and raised, and Greek-American. Growing up everyone would always ask if my Dad was a diner owner and, sorry to disappoint, not all Greeks own diners. However, I did spend a lot of time in diners as do most New Yorkers. This is the go-to place for around the clock dining and it was always a feel-good kind of comfort moment for me.


These cups sent out a positive message. We are happy to serve you.😄

How much more direct can you get?

We have seen these Greek coffee cups in hands of millions of New Yorkers, on shows like Law & Order and Mad Men, and this simple cup has come to represent a type of New York lifestyle to the point that the New York Times described this cup as perhaps the most successful cup in history.

It all started in NYC with the wave of Greek immigrants in the 1900's and their love of coffee. They did what they did best, start up a successful business of coffee shops and carts. In 1963, the Sherri Cup Company's Marketing Director came up with this warm message set against the blue background of the Greek flag (blue and white), with the Greek decorative key as a border and an amphora (which is an ancient Greek-Roman container). The cup is called the Amphora cup.

In 2003, a ceramic version of the New York cup was designed and sold by the Moma.

This famous coffee cup is worth millions. Its licensing is sold to restaurants and souvenir stores and is considered by @nycoffeecup as "The One and Only, Genuine, Original New York Coffee Cup." Originally designed to appeal to Greek vendors, this cup has come to represent the city of New York and its identity as a place that welcomes immigrants with open arms.

Now, you tell me if storytelling is not an important part of your marketing?🤔

What will set you apart from the masses are the reasons why you are different❗️️ Your branding and messaging are key.🔑

Your competitive advantage lies in how good you are in getting it together. How well do you people see you and how on target is that perception?

Branding is what comes before marketing. It defines what you do and how people see you. The importance of getting your branding right is crucial because branding is constant. This will not change even when your marketing tactics and business evolve. Your core pillars, promises, reputation, style voice, and personality should not be modified.

Branding is strategic whereas marketing is tactical. When you start off the discussions around your branding you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your core principles and values?

  • What is your key value proposition?

  • What inspired you to build your business?

  • Why are you/ your brand unique?

  • Who is your target audience?

  • What is your professional sense of style?

  • What does your name reflect?

  • How do you want customers to describe you as a company?

Ultimately, your culture is your brand, and to create a strategy, your first need to draft brand attributes and key messages around your:

  • key value proposition

  • target audience

  • top-of-mind attributes

But branding does not stop at determining your key message and value proposition. Branding becomes tangible and works with your brand's physical attributes: color choice, font, logo. The Greek coffee cups are an excellent example.

Sometimes you need professionals to go that extra mile. @commsanalyst works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to find their voice and develop a strong branding strategy.

Click in on the page Book Online if you are interested in a 
free 30-minute discovery call.

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