I stopped by the local Sunoco station to fill ‘er up yesterday and was greeted with signs promoting Sunoco gift cards for the holiday. With a clever take on the different grades of gasoline, the signs touted that the gift cards are available in “Regular, Plus & Premium.”
However, the pump was labeled as “Regular, Plus & Super.”
Being the curious devil that I am, I wanted to see if this was a marketing blunder or mislabeling at the pump. I found that Sunoco has four different grades of gasoline, Regular, Plus, Premium and Ultra 93. Super is nowhere to be found in that lineup.
As the stewards of the Sunoco “brand,” the oil giant should care enough to force stations to comply with proper labeling and brand identification – especially with the much marketed ULTRA 93 product. By not doing that, it only creates confusion.
But it’s only gasoline, Scott!
A good friend of mine, Catherine Shafer from CDS Creative put on a presentation during Solid Cactus Boot Camp called, “Your Brand is an Asset.” During the 90-minute session, she discussed the importance of protecting your brand and making sure it’s used properly. We all work hard building our brand and to see it used inappropriately is not good for business, which is why we should invest time in protecting it.
This example serves as a simple lesson in consistency and why enforcement of proper brand usage is important. A Big Mac is a Big Mac in every McDonalds. It’s not a Big Burger, a Big McD, or The Mac. It’s a Big Mac and that’s their brand and it’s what people order that sandwich by.
Super! Or is it….. nevermind.
P.S.: According to Sunoco, gas stations are not obligated to carry all four gasoline grades at their pumps which explains the absence of the fourth at this particular station. It’s doesn’t excuse the mislabeling, tho.