Can All Commodities be Branded?

Do you remember the time when a coffee was simply just a coffee? Cafes would claim the best coffee in town; but it wasn’t until the late 1930’s that coffee was being marketed as Nescafe. Now-a-days, when consumers hear coffee their mind instantly goes to Starbucks. Starbucks has turned a commodity into a memorable brand and an essential product.

Which brings me to ask, “Is there a commodity that cannot be branded?”

Raw materials such as produce, water, plastic or even glass were objects that were just that, objects. That lasted until companies decided to create a marketing program that would differentiate themselves from their competitors. O-I glass company, for example, turned their products and company into the world’s leading glass bottle manufacture of glass packaging. How? By using a unique branding approach.


O-I glass company created the “Glass Is Life” ongoing ad campaign, which demonstrates the difference a toast with a glass cup, beer bottle and wine glass from a plastic bottle can make in a social event setting.

The challenge with commodities is coming up with unique branding concepts that will make your brand stand-out and become a meaningful message to your customers. Oster and Associates has worked with brands such as Organics Unlimited and California Tomato Commission. Both company’s carry products that were once a commodity and were created into recognizable and memorable brands.

Organics Unlimited is an organic banana company that created a unique marketing program, which made their product become in demand to the consumer. So it then became more than just a raw element. In 2005, Oster and Associates helped create the GROW program for Organics Unlimited. This program focuses on education, health and safe water projects in the banana growing regions of Mexico and Ecuador.

They overcame the obstacle of taking an everyday product and turning it into an impactful meaning and life changing experience. Their products have now become a worldwide brand. Starbucks, O-I glass company and Organics Unlimited have differentiated themselves to offer something more that goes beyond a commodity.

Positioning your brand and creating a unique approach really defines the promise you are making to each of your target groups. This allows you to create a strong brand identity and enhances the image of your organization.



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