Does branding and marketing make a big difference?
The importance of building your brand.
Let me use Vodka as an example, two in particular; Grey Goose which is considered by many to be the best premium vodka on the market, and Smirnoff which is considered one of the worst.
The big question, is one really better than the other and if so by how much? After all, vodka in Canada and the US is defined as "a neutral spirits without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color". Using this definition you could argue that vodka is, or should be, a commodity type item, yet Grey Goose costs almost twice what Smirnoff costs.
So is Grey Goose really worth it? Several blind taste tests say no. In fact they consistently score Smirnoff as one of the best tasking and Grey Goose as one of the worst tasting.
So bottom line is yes, branding makes a big difference. Grey Goose is a premium, because of the branding and marketing behind it, not due to the liquid quality or taste.