Happy 4th of July, America. As I sit in a coffee shop on the anniversary of my country's birth, sipping from a 16-ounce cup of coffee, I pondered this marketing and branding question: What makes us buy what we buy? If I sat this cup of coffee--emblazoned with a green and white logo of a smiling, 16th-century Siren--next to a 16-oz cup of coffee in a white Styrofoam cup, which one would you be more inclined to purchase? Survey saaaays, the Siren, aka, Starbucks. Buy why? Starbucks does an amazing job building a brand, which at its core, is based around the user experience in their stores. At the end of the day, is a Starbucks coffee bean "better" than a Dunkin Donuts coffee bean? Is a Dunkin Donuts coffee bean "better" than a private label coffee bean at your local grocer? That could be debated, but numbers don't lie--people flock to brands that are centered around an experience.