Other than general vicinity and locale to your running out of gas, how much marketing does a gas station really need to do. I can see some of the top company branding (Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Sunoco, and Citgo), does anyone really care who they buy gas from? In many cases the only competition that exists is the station across the street. The direction you're traveling on the road may play more to your decision than the brand. Then there is the price sign. Probably the simplest form of marketing in the world. Logo on top for branding, price on the bottom for value, features in the middle (food, car wash). Food as the product feature? Yes. In fact, Pollan says that the typical gas station today makes half their money selling refined oil for your car and half their money selling refined corn as food products to you. Do you stop for a drink? Dunkin Donuts? Or Shell V-Power premium gas?
btw...The photo to the left was taken today. Yes $1.799 (down $2.30 from 5 months ago). Last week when I was in the Netherlands, I did the liter to gallon conversion and calculated $6.20 per gallon. So no complaining! Most of the disparity globally is due to the difference in taxes between countries. Oil prices, however, are now so intertwined with economics and cost of living, don't expect prices to balance out globally.