Google announced Promoted Places in Google Maps, a way for businesses to get more play in the Google Maps results.
Google said this allows businesses "improve awareness for their stores by branding their location icons with their logo. Clicks on a business’s logo will reveal promotions such as in-store sales or new products and services to help consumers decide where to go. They can also view the business’s place page to see store hours, check live updates to Popular Times, get directions, and more."
Here is a screen shot of the branded pins, the easiest to see is the Starbucks one but click on it to enlarge: