We started this discussion on the premise that the ability for a brand to succeed requires confidence and consistency. One of the first pillars to ensure that a brand to reach this level of confidence and consistency was for it to emit pride. The second pillar is desire.
Rule #1 in sales is to build desire with your prospect. The same goes for brand development. If consumers feel that there is pride and confidence in a brand they will start to pay attention. Step two is to ensure that the brand offers something they desire. This can tangible, like an innovative product. It can be communications based, like excellent customer service. Or it can be in-tangible, like a promise to be better or a connection to an emotion (i.e.: Life's for sharing - T-Mobile).
For 90% of the brands out there, the product or service they are selling is not massively different from its competition. The employee (if they have pride/confidence may say it does) but to most consumers it does not. This is the biggest reason why finding a desire point that is bigger than the product you sell is essential to delivering a positive and aggressive message to consumers. If we look at Computers, Soft Drinks, Mobile Phone Carriers, Furniture, Cars, Clothes - in every major product category you can find a core offering and match it to a set of needs and wants within the consumer market. It just so happens that if someone is looking to show the world that they are worth more than their neighbor, they'll buy a Mercedes instead of a Buick. Although Apple is innovative as an organization, as a brand they dominate cool. The core message they deliver is that they are cooler than everyone else. Regardless of how innovative HP is able to be, they will never (at least within the current branding landscape) be cooler than Apple.
Think about this...does your brand own a desire that is greater than the tangible features of its product?