Apple is an example of a great brand. The brand is the subject of lots of brand and marketing case studies and has a zillion fans, die hards even, globally.
So how did Apple get here?
This is an excellent article on brand consistency, loosely referencing Apple. It lists 4 attributes to keeping the brand consistent over time.
Have the right message. Today’s consumers have information overload. If you want to say something, make sure it’s worthwhile and relevant to be heard. The mantra is: relevance, consistency, frequency. When you’ve honed the right message, say it at the right time and at the right place, over and over again.
Be persistent in finding your niche market. Be differentiated, where it matters. Think water can’t be differentiated? Think again. We have Evian, Perrier, Fiji, Dasani, Aquafina as well as our home grown Spritzer, Diamond and Nesh water. If you don’t differentiate your brand, how can your consumers see you as different from the rest?
Maintain your brand perception. If you have defined your brand as high-end, be high-end all the way. Always stay in touch with your consumers, maintaining your high-end appeal.
Don’t over extend the brand. This is a classic management move; companies spend much effort and expenses to build the brand as a high-end brand, and then watch it all go to waste when they release a mass market version of their high-end product.