Picture this: your coffee maker didn't make your coffee. You're upset; you're in a rush to get to work, but you need your coffee. Where do you go? The little coffee shop on the corner, the dirty coffee maker at your office, Starbucks?
If you're like the majority of Americans, you're going to choose Starbucks. If you chose differently, I, along with other local business owners thank you, but you're the exception. A majority of Americans choose Starbucks for ONE reason, and one reason alone–the brand.
The Starbucks brand is not only one of the most recognizable brands, but it is also one of the most sought-after brands, almost to the point of it being cult-ish.
Starbucks is everywhere. According to insider.com, Starbucks has more than 15,000 locations- just in the United States. For context, there are fewer McDonalds in the United States than Starbucks.
According to Quora, Starbucks sells about 4 billion cups of coffee per year... per year. That's literally tons upon tons of coffee.
Why does Starbucks sell so many cups of coffee? There is only one correct answer: their brand. Starbucks has accumulated millions of dedicated followers who, for the most part, buy a cup of coffee every single day.
Starbucks' customers are very loyal to the brand and have spent so much money which allowed Starbucks to build more coffee shops. The number of Starbucks shops has increased steadily since 2011.* More shops create more dedicated customers, and more customers lead to more shops. It's an ever-growing cycle.
Starbucks' brand is so beloved, that, unless their management makes some major bad decisions, their company can only grow. Starbucks isn't loved because their coffee tastes the best, but because of their name and the energy surrounding their "essence." The same is with Apple, Tesla, Nike, etc.
Any major company that has a recognizable brand can excel because of its brand identity. The same can apply to a person. A personal brand can excel with the proper brand enthusiasm; brands like Elon Musk, the Kardashians, etc.
Your brand is the most valuable asset. It's the only thing that can elevate you above your competition.