A lot has been said about differentiating yourself from your competition.
What is rarely said is that it can't be a small difference.
Don't try to build a brand around being slightly better, a tad cheaper, a bit faster, somewhat brighter.
You'll never get any buzz going, for one. Just imagine - "Hey Joe, Tide gets my shirts a little bit whiter! Who knew!"
For another, nobody will be able to remember you. "Let's see, which law firm was that, Smith & Wesson or Barnes & Noble that has the southeast view of downtown Tampa on their website banner, instead of the southwest view like all the other law firms do? They're the ones I want!"
For a third, they don't make the consumer feel special for having chosen that brand as opposed to any other, to feel good about spending their money, perhaps for having spent more. One reason, by the way, most automobile brands have been struggling. They now all look alike. I can't tell a small Lincoln from a Chevy or a Hyundai without looking at the hood ornament.
Think about the brands you remember, desire, own. I think you'll agree with me.