There's been lots of great response to the questions so far and I may make this a more regular thing on Brand New as it seems to trigger some healthy discussion.
One of the comments left by Mark got me thinking. He said:
"I believe that it is beliefs which makes brands worth bothering with (Lordy, how few of them are...) - beliefs about the world beyond the category or market and what's wrong with it.By contrast, brands that believe only in money, brands that only pretend to believe in something other than money and brands that ask you what they should believe are not worth your time and attention"
It's a point of view I passionately believe in and explains why John's concept of marketing enthusiasm makes so much sense to me - brands that are successful today are the brands you are enthusiastic about. And to be enthusisatic about a brand that brand needs to have a bigger enthusiasm than itself.
All this reminded me of a famous quote that is not nearly famous enough from Dave Packard (one of the HP founders) in 1960; a piece of thinking that predates things like Built To Last:
“I want to discuss why a company exists in the first place. In other words, why are we here? I think that many people wrongly assume that a company exists to make money. Whilst this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for being. As we investigate this we inevitably come to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so that they are able to accomplish something that they would not be able to accomplish separately - they make a contribution to society, a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental…”