I've made this argument before, but I feel compelled to say it again.
A brand is not an organization's promise.
It's people's expectations.
And Apple failed to meet them yesterday.
"But 'promise' is just a word, a definition."
It represents a much simpler, outdated marketplace model.
It conditions your sensibilities and behavior.
And it's killing you.
What changes first?
Customers' desires and expectations of brands in the marketplace?
Or an organization's ability to change its "promise?"
To strategically appeal to those changing desires and expectations?
The outside world of the customer changes first.
And more frequently than most organizations' ability to change.
A brand is the customer's evolving expectation of value.
Value the way he or she subjectively intuits it.
It is NOT your slow-to-change, inside-out declaration or "promise."
The day you finally understand this distinction is the day you become obsessed with the changing world of your audience.
And paranoid about your organization's ability to keep up, add value, and stay relevant and interesting.