David Aaker's brand differentiation keynote offers key observations and strategies on how brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Having observed hundreds of different firms and companies from different industries, Aaker found that timing plays an exceedingly important role in being successful. Timing consists of three things: the market, the technology and the readiness of the firm.
Aaker references the release of Apple's iPod in 2001, which met unparalleled levels of success. Two prior to this release, however, Sony released a very similar product; the problem, however, was that the technology wasn't quite complete or perfected. Jobs was prepared in that he could forecast the technology coming together and didn't have to innovate.
As a result of the iPod's success, Apple is now the exemplar brand in this category, a term Aaker uses to describe a brand that sets the standard for categories or sub-categories.
Aaker's brand differentiation keynote dives deep into the many factors that play a relevant role in building a brand and maintaining its staying power.