"Branding" also refers to "We are your friends and neighbors. You should pay me 
twice as much as Wal-Mart because we went to the same high school." The term is 
used to refer to an association between idea and product. Coke is a good 
example, as are crescent wrench, visegrips, and a dozen others--an automatic 
association between the concept and the brand.

The point is that customer service is not worth paying extra. It is nice if you 
can get it at the same price, but people seem more inclined to look at price 
first, then quality, then customer service.  The latter two are nice to have, 
but not at the expense of the first. Yes, there are exceptions. No, they don't 
change the basic scenario at all.
http://www.tekwrytrs.com/Specializing in the Design, Development, and 
Production of:Technical Documentation - Online Content - Enterprise Websites> 
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 15:55:25 -0700> To: tekwrytr at hotmail.com> From: john 
at hedtke.com> Subject: RE: First on market (was RE: radical revamping of 
techpubs)> > At 03:50 PM 10/19/2007, you wrote:> >Sony made buckets of money on 
beta. Their strategy is heavily > >weighted to the first mover advantage. THey 
are not particularly > >interested in the nickle and diming of the followers.> 
> That they did. The problem as I see it is that it was the cost of > their 
licensing agreements that led to the displacement of a higher > quality product 
(Beta) with the > poorer-but-more-accessible-and-affordable product, VHS.> > 
>Wal-Mart reference was that small businesses adjacent to Wal-Mart > >cannot 
survive on customer-centric service, high quality, and > >branding, not that 
Wal-Mart offered such.> > I'm not sure I quite understand this one. I would've 
thought that > these would be the only tools they'd have to compete with (well, 
> maybe not branding--the Wal-Mart brand's right up there with Coke for > 
recognizability) since they cannot compete for price. Would you > elaborate, 
please? > 
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