Apple, unarguably, has more brand strength than almost every company on the planet. There are a lot of reasons for their success, most of which I’ve talked about in my writings for the last six years. But today, I want to share a very personal look at what that means from the consumer’s perspective.

This is my MacBook Air. More accurately it is my recently retired MacBook Air. But to me, it is much more than just a computer. It has been velcroed to my side for the last six and a half years. In fact, I could count on one hand the number of days I did not use it.

With this machine:

  • I started my business.
  • I refurbished old brands and created new ones.
  • I wrote a book as well as hundreds of blog posts.
  • I planned parties, made travel plans, wrote scripts for the weddings I officiated.
  • I have made innumerable decisions on it—both good and terrible!

On this machine, I wrote the eulogy that helped my family and me say goodbye to my mother.

Brand strength measures the emotional connection an organization has with the people most important to its success. I feel real emotion for this piece of equipment. Mostly, I feel gratitude for all it enabled me to do.

Could I have done all of the things on a PC? No, I honestly don’t think I could have. Sure, the same functionality exists there. No doubt. What doesn’t exist—for me, not for everyone—what doesn’t exist this brand’s ability to inspire me, to pull out the very best I have to offer.

That’s my personal story of a brand and my emotional connection to it.

What brand strength to do you engender? What personal stories do you have about the brands in your life? How do you know when you’ve fallen in love with a brand?