Since the beginning of business, successful brands have gone through three phases of evolution: mystery, model and method.
Mystery is the "I wonder…" phase: "I wonder… will people purchase an automobile if I can get the price down to 'x'?" The next phase is the model phase—a messy, imperfect process: "Let me try to produce an automobile for 'x.'"
Once the model phase has proven out the mystery ("Wow! They WILL buy it"), successful brands quickly move into the methods phase: "How can I produce enough automobiles at the target price to fulfill demand, and make a profit while doing so?"
Some, like Henry Ford, are driven by insights regarding a market opportunity. Others, like Michael Dell, are simply trying to stay ahead of the competition and remain profitable. Either way, a brand is born.
The problems arise when successful brands move to the madness phase, as they refine their method to the point of marketplace indifference.
There is PDF version of it here. Good stuff, so be sure to check it out.