I’m in New York this week and went to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue yesterday. If you ever want to get ideas for how you could bring your brand alive, this is a placed great to come.

But that’s not the purpose of this post.

My big “a-ha” moment came when one of the many blue t-shirted assistants calmly told me that I could come back anytime as the store was open 24-hours a day.

I know that the rules of service and convenience are entirely different in the US to our standards in the UK, but, even so, the idea that a computer store – which has most items priced at over $500 – would be open 24/7 came as something of a shock.

For any business developing its brand, a key success factor is consistency. Yet, if you really want to stand out from the crowd you also need the ability to surprise.

What are the ways you can jolt your customers into reappraising your offer and your brand?

© Stuart Cross 2010. All rights reserved