I call it one of my brands simply because I love it. I use it more often than I should and in some odd small way I feel like I own a piece of it. I'm talking about Starbucks.
I love the Starbucks brand. Last week I stopped in a Starbucks in a small highway town and was pleasantly welcomed and felt right at home because it looked just like the Starbucks near my house. (Now I also see this as a downfall to the fast food style drive behind cookie cutting a franchise, but I also like the familiarity of it as well - its a lose win situation).
One of the reasons I love Starbucks so much is because of their innovative approach and openness to new ideas. Here's one story I fell in love with when I was a barista at Starbucks: "Our signature blended beverage was conceptualized and created by Starbucks baristas in Southern California, and introduced by the company as Frappuccino® in 1995."
Although I don't like how Starbucks tells the story on their website, I do love that some people who loved their job and wanted to make it better, went home and created a drink that people enjoy every summer now. They took some intiative and made something happen. They made the brand their own.
Starbucks encourages this. When I worked for them, they encouraged this. They continue to do so with My Starbucks Idea It's great when companies don't just value their customers ideas and input, but when they go out of their way to ask for them.
** I do need to mention that although I do enjoy Starbucks, I also enjoy Decades Coffee - a local business, that a good friend owns - as I mentioned above, the cookie cutter feel can be nice, but Decades is its own business and has its own look, feel and design - for that reason, I hope for Decades to use the lessons a big business like Starbucks has learned and use them to further their own endeavors. Local business is important and we need to keep them moving. I just share my love for Starbucks because it did start out much like Decades has.