If the lights in your home come on when you flip the switch, do you really care where the electricity comes from? If the water comes out when you turn the faucet, do you really care where the water comes from? These are questions designed to illustrate how much people care about generic utility brands of products and services.
If those providers went away tomorrow and someone else provided the same electricity than before, would you care?
A truly great brand makes such a unique contribution to the communities it touches, and does its work with such unadulterated excellence that, if it were to disappear, it would leave a gaping hole that could not be easily filled by any other product or service on the planet. If your brand went away, who would miss it, and why?
This does not require being big; think of a small but fabulous local restaurant that would be terribly missed if it disappeared. Big does not equal great, and great does not equal big.
Great brands make a distinctive impact not just fulfill a utilitarian function.