Few areas are as brand-conscious as the world of fashion. The label on a garment sometimes seems to be worth more than the garment itself. Fashion is, in many ways, an epitome of branding and a paradox. Fashion can be seen as a pinnacle of branding because it is not just about style, materials, tailoring, and price; it is also about presenting an image and making a social statement. It relies on the belief that the clothes do make the man (or woman). It is about social positioning and the expression of a personal brand. You are what you wear. A fashion brand is usually closely tied to the personal brand of a fashion designer. Customers are aware that they are loyal to a brand because they feel an affinity with the designer’s values.Fashion, more than any other category, also thrives on its products rapidly becoming obsolete, literally going out of fashion. This constant hunger for something new is fine for fashion, but has spread to many other areas of popular culture (including mobile phones and MP3 players), not always to good effect.Business-to-business (B2B) categories need to convey the brand insights that are particularly relevant to their category, and perhaps more importantly, to reassure their customers that their buying decision will stand the test of time. With many so-called B2B purchases, the buyer will not be the end user, except perhaps occasionally. He or she is making a decision on behalf of a contractor, who is working for a developer, who will hand the final product over to its real users. Therefore, the buyer has less at stake personally, but more at stake professionally. Many B2B brands know this instinctively, but don’t always succeed in mastering the brand messages needed to convey this insight.One brand that has mastered it is Caterpillar, a maker of heavy construction equipment. The brand has been successfully extended into high-quality work boots, drawing on the insight of durability while reinforcing the brand on a personal level.