When I was in high school, two types of people existed - those that worked hard to fit the norm (no matter what that norm was) and those that reveled in their individuality. Because of where i grew up, I constantly saw the battle between these two perspectives playing out in various cultural contexts.
What I learned from that experience was that most humans - independent of what specific culture they belong to - are societally programmed to follow the norm. In other words, we encourage conformity. It should come to no surprise then that the Internet is sending our species into panic - it's challenging our notion of conformity. As Seth Godin says, the purple cow, or what stands out, is the winner.
We can see the shift in priorities reflected in the media. Our parents grew up with mass media, and we are growing up with the most fragmented, or niche market we have seen in modern times. In today's world, the brands that stand out are those that practice what I call "artisan branding" or "artisan marketing."
Your brand must be authentic to who you are - the good and the bad. Reflecting your holistic self provides both the complexity, sophistication, and "realness" customers are craving.(Think of it as taking a virtual picture of your brand.)
This might seem easy, but in fact, for most people this might be the hardest thing to do. Not only because most of us were taught NOT to stand out, but also because it requires to be detailed and succinct with words, images, video, and audio. My recommendation? Start off with five words or phrases that you want associated with your brand. More than likely, you will pick words that are too general, but it will give you a good start point.