A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, which account for a decision to choose one product over another. Critically, it is not the image you project, it is the recollection your audience feeds back.
Familiarity, or mental availability of any brand drives consideration, which in turn drives every other subsequent positive measure. Familiarity is achieved by the consistent and prominent use of distinctive brand assets: written, visual and audio brand cues which build memory structures through saliency and distinctiveness. These include the brand name, colours, logos, fonts, shapes, straplines. music, characters, etc
It is the combination of mental and physical availability that determine the growth of any brand. Increasing both of these will grow both market penetration and loyalty in what Professor Byron Sharp refers to as the ‘The law of double jeopardy’.
Smaller share brands have fewer sales because they have fewer customers (the first jeopardy: penetration), who are slightly less loyal (the second jeopardy: frequency). Successful branding grows mental availability which grows market penetration which grows the brand. Simple.