You start to believe that you're as cool as you say you are
There's nothing more uncool than thinking you're cool. It's as simple as that. As soon as your brand starts acting like it's hot shit, it's going to get knocked down a peg or two by a competitor. Just ask Apple.
Apple doesn't just sell computers, phones, tablets, and expensive cables. It sells an image -- bragging rights to the latest and greatest piece of technology. And without a doubt, Apple has been a strong driver in the adoption of new technology. But the thing that Apple fanboys don't like to hear is that the latest and greatest bits of technology often already exist on other devices. And in some cases, that technology has been available for a long time (by technology standards). Thus, as a direct dig on the fanboys and Apple itself, Samsung decided to bring its adoption of cutting-edge technology to the forefront of its recent "The Next Big Thing Is Already Here" campaign for its Galaxy S3.
In its ongoing campaign, Samsung openly mocks Apple's customers, specifically the smug ones who like to wait in line for new iPhones. Watch it here:
The differences in features between the iPhone and the Galaxy S3 aren't the point. Most knowledgeable people agree that Apple makes excellent products. The point is that Apple, by reveling in its own coolness and cultivating its fanboy culture, opened itself up to some incredibly effective lampooning. In the end, Samsung comes out on top by acknowledging the silliness of Apple's popularity.
How to make it cool again
These are simple schoolyard politics at play here. If you realize that your brand has left itself open to mockery due to its uppity or otherwise too-cool image, then you have two choices: Get more humble in your marketing, or poke fun at yourself first. The first can be a challenge, as it represents a complete deviation from a marketing strategy. But the second is simpler than you think. A couple of tongue-in-cheek online videos poking fun at -- in Apple's case -- the ridiculously long lines people wait in for Apple products would have gone a long way in cutting competitors like Samsung off before they could do it first. With hindsight being 20/20, Apple needs to anticipate the next assault and move first.