There are a handful of brands that always seem to get it right.

Apple and McDonalds, of course, which dominate their respective markets. Nike, Budweiser and Coca Cola round out the list.

In fact, the soft drink company’s recent revamping of the Diet Coke can and the accompanying ad campaign, demonstrate just how effective Coke is when it comes to its brand.

The redesign is really just an update, with the “D” of Diet and “C” of Coke set against the silver background. This works because Coca-Cola has built brand so recognizable that even though no one calls Diet Coke “DC,” the consumer instantly understands.

This won’t work with weaker brands. Take Radio Shack, for instance. Its switch to “The Shack” would have made sense if Radio Shack hadn’t been such an outdated brand. In that case, the more hip moniker fell flat and simply felt contrived.

Radio Shack recently announced a $21 million loss in second quarter and its stock is at an all-time low. Anyone surprised?

Diet Coke has permission to be a hip brand and its new 15-second spots highlight that notion. In one, a fashion designer sips DC as she gazes upon her latest design. The message: “Another word for ambition is thirst.”

Diet Coke’s new theme line is also perfect: “Stay Extraordinary.”

That theme does everything right. It’s simple, emotional and, most of all, it implies that the person staying extraordinary is the Diet Coke drinker.

Brands often get that wrong. Most brands describe the product, not the consumer. Companies tend to market product benefits, which are not switching triggers.

Diet Coke got it right. It is indeed staying extraordinary.