Anyone who has ever taken a fiction writing class has heard "Don't say it. Show it." You can tell me that Mr. Perkins is a cantankerous son-of-a-bitch, or you can tell me that he kicks a stray cat in the ribs and spits his wad of tobacco into the cup of the blind panhandler.
The same is true of brands. Brand building is character development.
Or another analogy I like is the comedian who gets on stage and talks about how funny he is versus the comedian who tells funny jokes.
In short: don't say, do.
Here's a slide show from Zeus Jones. I couldn't agree more with their philosophy.
And here's something that my agency did which I think is pretty cool (I had nothing do do with it).