Brands have to promote their fan pages across a number of platforms to even alert their target audience that the page exists. They also have to provide value or entertainment to the visitors so they continue to come back. It is this latter area where the brand should really work to make its page stand out from the plethora of other brands using a cookie cutter design and content formula for their fan pages.
A brand can either make their page stand out through the content they provide or the design/layout of the page. Each brand will know better than I will what qualifies as unique or valuable to their audience, so I won't even attempt to assert some universal answer that can be applied across all industries and goals.
There are a number of ways to enhance the design of a fan page. A brand shouldn't feel as though they are restricted to the use of fan page standards like a wall, photo sharing tab, video sharing tab, links tab and discussion board. Those are all great features, but brands should go to the next level.
One of the most important features a Facebook fan page offers is "FBML." This is Facebook's version of HTML language and allows users to add components that they might find on other platforms. The FBML feature gives users the freedom to add widgets of all varieties, links and a number of other things. Instead of simply adding links to other relevant pages in the FBML box, it might be nice to add hyperlinked photos using FBML tags so there is a visual association with the link that entices visitors to click through.
There are also a number of previously developed applications that can simply be plugged into a fan page. Brands shouldn't be afraid to browse through these and see if any will help them accomplish their goals while bringing some variety to their fan page.
There are some great Facebook developers and resources out there so if a brand is looking to create a page that is awe-inspiring it can definitely be done.