A concise definition is provided by BusinessDictionary.com:
"The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers."Simple enough.
The key operative phrase here is the "aim to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers." This is accomplished through many means, including marketing and advertising that is consistent, effective and reasonable. Effective branding must, by absolute necessity, include a product that delivers what is marketed/advertised in a timely and accurate manner. In other words, don't advertise "delicious cheese pizza" and deliver Pop Tarts and Cheese Whiz. Got it?
Marketing and public relations firms often differ in terms of how they define branding and to accomplish effective branding. When you run into conflicting or confusing data, just remember the BusinessDictionary.com definition as a baseline and remember that everything else is pretty much jibber jabber.
Hopefully, this brief outline will help you in the future. And if you really want to push your brand with effecting branding, let us know. We can help and we'll leave out the jibber jabber.