In consumer terms, a brand is a noun; but it’s an intangible entity, more an idea than a thing. The brand is a perception, the consumer’s image of a company (or other entity/product) that comes from experience. A brand is also a reputation, developed over time. It’s earned.
As a verb, branding has referred to the act of creating a distinctive mark. In 21st century business jargon, branding is considered the intentional manipulation and control of the public perception of an entity.
The business of branding is a business of deception. The idea of defining a brand as a key to business success is a hollow and futile endeavor. In spite of how you look or behave, public opinion will shape your brand. To focus on control of an organization’s brand is a waste of time and effort. To foster a successful brand, it would be wiser to focus on quality products, a positive work environment and exemplary service before, during and after the sale. Your brand will be shaped by that.