I have mixed feelings about the subject of branding as will become clear as you read my articles.
In theory branding is an important way to create differentiation and it creates value for customers in itself. People define themselves by the brands they closely connect with and buy and significant price premiums are justified because of the need to been seen with the right brand.
In practice I see too many small businesses use the “brand style advertising” they see on the television advertisements which do little to generate a case for buying the product or service but are designed to generate increased brand awareness.
But brand awareness doesn’t usually put money in your bank account, you need to create brand preference.
I also see too many lazy brand extensions which dilute the value of the brand and I look at these in ~Branding Mistakes.
I go along with the idea that the big value of a brand comes from owning a position in the customer’s mind. A brand has to stand for something and not just be well known.