Just found this very insightful blog post:
What’s billed as “branding” is often little more than unified graphic design. But you rarely hear an agency executive say that, for one simple reason: It doesn’t make financial sense.
A “unified graphics effort” may produce $10,000 in agency fees. But deliver the same work and call it a “branding initiative” and it could pay $100,000 or more.
Real brand-building involves much more than graphics.
It’s the product. Service. Guarantee. Employees. Customers. Stores. Offices. Values. Culture. Charitable giving. And yes, advertising.
I very much agree. The article continues here.
The book Positioning by Jack Trout does an excellent job of explaining what should be meant by anyone that says ‘branding’.