What Exactly Is A Brand?

On BusinessWeek Online, Christopher Kenton wrote this piece a few weeks back which seems to have had quite the blog half-life, getting picked up, picked apart, picked over and rehashed umpteen times.

Here's where it started:

"Your brand is your name, your logo, your trade dress. You own it. There are clearly written laws to protect it. It is tangible enough to put a price on it. And yet, an entire generation of marketers has found a way to obscure the obvious, to make the brand more fantastic, to make it hard enough to understand that you need consultants to help you figure it out."

Here's where it's going:

Let's step back and consider the concept of brand again. What is one the most fundamental attributes of a strong brand? Consistency. A consistent presentation across time and medium. So why are we so incapable of applying the same concept to our own profession?

Kenton's blog is Marketonomy: Unforgetting The Laws of Marketing.