"A great brand raises the bar -- it adds a greater sense of purpose to the experience, whether it's the challenge to do your best in sports and fitness, or the affirmation that the cup of coffee you're drinking really matters."
- Howard Shultz, head of marketing for Starbucks
Branding (not confused with brand) is just a word used by advertising people for taking your money without any accountability to measurable results.
A great brand is the result of a consistently great product or service. It is a reputation built by consumers.
Of course results driven advertising works much better with strong brands. But branding or brand-building through PPC, through banner ads, through superbowl spots, through (gasp) a Second Life island, I'll pass.