Brand and Branding are tossed about as sterile concepts that people want to dissect on a repeated basis, as if a deeper understanding of the words themselves will allow a view into the soul of a people.
When I step back and examine these concepts, free of involvement in the world of Brand creation and propagandization, Branding and Brands degenerate to the most basic definition of the terms: the painful act of marking an object as something you own.
Viewed in this way, Branding is painful, permanent, and performed against the will of the object/being being inflicted with the Brand. It is a one-way act. A Brand is forced on a being/object, without any opportunity for a reciprocal act.
Corporate Branding is the same. Branding is not a conversation. As I have said previously (here), a Brand and the act of Branding is read-only, closed-source. The Brand is shaped and formed to uniquely identify its owner, and then it is placed with pride wherever the Brand-owner sees fit.
While a Brand is owned, and Branding marks those objects as belonging to the Brand owner, it is not a conversation. Reputation is a conversation. And conversations that occur about Brands seal their Reputations.
Wear your Brand. But then talk about it with others. You may find that the Brand is not what defines the company to the people who see it.