I think that the first step would be to define what a brand is. A brand according to Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 10th edition) is a name, term, symbol, or design that is used to identify a good or service, and to differentiate them from their competitors.
So in other words, the brand is what consumers need to know to identify a specific seller or maker. There are trademark laws that exist to make sure that you can't steal someone's brand name - once your trademark your name, it is yours. Starbucks is a great example of a company that will fight to protect its brand name.
Why would you want to protect your brand? It is due to something called brand equity. What is brand equity?
- Brand's power derived from the goodwill and name recognition it has earned over time, and which translates into higher sales volume and higher profit margins against competing brands. (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/brand-equity.html).
- Brand equity can be a useful measure of the value contained in a brand. It can help evaluate ...
The solution defines brand equity. How a company maintains brand equity is determined.