Looking for several definitions of a brand I came across a thesis about brand managing which gave a great insight into the perception of different scholars and the definition of a brand. This scholar, Danye Luo, wrote the following:
“What is a brand? There are countless species of definitions of a brand; the benevolent see benevolence and the wise see wisdom. As stated by the American Marketing Association, a brand is a “… name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitions.” (Keller, 1998: 2) This definition is adopted by a great number of scholars (Kolter and Keller, c2006; Keller, 1998; Kotler and Pfoertsch, 2006). All believe that brands could be the embodiment of a specific value for the organisation. According to Philips (1988), Murphy (1990), Brymer and Schiro (1989), reality confirmed the point that brands show a financial value. For example, in the process of acquisition, the buying party was often willing to pay in excess of the book value of the corporation. In addition, consumers’ brand experience can vary significantly from the production experience, and even one of the most powerful brands worldwide needs support from consumer acceptance (Hartley, 1995). From these two facts, brands not only stand for a financial value but also a strategic value for the corporation, and strong brands can be of great financial and strategic significance for corporations. Having said that, almost all corporations are devoted to making their brands strong in order to gain more value” (Luo, 2008)
Source: Lou, D. (2008) How to manage a brand to be strong: a study of Zara. Masters Thesis, University of Nottingham, Nottingham. 8p.