Brands are highly-valued intangible assets.
Brands convey images or impressions that consumers associate with products or services. For example, aspirational notions of attractiveness or success can be associated with status symbols such as watches and cars.
Branding encompasses the entire marketing strategy, including ads and packaging. A good brand communicates a unique value proposition to consumers.
Trade marks function within a branding strategy to indicate where products or services come from and to distinguish your goods or services from those of others in the marketplace.
For more information on brands, and the role played by trade marks, see the article Trade Marks And Brands: Maximising The Value Of Trade Mark Practitioners And Marketers in the October-December 2009 issue of the Watermark Intellectual Asset Management Journal.