The days of extorting uneducated consumers and tricking them to buy is over. Building brands today is only made possible by the communities surrounding it.
"Branding" has existed for thousands of years. In the beginning, it was an identifying mark that helped buyers recognize they were buying a pot (or steer) that wouldn't break in the cooking fire. As technologies and production lines evolved over the last two hundred years, consumerist societies developed; and quality and quantity became assured.
The notion of "Brand" has expanded too and, over the last decade, the word has come to signify less about quality and speak more to the community of people for whom that product (or company) is relevant and meaningful.