Trademark expert witness William D. Neal is Senior Executive Officer at SDR Consulting and in Modeling Brand Equity, he writes on branding:
Consumers may also see a particular brand name as a contract. A brand's name may reduce consumers' sense of uncertainty, allowing them to purchase uncertainty reduction, or trust, thus improving their sense of value.
Promotion of a brand can address either price, tangible brand attributes or intrinsic brand attributes (equities). Brand equity is communicated using consistent visual cues and consistent messages, allowing the consumer to quickly and efficiently distinguish between brands and their intrinsic product attributes. As a purchaser considers the tangible product features in concert with brand equity (and price), they arrive at a set of products in a category which they will consider for purchase (i.e. their consideration set). Thus, a brand's equity is somewhat dependent on effective communications to the target market(s) and brand equity can often be improved to some extent with improved effectiveness of communications. However, communications alone cannot overcome a reputation for poor product quality, social irresponsibility, a lack of trust, and so on.