Most people when they think of Marketing, they think of promotion (the fourth P) and message communication. While this is still important today, the product/service experience is much more important in creating a strong brand.
Brands provide the bulk of defense against price competition, thus allowing the market to pay a premium for that brand. But this is not because an organization spends more money on advertising or puts out more press releases or even creates a compelling story that goes viral.
The ultimate strength of the brand is based on its performance, not its' promotion - the remark-ability or how purple a product/service is.
While a brand may be initially be launched by its publicity (storytelling) the only sustainable advantage it has is determined by its performance.
In a hyper competitive marketplace companies are realizing that brands are their only hope of gaining attention and respect in an saturated uncaring marketplace. Therefore it is extremely important to see a brand as a promise of value, becoming the organizing concept for all the organization's activities that surround the brand (not the other way around).
If all it took was excellent marketing communication then the dot com boom would still be a boom instead of a big bust in many people's pride and wallets.
Six Pixels of Separation - Marketing and Communications Insights Blog and Podcast - By Mitch Joel at Twist Image