In Brands We Trust
What strikes me most about branding is the role that trust plays. The theory about branding is it that a brand is a source of value - the vendor can charge a higher price as the consumer is prepared to pay, they can assign a balance sheet value to it (I'm not an accountant but the calculations are pretty standard), and the consumer has the status of the product/service.
But trust is the key to a brand, consumers feel they can trust that the product/service will deliver on what is promised and the vendor has trust that its offering is an accurate embodiment of what the company has invested be it in capital or human investment.
Looking at it from an AR perspective trust is the key. AR agencies or PR agencies offering AR have to gain the trust of analysts and this is effect defines their brand. AR Professionals that analysts can trust are the ones who can then offer vendors a more valuable AR service. After all trust also underpins relationships which is what AR is all about