Michel, you make an excellent point – the brand merely points to the underlying qualities of the product / service, and the value derived by the customer.
As Will Shakespeare (or was it Frank Bacon?) once said “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
Importantly, the value of a “brand” lies in the hearts and minds of the consumer, as it is their loyalty and repeat purchase of branded goods and services that generates the sales and profits which make a brand valuable. I have had many clients say they have a valuable brand – however unless there is a clear and direct stream of positive cashflows generated by that brand – its difficult to see how anyone else would pay them for it.
As Tom Cruise once said (or was it Jerry McGuire?) “Show me the money!”