Brands are undefined in the sense, each brand owner decides self what his/her brand is. The following are thus my subjective opinion, being as objective as possible. My view is obviously based on the Africahead and related brands i am busy forming, which are already listed on Ipparts Exchange (IPPAEX).
A brand should be recognizable and memorable, in order to save advertising costs. Copyright protection must preferably apply, therefore a unique combination of a word and a mark is required, for example. The development work must be visible, because copyright requires visible work, before it applies. In my view, a brand should not be a name of a person, because a person's name is not as transferable as a non-personal name. Brands like Peter Stuyvesant use person names though, therefore, some others definitely disagree with me. The reason i do not like person names is because of the idolotrous connotations it has. Idolatry often has to do with praising following sacrificing, which is evil.
A brand should have a philosophy, others can agree with. Africahead, for example has Intequinism as its foundation. Intequinism promotes minimum prices, as opposed to most other current brands, which have maximum prices as foundation. Maximum prices are required by stock exchanges, pension funds, minority shareholders and non-profit institutions. Minimization of prices, Africahead applies, is limited by required living expenses, of those working in supplying Africahead products, as well as quality of products. Minimum prices are also minimum profits in the case of Africahead. The maximization of Africahead's brand value, according to Intequinism is caused thus by minimum prices and minimum profits and minimum salaries. Actually minimum profits can be almost ignored because all profits can be drawn in the form of salaries. That is however, i think currently, not sustainable because some profits have to be kept in an organisation for sustainability. I mean minimum prices are dependent on other things, for example minimum salaries, minimum administrative expenses etc. Minimum prices however is a good term to explain the philosophy, because prices directly affect consumers' cash in hand. Minimum profits are not as close to consumers, and therefore does not explain the idea as well.
A brand can be anything legal, investors can regard having monetary value. That is, the brand value causes a difference between a "going concern" value and the equity value of an organisation, business etc. One of the ideas at IPPAEX is to expand the meaning of the words "job", "labour", "work" etc., because of unemployment, caused by artificial intelligence. Activities, those words describe, must be wider than current to make more brands possible and reduce unemployment.
The most universal characteristic of a brand, i guess today is, it must give benefit to those buying it and investing in it.