A brand is a mark inflicted on skin or hide using hot metal in the form of a branding iron. Brands were commonly used to indicate ownership of cattle and other livestock, before the development of plastic ear tags; different owners would use a different style of brand. Branding was also commonly used in former times as a punishment for certain classes of criminal.
Deriving from the above, a brand is also the term for a registered trade name. Brand names such as Coca-Cola are considered to be of very high monetary value. A modern company's 'brand' might include the company's name, logos, slogans, famous people who endorse the company, and more nebulous public perceptions that the company wishes to cultivate as part of its 'brand identity'.