The practice of branding is a distillation of activities that were first developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as marketing, advertising, public relations, graphic design (once called commercial art), and corporate identity. These intertwined areas deal with sales, recognition, reputation, customer loyalty, and, last but not least, visual aesthetics. Because these areas all converge on one thing—a brand—and their purpose is to build and promote that brand, they can all be considered aspects of a unified field: branding.What relationships between branding and these other practices have evolved over the last 20 years? Which should lead the others in the future?Marketing has traditionally been guided by the “four Ps,” being product, place, promotion, and price. In his book Married to the Brand, William J. McEwen adds a fifth— people. A company’s people need to believe in the brand in order to be able to convey it convincingly to customers. These are the essential elements that every brand manager needs to master in order for a brand to be successful.Historically, advertising was seen as the leading tool for brand building, but by the start of the twenty-first century, the power of traditional advertising began to decline. While still useful for fashioning an image, telling stories, and maintaining awareness, advertising has limited power to launch a new brand or communicate change in a brand. Thanks to its own ubiquity and intensity, advertising is simply tuned out by large numbers of people and so has difficulty reaching many types of customers.Many critics of advertising look at how sellers use ad campaigns to control what customers perceive, and rightly point to a loss in advertising credibility. But branding fulfills a broader role by trying to control what customers actually receive, and by taking into account customers’ feedback and definitions of brand meaning.Public relations (PR) is now a preferred means of getting initial publicity for a new product, handling a crisis, or repositioning a brand. PR agencies use various methods to get the word out, mostly by staging events and feeding stories about a client’s offerings to the media, which then carry them to the public. PR firms pride themselves on acting invisibly: their message is more effective if the public thinks it comes from an impartial source, such as the nightly news, rather than from an advertiser.Graphic design, which has long had a defining voice in brand identity, offers more than the decorative trappings or superficial aesthetics of a brand. By bringing creative thinking to bear in solving challenges; by staying on top of fashions and aesthetic trends; and by integrating left-brain and right-brain insights into one solution, with the benefit of long experience, graphic designers are often better positioned than their counterparts in advertising, PR, or marketing to determine how appearances and perceptions can make a brand relevant and compelling, and to present a real solution to abstract questions.