In No Logo, Naomi Klein looks at the history of product branding and the increasing complexity of the concept. According to Klein, branding began as a relatively simple way of differentiating similar factory-made products and creating loyalty among consumers. A pair of running shoes would bear the "Nike" logo, and advertising conveyed the message that Nike made good running shoes.
In the 1980s, many corporations started to target younger people. As they did so, the notion of a brand became more complex and inclusive. The idea was no longer simply that Nike was a company which produced good running shoes. Consumers were encouraged to associate the brand with their own identity and lifestyle. Celebrity endorsements and statements of corporate values created an image of the type of person who would use Nike products, and the logo was found everywhere, not only on sports equipment. The brand became associated with a set of values, and was more important than the product itself, since it was the name that created most of the value. Few people can taste the difference between different types of cola, but brands such as Coke and Pepsi create instant recognition. Branding is different from advertising, therefore, since it is the former which creates the core identity of the corporation and its products, while advertising is merely a method of conveying that identity to the public.