From Branding Strategy Insider: Did it all start in the caves of our earliest ancestors and their sign language? Or was it in the Wild West where cowboys ‘branded’ their cattle? Or did Josiah Wedgewood invent the modern concept of branding when he marked his tableware to command a premium in the 17th century? There are many points of view on what defines the origins of branding, but in the widest sense it is as old as we people are, since it serves our human need for connection as well as distinction. And while our thinking about brands and the roles they play has evolved over more recent decades, most elements of them were there all along – they were just not being analyzed or consciously utilized. For instance, from the very early days a branded good has bestowed a certain aura of sophistication or status on its user. It just wasn’t marketed this way then, but rather sold on the merits of its functional superiority. Because most customers were more interested in factual aspects during times when their functional needs weren’t entirely satisfied yet.