This story begins to indicate how brands work, and why the brand has become such a central concept in marketing. The brand name, or mark, is at its simplest a badge of origin. In most societies this identification is protected by trademark law. The buyers of goods or services develop associations with the mark which help them make their purchase decisions. Some brands will be associated with consistent quality, some less so. They may be associated with specific performance benefits, cleaning power or good taste. A brand thus offers reassurance, which not only helps the buyer make a safe decision, but actually adds value by creating good feelings of security and anticipation. Without brands, every purchase would be a gamble.