First off you won't find any "bullshit peppered with words such as 'holistic' and 'paradigm' " around here and you certainly won't find any where I work.
It's probably a good idea to look at the little tag cloud on the left hand side. You find that the biggest word is design, followed by good, interesting and stuff. That probably tells you more about the words I use than anything else.
So, what does branding mean?
I like David Ogilvy's suggestion, "A brand is all the ways a company is perceived and experienced".
If you're feeling a little more academic then Socrates' quote is useful, "Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of - for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear."
But I also like Johnny Cash's quote, this is an honest way for consultants to approach a clients brand, "I think I understand a little bit about how you feel about some things, it’s none of my business how you feel about some other things and I don’t give a damn how you feel about some other things."
Jeff Bezos' quote is good, very good, but it has one fundamental problem. It doesn't take into account that what people say when you are in the room is important.
What's interesting is that as terms like 'logotype' and 'mark' are being lost, 'brand' and 'branding' are being used to mean everything from logo to identity to reputation to just graphics.