Branding seems to a lot of people to be a lot of smoke and mirrors. In short, they consider it "marketing bullsh*t". But brands have real value.
As I've mentioned, brands have real value - not just for a company, but for the consumer - because they simplify consumer choices. It's worth something to the consumer to buy a trusted brand. They are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to thoroughly research all the pros and cons of competing products.
That's why it's rational - and not "marketing bullsh*t" - for strong brands to command a higher price.