Branding is just another word for propaganda. The reason people don't understand the difference between the made up meanings and the real meanings of things like socialism, and De fund the police is active negative propaganda.
Socialism has been under constant propaganda attack since FDR. And these days there is just as much bad branding(insert the word propaganda here) from the Democrats as the Republicans. When they both know we are heavily dependent on corporate socialism to the tune of trillions and trillions of dollars over that same time period. This is while our other socialist institutions have been bled dry, neglected, and abused. Medicare, and social security. All our roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. All this while the word socialism is being bashed in the press by the same people that are getting their socialist bailouts from the collective's pile of cash.
De fund the police is a another statement that has been hugely propagandized. This again by both parties.
So a good article, talking about the misperceptions people carry, and how it affects our elections. But please, let's not be confused about why there is the huge amount of misperception. Branding is how you sell a product. Propaganda is an evil way to sell lies. It is arguably the most dangerous thing anywhere in the world, but mostly right here in the USA.