The so-called WWE Brand extension was a retarded idea that Vince McMahon had to SPLIT.WWE(already doing bad business) into two separate "brands". The WWE "Superstars" would then all be drafted to one or the other "brand", and would only work with people on their own "brand", except of course for the thousands of times they worked with people from the other "brand".
How fucking dense can you be?Edit
See, before April 2001, there were two actual brands, WWF and WCW. Each promotion had its own feel, fans and ideas about what good rasslin was. In March 2001 Vince bought out WCW, and there was now only one game in town. However, Vince was actually genuinely surprised when the WCW fans didn't jump over to watch his tedious shit. Hoping to recapture the feel of the Monday Night Wars, WWE(as it now was) artificially created a feud between McMahon and Ric Flair. each guy got his own "brand", roster of rasslers, and World Title. Then, two weeks later, McMahon bought Flair for total control.
No attempt was made to differentiate the "brands". In fact, they were often doing the exact same storyline, just with different people playing the roles. The "brand extension" was also supposed to help to elevate younger guys. However, rather than HHH and The Rock hogging 50% of RAW and Smackdown! each, now each guy got his own whole show to stink up. Also, the "brand extension" exposed just how thin the WWE roster really was when it came to talent.
After years of No Buys, Vince threw in the towel, and I guess we call that a "brand retraction". And HHH still stinks up two shows.