An alloy is a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten. For example; brass is an alloy of Zinc and Copper.
Alloying is not always done to produce a 'superior' material, but to produce materials having a desired requirement in the industry or elsewhere. A classic case is of lead solder (containing lead & tin), in which the melting point of the constituent elements are lowered, not necessarily a desirable property.
Alloying (the process in which alloys are made) can be carried out using hot press method (a sheet of material is sandwiched with alloying material), rolling the heated base metal in a drum full of alloying metal powder, using hot spraying, galvanizing (dipping the base in a molten solution of alloying material) etc. Sometimes the alloying material is added in small proportions to the molten base metal (e.g., in production of different types of steel).