The Intangible Value of Brands

The 10 Most Valuable Trademarks (Forbes)

Value of Top Brand NamesHow does a company measure marketing success?  When asked this question most for-profit marketers will relate success to a financial measure, such as sales and profits, or to market statistics, such as level of market share.  Non-profit marketers may point to donation levels or attendance at a fundraising event.  While each of these measures is easily understandable, one of the most significant measures of success may be one that is intangible and, possibly, unexpected.

The measure is brand equity.  As we discuss in the post, Once Dead, Old Brand Names Are Revived, brand equity relates to financial advantages that are associated with the name of a product or company.  While the level of brand equity depends on how the company conducts its business, in essence brand equity is a measure of the value of the name itself.

As described in this story, the intangible value of the top brands is remarkable.  For instance, the name Google carries with it an estimated value of $44 billion.  Now, while the methods used to determine how these values were calculated are not thoroughly described, it is clear that a large percentage of the values cited are contained within the name alone.  Theoretically, if Google closed down and sold off all assets it could sell just the trademark rights to the name for many billions of dollars.

Google’s trademark–now the most valuable on the planet, according to Brand Finance–is worth an estimated $44 billion, or 27% of the firm’s overall value, measured by market capitalization (its stock price multiplied by the number of shares).

While the companies in this story have relatively high brand equity, what companies would be considered to have low brand equity?

Image by Carlos Luna

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