What is the purpose of a strong brand: to attract customers, to build loyalty, to motivate staff? All true, but for a commercial brand at least, the first answer must always be ‘to make money’. Huge investments are made in the design, launch, and ongoing promotion of brands. Given their potential financial value, this makes sense. Unfortunately, most organizations fail to go beyond that, missing huge opportunities to effectively make use of what are often their most important assets. Monitoring of brand performance should be the next step, but is often sporadic. Where it does take place, it frequently lacks financial rigor and is heavily reliant on qualitative measures, poorly understood by non-marketers.
As a result, marketing teams struggle to communicate the value of their work and boards then underestimate the significance of their brands to the business. Skeptical finance teams, unconvinced by what they perceive as marketing mumbo jumbo, may fail to agree necessary investments. What marketing spend there is, can end up poorly directed as marketers are left to operate with insufficient financial guidance or accountability. The end result can be a slow but steady downward spiral of poor communication, wasted resources, and a negative impact on the bottom line.
Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance. Our teams have experience across a wide range of disciplines from market research and visual identity, to tax and accounting. We understand the importance of design, advertising, and marketing, but we also believe that the ultimate and overriding purpose of brands is to make money. That is why we connect brands to the bottom line.
By valuing brands, we provide a mutually intelligible language for marketing and finance teams. Marketers then have the ability to communicate the significance of what they do, and boards can use the information to chart a course that maximizes profits. Without knowing the precise, financial value of an asset, how can you know if you are maximizing your returns? If you are intending to license a brand, how can you know you are getting a fair price? If you are intending to sell, how do you know what the right time is? How do you decide which brands to discontinue, whether to rebrand and how to arrange your brand architecture? Brand Finance has conducted thousands of brand and branded business valuations to help answer these questions.
Brand Finance’s research revealed the compelling link between strong brands and stock market performance. It was found that investing in highly-branded companies would lead to a return almost double that of the average for the S&P 500 as a whole.
Acknowledging and managing a company’s intangible assets taps into the hidden value that lies within it. The following report is a first step to understanding more about brands, how to value them and how to use that information to benefit the business.
-David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance