Earlier this week, Interbrand released their annual ranking of the Top 100 Corporate Brands. Some of the usual international exports (Coca Cola, McDonalds, Disney) and a huge number of tech giants (IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, Apple, Intel) dominate the top 10. It’s pretty interesting, and, if you’re like me and interested in understanding how people perceive brands, how a brand becomes so incredibly valuable ($71 billion, really?) then the methodology section is the first place you stop.
Now, I don’t have an MBA, but I do have a planning degree which pretty much means I’ve studied similar concepts but in real estate, and, their method makes sense. Basically, you take the profit the organization earns (economic profit), multiply by some estimate of how many consumers bought the brand’s product when they otherwise would not have, then discount it with the brand strength. Ok, great. Essentially, now, you have a monetary estimate of how much value that brand adds to its company, a quantitative measure of the impact of the brand. Which is useful for comparing brands; but does it really capture which brands are most memorable, which ones have the most aficionados, what brands people are talking about daily? Not exactly.