The Strategic Value of Brand Valuation
- Brand valuation has traditionally taken a proprietary, black-box approach
- New standards and digital tools make the process more transparent
- Working with a broader data set increases strategic value of brand valuation
In the financial consulting industry, brand valuation has traditionally been a niche segment of business valuation. Annual rankings have historically been the most popular reports provided by brand valuation firms.
However, recent improvements have enabled clients to utilize brand valuation for other strategic studies, such as brand contribution analysis, brand tracking and sponsorship evaluation. These improvements address some of the traditional challenges involved in brand valuation.
Lack of Transparency
Brand valuation firms’ use of proprietary, black-box approaches has hidden many valuation methods, resulting in a gradual erosion of trust in the valuations conducted by these firms.
Disagreement Between Valuation Firms and Presence of Varying Methodologies
Different valuation firms observe different brand values for the same brands, resulting in a feeling of uncertainty for clients.
Misalignment Between Brand Value and Fair Value
Brands are usually sold at a true value that far exceeds or is far lower than the brand value given by valuation firms. This differential raises questions about the applicability of the annual rankings published by brand valuation firms.
How Are Brand Valuation Firms Addressing These Concerns and Providing Strategic Inputs To Clients?
Creating New Standards That Include Non-Monetary Considerations
The traditional ISO 10668 standard for brand valuation defines best practices and specifies the types of analysis the brand valuer must conduct before passing an opinion on the brand’s value. However, a key criticism of these standards was that they were highly monetary or financial in nature.
To resolve this issue, ISO 20671 extends the scope of ISO 10668. The new standard provides a universal view of non-financial and financial measures and enables more accurate reporting on brand value to internal decision makers and external investors.
ISO 20671 is a breakthrough because it indicates what brand management must do and what brand valuers must understand when appraising brands, thus adding value to the process.
Brand Finance is the first brand valuation consultancy to be certified to provide brand valuation and evaluation services. The company produces reports and opinions that are compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671.
Introducing Greater Transparency for the Client
Much of the brand valuation industry has been plagued by a black-box approach in which most of the methodologies are proprietary, leading to a lack of transparency in the valuation process.
In response, firms are trying to bring clients to the table by reducing the opacity of their processes and providing greater levels of context and detail.
Companies like Brand Finance and Interbrand are trying to bring greater transparency by sharing their methodologies and encouraging greater client scrutiny by having an open-book approach.
Implementing Digital Tools
Brand valuation has so far been based on small-scale random samples of survey and panel data collected at different times at great cost. Using digital tools for collection and analysis of detailed information on consumers, makes it much easier to obtain the consumer viewpoint required for brand valuation.
PwC Germany has created digital tools that enable companies to directly link consumer brand awareness and the monetary value of the brand. PwC’s Real Time Brand Valuation tool uses multiple digital channels with over 150 million data sources to record customer opinions of a brand as well as market sentiment. This allows clients to measure key metrics such as brand awareness, brand strength and brand relevance and integrate these directly into a trusted financial model.
Standardization and Digital Tools Turn Brand Valuation Into a Strategic Advantage
Previously clients would engage with brand valuation firms for mostly one-off valuation engagements. However, with the standardization of the industry through ISO 10668 and other improvements, it is expected that clients will start to see the strategic value being offered through brand valuation.
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