Increasing brand equity is a goal for many marketing campaigns, and perhaps the best measure of the value of global brands comes from Millward Brown’s Brandz Top 100 list. This year, Apple has shot past Google to take the number one spot. I’m not surprised about this – Google’s stellar rise seems to have hit some speed bumps as it deals with challenges ranging from privacy to the fragmentation of the Android OS.
Other technology companies have been big movers in the study, with Facebook growing brand value by 246%, whilst Blackberry is going the other way with a fall in brand value of 20%. Blackberry, however, is ranked 25th, whilst Facebook is ten places behind. And this shows the problem of any study trying to establish an absolute value of a brand – it’s intagibility makes it rather… intangible. Looking at the trend in valuation is interesting, but comparing one brand to another is very difficult: with Facebook’s incredible valuation, who would honestly say the Blackberry brand is worth 30% more?
This is a great lesson to anyone working in marketing. Whilst putting numbers and values on activities are great to ensure accountability, never forget the limitations of your formulae. However, despite the difficulties of creating accurate measures I still believe in metrics: whilst the value you calculate for any marketing activity might not be perfect, it’s better to have some illumination than to stumble about in the dark!