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  • Writer's pictureJoel Alpert

C-Level Execs Ask: What's Our Brand Worth? Why Spend Time & Money Developing Our Brand?

big graphic wiht word "brand" to represent the financial implications of brand identity and brand value to CEOs and CFOs
"Brand" is the word! It's up to CEOs and CFOs to maximize its valuable

Is it really worth investing in an ethereal idea called "brand"?

How can you evaluate the value of a brand?

"Brands are conceptually tricky. In the words of Jeremy Bullmore of WPP, they are “fiendishly complicated, elusive, slippery, half-real/half virtual things. When CEOs try to think about brands, their brains hurt."

Here is some key perspective about the monetary value of brand identity.


“Part of the confusion (about "brand") comes from the fact that the word “brand,” as a noun, is used in different ways.

  • “Which brand did you buy?”— a brand is a named product or service.

  • “Which brand shall we use for this new product?” — brands are trade marks.

  • What IS a brand? While you'll hear different definitions, here's a definition by Joel Alpert of MarketPower: A brand is the customer perception which you create…the overall identity of all your marketing communications, activities, and customer interactions. This includes key components of company name, logo, tagline, domain name… positioning of your company, products and services… sales and marketing materials… customer service and all company interactions… essentially your conscious development of all areas of the business and the way you present these to your target audience(s). It's purpose is to engage the interest of buyers and enable a more efficient sales process.

  • “How will brand development strengthen or weaken our company?” — brand refers to customers’ and others’ expectations about products or services sold under a specific trade mark or about the company which provides them.”

  • Can brand identity can be created within social media? Social Media may be where you blast it… but its not the identity itself. Your brand has many "touchpoints," and when you get the primary ones in focus you're headed in the right direction."

  • Once you (start to) brand… you'll realize it's value, and want to apply it across your business. You'll see the impact it has in a relatively short period of time.

These key excerpts were excerpted by Joel Alpert

from “Brands And Branding” (Bloomberg Press),

"The clarity of focus that a strong brand positioning gives organizations will always create more effectiveness, efficiency and competitive advantage across all operations; and from a pragmatic financial perspective, research among investment communities confirms that clarity of strategy is one of the first criteria for judging companies.”

“As one chief executive noted, those who move from the (basic) traditional idea that the brand is about advertising and marketing to using the brand as an organizing idea in their corporate strategy, to touch and inform everything they and their people make, do and say, may find that they ‘have made more progress as business then we achieved in the previous ten years.’ ”


“The intangible element of the combined market capitalization of the S&P 500 has increased to around 80%, compared with some 30% twenty years ago, and is likely to grow even further as tangible distinctions between businesses become less sustainable. The brand element of that combined market value amounts to around one-third of the total, which confirms the brand as the most important single corporate asset.”

“Warren Buffet, the world’s most famous (and least sentimental) investor told a group of investors that brand is the most important factor in deciding where to invest.”

"Strong brands mean more return, for less risk."

“If branding is treated as a cosmetic exercise only, and regarded as merely a new name/logo, stationery and possibly a new advertising campaign, it will have only a superficial effect at best….Reputation is, after all, reality with a lag effect. Branding needs to start with a clear point of view on what an organization should be about and how it will deliver sustainable competitive advantage; then it is about organizing all product, service, and corporate operations to deliver that.”

“If the brand is the most important organizational asset, it makes rational sense for it to be a central management preoccupation. Business strategy is, or should be, brand strategy, and vice versa.”


“Creativity and imagination are crucial to the success of a brand. It is the easiest thing to in the world for people to approach new naming, product development, design and advertising ideas with an open mouth and a closed mind.”

“To distinguish itself effectively and efficiently from other organizations, it is helpful to have some kind of shorthand: visual or verbal symbols…”

“…these elements will engage and inspire people, externally and internally,to the advantage of the organization.”

The Bottom Line from Joel

Brand Strategy includes perceptions and reality...from company name, logo & tagline to product/service development to customer service and all interactions and beyond. Your basic strategic and branding communications form the foundation for business growth and successful marketing communications. Map out your plans to address perception and reality…do a great job on both!

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Joel Alpert is a branding and marketing specialist who combines (1) a proprietary strategic consulting and branding process which gets at the essence of your business and brand strategy quickly and definitively (using the innovative thinking developed by Robert Fritz, Inc.) (2) huge experience producing effective, award-winning branding and marketing communication programs for large and small companies and agencies across the country.

(3) experience working with "the largest and smallest organizations in America." Connect on LinkedIn.

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Quotes are from Author/Compiler Rita Clifton, a leading practitioner and commentator on branding; CEO/Chairman of Interbrand, a global brand consultancy. You might want to read this multi-author compilation, with multiple perspectives on Branding that particularly appeal to Business Owners, CEOs/CFOs who are trying to rationalize the spend they know they need, but who want to ensure, as best as might be foretold, that it will deliver a return that's worth it. The quotes are from “Brands And Branding” (Bloomberg Press).


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