BrandZ™ Brand Valuation Methodology
The brands that appear in this report are the most valuable in the U.S. They were selected for inclusion in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable U.S. Brands based on the unique and objective BrandZ™ brand valuation methodology that combines extensive and on-going consumer insights with rigorous financial analysis.
The BrandZ™ valuation methodology can be uniquely distinguished from its competitors by the way we use consumer viewpoints to assess brand equity, as we strongly believe that how consumers perceive and feel about a brand determines its success and failure. We conduct worldwide, on-going, in-depth quantitative consumer research, and build up a global picture of brands on a category-by-category and market-by-market basis.
Globally, our research covers 3.2 million consumers and more than 100,000 different brands in over 50 markets. This intensive, in-market consumer research differentiates the BrandZ™ methodology from competitors that rely only on a panel of “experts”, or purely on financial and market desktop research.
Before reviewing the details of this methodology, consider these three fundamental questions: why is brand important; why is brand valuation important; and what makes BrandZ™ the definitive brand valuation tool?
Importance of brand
Brands embody a core promise of values and benefits consistently delivered. Brands provide clarity and guidance for choices made by companies, consumers, investors and others stakeholders. Brands provide the signposts we need to navigate the consumer and B2B landscapes.
At the heart of a brand’s value is its ability to appeal to relevant customers and potential customers. BrandZ™ uniquely measures this appeal and validates it against actual sales performance. Brands that succeed in creating the greatest attraction power are those that are:
In any category, these brands appeal more, generate greater “love” and meet the individual’s expectations and needs.
These brands are unique in a positive way and “set the trends”, staying ahead of the curve for the benefit of the consumer.
They come spontaneously to mind as the brand of choice for key needs.
Importance of brand valuation
Brand valuation is a metric that quantifies the worth of these powerful but intangible corporate assets. It enables brand owners, the investment community and others to evaluate and compare brands and make faster and better-informed decisions.
Brand valuation also enables marketing professionals to quantify their achievements in driving business growth with brands, and to celebrate these achievements in the boardroom.
Distinction of BrandZ™
BrandZ™ is the only brand valuation tool that peels away all of the financial and other components of brand value and gets to the core – how much brand alone contributes to corporate value. This core, what we call Brand Contribution, differentiates BrandZ™.
THE VALUATION PROCESS
Step 1: Calculating Financial Value
We start with the corporation. In some cases, a corporation owns only one brand. All Corporate Earnings come from that brand. In other cases, a corporation owns many brands, and we need to apportion the earnings of the corporation across a portfolio of brands.
To make sure we attribute the correct portion of Corporate Earnings to each brand, we analyze financial information from annual reports and other sources, such as Kantar Retail. This analysis yields a metric we call the Attribution Rate.
We multiply Corporate Earnings by the Attribution Rate to arrive at Branded Earnings, the amount of Corporate Earnings attributed to a particular brand. If the Attribution Rate of a brand is 50 percent, for example, then half the Corporate Earnings are identified as coming from that brand.
What happened in the past – or even what’s happening today – is less important than prospects for future earnings. Predicting future earnings requires adding another component to our BrandZ™ formula. This component assesses future earnings prospects as a multiple of current earnings. We call this component the Brand Multiple. It’s similar to the calculation used by financial analysts to determine the market value of stocks (Example: 6X earnings or 12X earnings). Information supplied by Bloomberg data helps us calculate a Brand Multiple. We take the Branded Earnings and multiply that number by the Brand Multiple to arrive at what we call Financial Value.
Step 2: Calculating Brand Contribution
So now we have got from the total value of the corporation to the part that is the branded value of the business. But this branded business value is still not quite the core that we are after. To arrive at Brand Value, we need to peel away a few more layers, such as the in-market and logistical factors that influence the value of the branded business, for example: price, availability and distribution.
What we are after is the value of the intangible asset of the brand itself that exists in the minds of consumers. That means we have to assess the ability of brand associations in consumers’ minds to deliver sales by predisposing consumers to choose the brand or pay more for it.
We focus on the three aspects of brands that we know make people buy more and pay more for brands: being Meaningful (a combination of emotional and rational affinity), being Different (or at least feeling that way to consumers), and being Salient (coming to mind quickly and easily as the answer when people are making category purchases).
We identify the purchase volume and any extra price premium delivered by these brand associations. We call this unique role played by brand, Brand Contribution.
Here’s what makes BrandZ™ so unique and important. BrandZ™ is the only brand valuation methodology that obtains the customer viewpoint by conducting worldwide on-going, in-depth quantitative consumer research, online and face-to-face, building up a global picture of brands on a category-by-category and market-by-market basis. Our research now covers 3.2 million consumers and more than 100,000 different brands in over 50 markets.
Step 3: Calculating Brand Value
Now we take the Financial Value and multiply it by Brand Contribution, which is expressed as a percentage of Financial Value. The result is Brand Value. Brand Value is the dollar amount a brand contributes to the overall value of a corporation. Isolating and measuring this intangible asset reveals an additional source of shareholder value that otherwise would not exist.
Each of the brands included in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable U.S. Brands must meet the following criteria:
- The brand originated in the United States
- And is owned by a publicly listed company traded on a credible stock exchange, or its financials are available in the public domain
- For Telecom Providers, the brand is owned by a U.S. listed company, and only operates in the U.S.
Why BrandZ™ is the definitive Brand valuation methodology
All brand valuation methodologies are similar – up to a point.
All methodologies use financial research and sophisticated mathematical formulas to calculate current and future earnings that can be attributed directly to a brand rather than to the corporation. This exercise produces an important but incomplete picture.
What’s missing? The picture of the brand at this point lacks input from the people whose opinions are most important – the consumer. This is where the BrandZ™ methodology and the methodologies of our competitors part company.
How does the competition determine the consumer view?
Interbrand derives the consumer point of view from panels of experts who contribute their opinions. The Brand Finance methodology employees a complicated accounting method called Royalty Relief Valuation.
Why is the BrandZ™ methodology superior?
BrandZ™ goes much further and is more relevant. Once we have the important, but incomplete, financial picture of the brand, we communicate with consumers, people who are actually paying for brands every day, constantly. Our on-going, in-depth quantitative research includes three million consumers and more than 100,000 brands in over 50 markets worldwide.
What’s the BrandZ™ benefit?
The BrandZ™ methodology produces important benefits for two broad audiences.
- Members of the financial community, including analysts, shareholders, investors and C-suite, depend on BrandZ™ for the most reliable and accurate brand value information available.
- Brand owners turn to BrandZ™ to more deeply understand the causal links between brand strength, sales and profits, and to translate those insights into strategies for building brand equity and fuelling business growth.