Interbrand's methodology looks at the ongoing investment and management of the brand as a business asset.

This means that our methodology takes into account all the many ways in which a brand touches and benefits its organization -- from attracting and retaining talent to delivering on customer expectations. The final value can then be used to guide brand management, so businesses can make better, more informed decisions. There are three key aspects that contribute to the assessment:

  • The financial performance of the branded products or services.
  • The role of brand in the purchase decision process.
  • The strength of the brand.

 

Financial Analysis

This measures the overall financial return to an organization’s investors, or its “economic profit.” Economic profit is the after-tax operating profit of the brand, minus a charge for the capital used to generate the brand’s revenues and margins. A brand can only exist and, therefore, create value, if it has a platform on which to do so. Depending on the brand, this platform may include, for example, manufacturing facilities, distribution channels, and working capital. Interbrand, therefore, allows for a fair return on this capital before determining that the brand itself is creating value for its owner. We build a set of financial forecasts over five years for the business, starting with revenues and ending with economic profit, which then forms the foundation of the brand valuation model. A terminal value is also created, based on the brand’s expected financial performance beyond the explicit forecast period. The capital charge rate is determined by reference to the industry weighted average cost of capital.

Role of Brand

Role of Brand measures the portion of the decision to purchase that is attributable to the brand, relative to other factors (for example, purchase drivers like price, convenience, or product features). The Role of Brand Index (RBI) quantifies this as a percentage. Customers rely more on brands to guide their choice when competing products or services cannot be easily compared or contrasted, and trust is deferred to the brand (e.g., computer chips), or where their needs are emotional, such as making a statement about their personality (e.g., luxury brands). RBI tends to fall within a category-driven range, but there remain significant opportunities for brands to increase their influence on choice within those boundaries, or even extend the category range where the brand can change consumer behavior. RBI determinations for this study derive, depending on the brand, from one of three methods: primary research, a review of historical roles of brand for companies in that industry, or expert panel assessment. RBI is multiplied by the economic profit of the branded products or services to determine the earnings attributable to the brand (brand earnings) that contribute to the valuation total.

Brand Strength

Brand Strength measures the ability of the brand to create loyalty and, therefore, to keep generating demand and profit into the future. Brand Strength is scored on a 0–100 scale, based on an evaluation across 10 key factors that Interbrand believes make a strong brand. Performance on these factors is judged relative to other brands in the industry and relative to other world-class brands. The strength of the brand is inversely related to the level of risk associated with the brand’s financial forecasts. A proprietary formula is used to connect the Brand Strength Score to a brand-specific discount rate. In turn, that rate is used to discount brand earnings back to a present value, reflecting the likelihood that the brand will be able to withstand challenges and generate sustainable returns into the future.

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Strength Factors

Linking back to the way in which we at Interbrand create and manage brand value for our clients, these 10 factors give us a comprehensive framework for managing brands as well as valuing them.

Internal Factors

Clarity

Clarity internally about what the brand stands for in terms of its values, positioning and proposition. Clarity too about target audiences, customer insights and drivers. Because much hinges on this, it is vital that these are articulated internally and shared across the organization.

Commitment

Internal commitment to brand, and a belief internally in the importance of brand. The extent to which the brand receives support in terms of time, influence, and investment.

Protection

How secure the brand is across a number of dimensions: legal protection, propriety ingredients or design, scale or geographical spread.

Responsiveness

The ability to respond to market changes, challenges and opportunities. The brand should have a sense of leadership internally and a desire and ability to constantly evolve and renew itself.

External Factors

Authenticity

The brand is soundly based on an internal truth and capability. It has a defined heritage and a well-grounded value set. It can deliver against the (high) expectations that customers have of it.

Relevance

The fit with customer/consumer needs, desires, and decision criteria across all relevant demographics and geographies.

Differentiation

The degree to which customers/consumers perceive the brand to have a differentiated positioning distinctive from the competition.

Consistency

The degree to which a brand is experienced without fail across all touchpoints or formats.

Presence

The degree to which a brand feels omnipresent and is talked about positively by consumers, customers and opinion formers in both traditional and social media.

Understanding

The brand is not only recognized by customers, but there is also an in-depth knowledge and understanding of its distinctive qualities and characteristics. (Where relevant, this will extend to consumer understanding of the company that owns the brand).