Corporate Eye

What is Intangible Brand Value?

tylenolThere has always been a struggle between marketers trying to convince corporate senior management that the company’s brand is its most valuable asset and should be included in the company’s overall investment strategy to ensure it works its magic.  However, what do you say when the men and women in the corner offices ask you to quantify your argument for why the company should invest in branding initiatives?  The challenge for marketers has always been finding metrics to measure the value of a brand.  Certainly, one can point to brands like Apple and make the argument that the value of branding is too obvious to ignore.  However, ignore it they will unless you can prove its worth.

Next time you head into a meeting in an attempt to secure budget for internal and external brand-building campaigns, use the list below to help you make your case.  Use each item in the list below and attach at least one real-world example to it, particularly from your own company’s or your competitors’ experiences.  You might not win your first argument, but you might just open some eyes about the intangible value of a brand.

A strong brand creates a sense of security among consumers. 

They’re more comfortable with an existing, established brand, are more likely to trust it, buy it, and tell their friends about it.  It brand extensions within the same category a leg up on the competition because the awareness marketing of the brand is already done.

A strong brand boosts new product awareness and credibility. 

If your brand launches into a new market where it’s a new player, you can leverage the power of your brand in other markets where consumers may already be familiar with its reputation.

A strong brand helps salespeople close deals with business partners and customers. 

If a new client is trying to decide between two sales proposals with all things fairly equal, a strong brand can help that client move in your direction simply because they know what to expect based on the brand reputation.

A strong brand can help the human resources department attract top talent. 

Many prospective employees can be tempted by the prospect of working for a company that owns well-known brands.   Much of it is a prestige move, because people like to be associated with the market leader. 

A strong brand can help a company secure investments. 

A well-known brand name can help you not just get your foot in the door but also secure financing for large-scale ventures.  Investors and lenders like to feel secure in their investments and companies with strong brands are typically viewed as companies that won’t disappear anytime soon.

A strong brand can shelter a company from a public relations disaster. 

Think of the Tylenol poisoning scandal in the 1980s.   Had the company’s brand not been so trusted, the company may not have rebounded as quickly as it did.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.