April 20, 2015
The public perception of the value of brands is largely influenced by the numerous brand value league tables released by three brand valuation firms – Interbrand, Millward Brown and Brand Finance. Such league tables of the top most valuable brands are compiled for the globe altogether, for different countries, or for different industries. They find their way into the offline and online press, into the boardrooms of the owners of the listed brands, into academic research, and into the minds of many brand-minded managers, marketers and private persons.
For the first time, these brand values have now been tested for their validity against brand values from real market transactions. 68 brands have been identified that were part of transactions in the past few years, allowing 82 head-to-head comparisons of the transaction values against the values published in one of the league tables. The results are astonishing. The average difference between league values and transaction values is 276%. This significant overestimation in the league tables suggests critically scrutinizing the significance, benefits and publication of such rankings.
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