Financial analysts and brands

From the brand analysis blog Dim Bulb: Pick Up the Phone come this discussion of why financial analysis don’t get brand value:

The financial community has always had an arms-length relationship with branding. It’s slotted in as an intangible, or goodwill component on a company balance sheet, which makes it an exception to most anything else that is measured and attributed to (or debited from) estimates of corporate value.
Analysts, like the executives they haunt, like to use the word brand to reference or explain lots of things that aren’t dependably explainable, like awareness, momentum, buzz, and any word that has a future tense to it. These are all reasonable, qualitative observations about human behavior and society in general, but they’re certainly not primary sources of information like the other data used in financial analysis.
. . .
Brands can and should matter to how we understand and predict corporate performance, only now we’re seeing that they’re just nice-to-have references in annual reports and in newspaper quotes. Now could be the time for the financial community to come up with an inventive, new definition of what goes into branding, and perhaps agree on a methodology to assign values to companies…values that are tangible useful to them, to reporters, and to the working shlubs like yours truly who buy and sell the stocks.

I agree that now could be the time for new methodologies to assign values. But we need that with all intangibles, not just brands. And that is a much more complicated undertaking.

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