(B)random Number Generator

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In an article titled Ten Issues Marketers Should Have on Their 2012 Agenda, ANA president Bob Liodice lays out what he sees as the top issues for marketers in 2012. The number two issue (or, I should say, the second issue listed, since they weren’t numbered): Agree to Universal Standards of Brand Valuation.

Liodice writes:

“A crucial missing element of marketing is the value of the brands that we work so hard to create and strengthen. We need generally accepted brand valuation standards that can be applied across the industry. The ANA is collaborating with the 4A’s, Advertising Research Foundation, Marketing Accountability Standards Board and our brand-valuation partners at Interbrand, Core Brand and Millward Brown have begun an effort to address this.”

My take: Amen. Well, partially.

It’s nice to see someone of Liodice’s stature recognize the problem. He might not put it this way, but I will: Most brand valuation methodologies are nothing more than (b)random number generators. 

I qualified my amen, however, because collaborating with the firms that hawk their (b)random number generators is unlikely to produce any standards or agreements. Each of those firms have a vested interest in creating something that’s different from their competitors. 

My amen is qualified for another reason, too: The whole subject of brand valuation is a joke. Here’s my proposal for valuing a brand:

Revenue – Expenses = Profit = Brand valuation 

Am I missing something here?

p.s. It’s really, really sad that one of the ten issues marketers need to address in 2012 is “prove the value of marketing.”

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