Most students understand that a recognizable brand is an important asset for a company, but few realize that value can be quantified as brand equity. In Essentials of Marketing we define brand equity as “the value of a brand’s overall strength in the market.” In this Interbrand report on the world’s most valuable brands you can see the staggering value of top global brands but it’s also interesting to see how many of these top brands are technology companies. Time-honored brands like McDonald’s, Disney, and even Coca-Cola have fallen in value relative to tech giants like Apple and Google.
A simple but fun class discussion can be sparked by posting half a dozen popular brands on a slide and asking students to estimate what those brands are worth. You can then reveal the actual value of those brands and have a discussion with students about the value of brand equity. With so much riding on their brand, companies spend millions of dollars to establish, maintain, and protect their brand image and familiarity. In chapter 8 we talk about the importance of brand selection and some of the characteristics to consider when choosing a brand name. Another exercise can be to give students a few brand names and ask them to evaluate those names based on the criteria outlined in chapter 8.