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How to build and measure brand value

Discover best practices, tips, and strategies to make your brand stand out.

In the 1950s and 1960s, companies began experiencing more and more competitors in their industries. Numerous products on the market looked and functioned in similar ways, and companies were no longer able to rely on quality and value to sell products. This is when companies began to use branding to tap into customers’ emotions and shifted branding from informational to intimate by representing emotional value to customers.

Today, brand identity is a massive part of the marketing landscape. Customers rely on brand names to determine whether they will make a purchase. In response, brands are built, nurtured, and bought and sold—they are truly valuable commodities. 

Do you know how much your brand is worth? It can be challenging to measure but knowing it helps shape your marketing strategy and business goals. Let’s take a look at brand value, building it, and how to measure it so you can make the most of your brand.

Brand value is the financial worth of your brand. In other words, if you were going to sell your brand today, including your name, logo, colors, packaging, digital assets, and brand identity, how much would someone pay to purchase it? But brand value isn’t just based on your tangible assets; it also includes intangible assets, such as brand equity.

Brand value is a financial measure of your brand’s worth. For example, the brand value of Lego, the Danish toy company, was reported to be worth $5.4 billion in 2021

Brand equity is brand perception, the effect this perception has on your company, and the value of that effect. Brand equity can be positive or negative. For example, Heinz ketchup has positive brand equity, so customers are willing to pay a higher price for the brand-name product. If a customer is willing to pay more for a generic brand than your brand name product, your brand has negative brand equity.

Both are important values that you should understand about your brand—because you need to raise brand equity to improve brand value.

So, if you were preparing to take over a major brand, let’s stick with the Heinz example. You would be buying more than the recipe for a tasty condiment. You would be purchasing the name, logo, and brand elements that customers recognize as hallmarks of the Heinz brand. And you’d need to know what all of those element add to the overall brand value so you could make a bid.

On the other hand, if you are selling your brand, you’d be selling more than your products and services. You’re selling the intangible components that make your brand unique and desirable to your customers. And you’d want to know exactly what your brand is worth.

Knowing what your brand is worth helps you track whether your company is gaining or losing value. With insights from brand tracking, you can change your marketing strategies or improve your campaigns to raise your brand equity, which will in turn raise your brand value.

Keep some valuable brands in mind as you review this list of the characteristics. Brands like Coca-Cola, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are some of the world’s most valuable brands. They all share these traits:

  • Highly recognizable: people know who these brands are
  • Positively perceived: people have a favorable image of them
  • Popular: people widely use the brand’s products and services
  • Loyal following: customers are brand ambassadors

Brand valuation isn’t an exact science. For example, Brand Finance states that the value of Coca-Cola is $33.2 billion, while Forbes lists it at $64.4 billion. Why the large disparity? There's some subjectivity at play because it’s hard to equate all of the intangibles of brand value to dollars.

Nevertheless, there are several ways to measure brand value. Choose a method based on your brand identity, current situation, and business goals. 

A market-based valuation uses the overall climate of your market to define your brand’s value. Use the value of similar brands on the market with comparable brand rights, stock performance, and assets.

In this method, you need to calculate all the costs spent on creating and developing your brand. Gather the data on all of your expenses from inception to the present to form an estimate. Expenses include ad spend, marketing costs, employee salaries, contractor salaries, trademarks, and any other costs associated with establishing your brand. 

You’ll have a clear picture of what you’ve invested with a cost-based valuation, but this doesn’t accurately represent your brand value because it doesn’t take your brand equity into account.

Focus on the financial streams, such as income, cash flow, cost savings, and future revenues, to determine your income-based valuation. Keep in mind, while you’re gathering the numbers, which ones are the result of the reputation and awareness of your brand. This gives you a frame of reference for some of the less tangible assets of your brand.

Your NPS score is a predictor of whether your customers will promote your brand. Start by sending an online NPS survey to your current customer list to find out how likely they are to recommend your brand. This is a measure of how much people know, like, and trust your brand.

Monitor brand reputation and quickly identify any changes in sentiment—get your business on the fast track to good brand health.

Measure your brand equity with surveys. Brand awareness, brand perception, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty surveys provide excellent insights into your brand equity. You may already have some of this data. If not, the Brand Tracking solution from SurveyMonkey can measure several of these metrics at once, saving you time and effort.

Each approach will likely leave you with different results, which makes sense because the brand value is more complex than, say, finding the value of your car. However, using each of these methods will provide you with beneficial information for your brand strategy.

Of course, you could always put together an analysis of what it would cost to develop a brand equivalent to the one you have now too.

Every brand wants to maximize its value. Here are some tips for improving your brand equity, which will ultimately boost your brand value.

During the customer journey, each customer will progress through different stages with your brand. Their journey begins with brand awareness and, hopefully, continues on to reach loyalty and advocacy. Your marketing and advertising strategies should help customers become emotionally invested in your brand. 

To earn customers’ loyalty and trust, stay true to your brand identity, values, and message throughout all interactions from ads to social media to customer service. Consistent messaging is the key to effective communications with your customers.

Build your brand by partnering with an influencer or other well-known personality. This practice will increase your visibility, awareness, and recognition. Keep your brand's social and ethical values at the forefront of your partnership to solidify the connection in the minds of your customers. 

Customer experience is how customers perceive your brand as a result of every interaction they have with your team and products from the moment the relationship begins to when it ends. Our research shows that 88% of customers who receive a poor experience lose trust in a brand. And 57% of respondents say they have permanently stopped using a product after one bad experience. According to The US Customer Experience Index report from Forrester Research, among customers who feel happy with a company, 88% plan to purchase more from it again.

Consistently excellent customer experience is crucial to your brand. This should be a priority for every role involved in CX, including customer support personnel, leadership, public relations, marketing, communications, and operations. Find out your current customer experience metrics with our customizable survey template.

Use these metrics to accurately measure and monitor your CX:

There is simply no better way to build a strong brand than to truly understand your customers. And to get to know them, the best way is to use market research surveys. SurveyMonkey has a variety of questionnaire examples and survey templates to help you create surveys customized to your brand.

Gather feedback from your existing customers about customer satisfaction, customer service, NPS, consumer behavior, and more. The better you know your customers, the better equipped you are to meet their needs with your products and services. You’re also prepared with the metrics to personalize your marketing.

Think about Apple. When it introduced the iPod to the world, it didn’t focus any marketing efforts on the technical specifications or features. They leaned into the tagline, “1000 songs in your pocket.” Released in November 2001, Apple sold over 400,000 iPods in 2002—at $399 each. That number rose to 4.4 million sold by 2004. Clearly, Apple knew its audience very well, and it continues to do so, offering sleek, easy-to-use products to its customers.

Knowing what your customers want, need, and expect from you is one of the most valuable resources you can have for building brand value.

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We mentioned consistent messaging when we were discussing marketing and advertising, but it’s worth clarifying a few points. Your brand has a personality. That personality is what makes your prospective customers remember you. Use the same tone, language, and style throughout your communications to maintain that personality.

Make sure your blogs, emails, social media posts, web content, and advertisements all speak with your singular brand voice. This gives you a cohesive brand identity and makes your brand recognizable across all channels. Your brand promise should be clear with every interaction with your brand. 

Consider Nike, whose slogan has been, “Just Do It” for 15+ years. It’s easy to remember and clearly aligned with its branding—and consistent year after year. In contrast, Reebok has changed its slogan at least four times over the same time period. Which brand is worth more? Nike has a brand value of more than $33 billion. Reebok was sold (from Adidas to Authentic Brands Group) in 2021 for $2.5 billion.

Brand transparency is when a brand shows that it is open, genuine, and accessible. Today’s customers have the ability to research any brand right at their fingertips. When a brand is transparent about its values, processes, products, and goals, it earns customers’ trust. In fact, an article in Forbes magazine says that over 90% of consumers say transparency by a brand is important to their purchase decisions.

You can improve your brand’s transparency in several ways:

  1. Be clear, concise, and honest about how customers’ personal data will be used. Now that websites in the EU, US, and the UK are required to get consent from users for storing, using, or retrieving their personal information, your transparency is more important than ever. As is your process for making it easy for users to opt-out of non-essential cookies (some HTTP cookies—small packets of data—are necessary for your web experience, but some cookies allow advertisers to track your browsing history). Follow the cookie laws for your region and make it easy for website users to personalize cookie use.
  2. Be honest about pricing. While making money is necessary for your business, your customers’ needs should still be your top priority. When you need to raise prices, provide a simple, direct notice before making the change. For example, when Netflix raised its prices, it sent an email explaining that the $2 per month increase would allow them to offer more value and variety in programming.
  3. Reveal your higher purpose. Is your brand dedicated to the environment? Do your employees participate in community-focused activities? Does your brand support a particular charitable cause? Tell your customers about it. Use your website and social media to inform customers about your community and charitable involvement. Customers will feel good about supporting a brand that is making a positive impact.
  4. Be open about your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies. People worldwide are concerned about brands hiring and retaining talent from a diverse pool. Your brand should highlight its DEI policies and be completely transparent about them.

Here are a few things to avoid when working on your transparency:

  • Performative activism: don’t comment on every social justice issue because you want to impress customers—they won’t believe you
  • Deny mistakes: negative reviews happen. Don’t try to delete them—instead, reply honestly, and provide a solution. Own your mistakes and address concerns.
  • Ignore customers: take customer feedback seriously. Be open to suggestions, and take action on feedback that is valid.

Brands that listen to both supporters and critics know the value of real-time feedback. By listening to customers, you can diagnose issues early, fix them, and identify opportunities to take advantage of positive feedback.

You should be monitoring the social media channels most visited by your customers and responding to feedback to express concern, give appreciation that they have reached out to you, and offer solutions. Always be courteous and use the consistent tone of your brand voice.

Your brand value includes the name, logo, colors, packaging, digital assets, and brand identity. But there’s more to it than just these assets. That’s why efforts to improve your brand equity can boost the value of your brand. 

How much is your brand worth? The SurveyMonkey Brand Tracker will help you get a handle on your overall brand health and help you identify meaningful trends and insights. 

While you’re improving your brand value with the brand tracker metrics, take a look at our other market research solutions for tools that will solve your market research dilemmas, support product innovations, assess brand and creative development, and so much more!

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. 

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