Last week I was looking through Interbrand’s annual release of 100 global brands in terms of dollar value. After a few pop quizzes in the office to predict the top ten, it made me think – how many businesses out there truly appreciate and know the value of their brand?

Interbrand’s 2008 report shows Coca Cola’s brand at number one in the world with a value of $USD66,667 million. In Australia, the number one brand is Telstra, at a value of AUD$9,700 million. For these companies their brand would be number one on the balance sheet – an asset they have invested years and millions of dollars in building and growing.

Most of the readers of this blog can only dream of having a brand that valuable, but the principles of brand value and treating a brand as an asset don’t have to be ignored on a smaller scale.

Let me explain this by way of a metaphor. A common business asset is a work vehicle or fleet of vehicles. They are purchased for a sum, which depreciates over time. That purchase sum, minus the depreciation, is the value of this asset. Therefore, the value can be maximised by minimising depreciation – carrying out regular services, making sure they are well looked after by staff, replacing parts when required, etc.

A brand is very similar. You purchase it for a sum, and work very hard to minimise depreciation by awareness building and creating loyal customers. This is why we talk so adamantly about brand consistency and careful design – you wouldn’t forget to service a fleet vehicle, so why forget to service your brand? Each time it is exposed incorrectly, this is a potential source of depreciation.

However, simply maintaining brand value is not enough. I’m confident Coca Cola would not have paid $66 million for their brand to be constructed all those years ago. Brand value can and does appreciate, but not by itself. It requires investment and dedication, and importantly, protection. Again, this is why we will communicate the benefits of trademarking until we are black and blue in the face. It’s the insurance policy that you would purchase for your fleet of vehicles – the protection of your valuable asset.

So don’t let your brand turn into a rust bucket! Purchase the best insurance, service it regularly, and replace any broken bits straight away. If you’d like to know how, get to know us a little better.