Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondThis presentation is about how brands make money. And I'm going to suggest a model for thinking about exactly how a brand translates into commercial value for its owner.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsBrands, as we know, are ideas in people's minds. And those ideas influence how people think and feel and act.

Skip to 0 minutes and 28 secondsAs consumers, obviously, they make us want to buy. That's the most obvious way in which brands work. So Coca-Cola, because it stands for all of these ideas to do with refreshment and energy, the American spirit, happiness, maybe even memories of our childhood, gets consumers to buy 19 billion of the drinks every day.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 secondsBut brands also influence employees. So the people who work at GE, one of the world's biggest companies, which is all about invention and innovation and imagination at work, are constantly working on projects that get their products to market faster, that cut costs, that make the business more efficient.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 secondsSo a strong brand influences consumers and employees. If consumers buy them, revenues go up. If employees work more effectively, then costs go down. And that generates profit in the short term. But brands have a long-term effect, too. And here is an expert, Tim Ambler, from London Business School talking about the way in which "A brand is an upstream reservoir of future cash flow." Brands hold future value. And how do they do that? Well, first, they keep people committed. So Toyota is a brand that stands for reliable, green, innovative, always a better way. Those are the kinds of ideas that people have about Toyota in their minds.

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 secondsAnd that means that Toyota still sells 9 million cars a year, even though they had, like many other car manufacturers, several product recalls because of product problems in the last few years. In spite of all of that, people keep buying. People stay committed.

Skip to 2 minutes and 24 secondsAnd there's a similar effect on employees, too. Brands stimulate constant innovation inside companies-- Google, perhaps, most famously. Because everybody at Google knows that it's all about organising the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful, people are constantly innovating on that and, actually, other related ideas, which is helping Google grow, last time we looked, by 22% a year, which is an astonishing growth rate.

Skip to 2 minutes and 53 secondsSo long term, brands get consumers to commit, which means that the risks associated with the company go down. And employees want to grow, to innovate, to expand, to do more, which means that business opportunities for the company go up. And that combination of risk down and opportunities up means great growth prospects for the future. So put that alongside the short-term impact on profit, and you get commercial value. Because this is exactly how markets usually value organisations-- by multiplying their most recent profit with an estimate of their growth prospects. So that is exactly how brand feeds into commercial value.

How brands make money

Find out how brands make consumers spend money and employees work harder. This slideshow analyses the short-term and long-term effects of brands on commercial impact. Are there other factors you could add to this model?

This slideshow sets out both how it happens and suggests brands which might exemplify the qualities described.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

The Secret Power of Brands

UEA (University of East Anglia)

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Contact FutureLearn for Support