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Brand Valuation: What, How and Why?

By Nader Tavassoli


As Chief Marketing Officer of a privately held Swiss luxury goods company, Lena Müller was tasked with valuing the company’s brand, whose products traded under the same name as the company itself. The reason her CEO gave for the valuation exercise was to better understand “this strange animal called brand” one that over the last decade kept cropping up as a formidable intangible asset on post-M&A balance sheets, such as in the G-III Apparel Group’s recent acquisition of Donna Karan International.

“It might be useful to know our own brand’s value”, the CEO had added, “in case we get acquired, but also to better manage and leverage the brand, how we handle our taxes internationally and, frankly, so I can assess your performance!” Lena too was interested in putting a number on the value of their brand, as she was evaluating a co-branding arrangement for a new bag collection, as well as negotiating a licensing agreement for a range of fragrances.

Learning objectives

This short, fictitious case provides a basis for discussing brand valuation for several purposes:

1. Capitalization of intangible assets on post-M&A balance sheets
2. Input into managing and leveraging the brand across the business
3. Setting transfer prices to optimize international taxation
4. Setting rates for brand licensing agreements
5. Evaluating brand ROI
6. Co-branding revenue splits between parties.


Publication Date: January 2019
LBS Case Code: CS-19-002
Subjects: ,
Pages: 6
Format: pdf