January 06, 2009

Outline of Research Project

Follow-up to Importance of Brands from Saya's Ramblings...

Introduction and background

·        What is branding, brand management, brand strategy, development of brands, historical approaches, where it stands today.

·        Evidence of brand value and importance of brands and branding today, for internal and external stakeholders:

·        Internal: marketing division, management, employees (human capital)

·        External: shareholders for their value creation, investors for their investment initiatives

Literature review and Theoretical underpinning

·        Economics of brands as a source of market value for firms.

·        The economic importance of intangibles (brands) in our economy today supported with some statistical evidence from critically reflecting on the literature review. An example of statistical; evidence includes: Increased R&D expenditure in healthcare sector, market-to-book value ratios of Fortune 500 companies and suggesting the higher market value over tangible assets.

·        The differences in value of brands within different industries (Sattler & Hupp, 2003)

·        How the theory of the firm, more specifically the resourced-based view (RBV) of the firm explains the importance of intangibles (brands) to regain the firms’ competitiveness in the marketplace. How brands play a pivotal role amongst all other intangible assets of a firm. Critically reflecting on the development of RBV and how it addresses issues of immutability, mobility, tradability, scarcity, substitutability and other characteristics of brand intangibles for a firm or a specific industry.

Aims and Objectives of this research

·        The goal of this research is to outline the linkages the brand equity to that of brand investments

·        This issue has been on the top of the agenda for marketers to try to justify spending in branding, marketing and other ancillary activities.

·        Using the theoretical backgrounds and literature review, the goal of this research will be to critically reflect on the findings and put things into perspective using the RBV of the firm and the Value, Rare, In-imitable, Non-substitutability (VRIN) model laid out by Barney (1991).

Data and Methodology

·        I shall first be using secondary financial data from firms which have a noticeable brand, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customers (B2C)

·        I shall be looking into how analysts’ make recommendations from current earnings regarding the performance of future earnings and how (if any) brand equity plays a role in such recommendations.

·        A typical analyst report includes company profile, financial forecasts, operational performance and other sub-headings that highlight the overall firm’s outlook for the future. After careful consideration of various factors, the analysts then reports to the investors if the security of that firm is either a Strong buy, Buy, Hold or a Sell situation.

·        I shall try to look into how the recommendations of worlds top brands (approx 50) have changed over time and how has it been reflected in analysts recommendations. This way I shall try to highlight any anomalies (if any) or obvious movements in trying to find out the linkages of the brand financing with brand investments within capital markets.

Conclusions

·        Summarise the findings from the empirical analysis

·        Outline the possible problems faced during the study: while gathering, analysing, highlighting brand elements from reports, etc

·        Suggest further improvements in security analysis and modelling such with emphasis of brand equity and its overall impact on the business

·        Reflect on future research realms connected with my results


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