Brands Represent Much Of The Value Of The Firm, Yet We Don’t Have A Good Way Of Valuing Brands: Dr. David W. Stewart, Loyola Marymount University

Event: 2nd AIM-AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium, January 5-7, 2014
Session: Facilitating Collaboration With The Industry
Speaker: Dr. David W. Stewart, President’s Professor of Marketing and Law, Loyola Marymount University

In his presentation, Dr. Stewart discusses why it is important for the academia to interact with managers who he calls ‘real people’ and lists a few benefits and problems associated with such interaction. He talks about his association with Marketing Accountability Standards Board, an organization that aims to facilitate interaction between academia & industry and shares some tips on what academicians can do to facilitate this interaction.

According to Dr. Stewart academicians can gain a lot of value by interacting with managers like – the interaction can be very stimulating, they can acquire access to more data, they can get to solve ‘real’ problems, and feedback from managers can bring out a different or new perspective to the problem which may not have been considered before.

Though the benefits are enormous this interaction does have a downside to it says Dr. Stewart. Some of the problems faced by the academia when interacting with the industry are – cutting through the organization’s red tape can be a lengthy process, difficulty in acquiring the necessary approvals to publish the research, having to provide immediate or specific solutions. He further adds that it is high risk and ill defined work which may not lead to expected results and may be highly time consuming.

Speaking about his own interaction with the industry, Dr. Stewart discusses an interesting project he undertook called the Boardroom Project that is committed to increasing interaction among marketing, finance & accounting and aims to move marketing to greater accountability.

During the course of the presentation, Dr. Stewart touches upon the importance of data in marketing. He says that we do not have a shortage of data; the problem is that the data does not have a ‘common’ meaning. To validate this point he shares an interesting find of  a study of definitions of common marketing terms conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation found that even within the same organization the same marketing term could have 15 different meanings.

Issues with valuation of brands is another very significant point that Dr. Stewart talks about in his presentation. He says that brands represent much of the value of the firm, yet we do not have a good way of valuing brands. He further elaborates the point by sharing how brands are treated by the accounting function.