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‘Brand USA’ value plummets by $1.2 trillion since April 2011 according to Brand Finance plc.

02 September 2011
This article is more than 12 years old.

• Brand Finance plc. today releases figures showing the dramatic impact of the economic situation on the value of ‘Brand USA’.
• ‘Brand USA’ is downgraded to AA-, as its brand strength falls to a 10 year low
• The rising value seen in the last two years falters, as the value of ‘Brand USA’ falls 10% since April 2011 to $11.4 tn

With stock markets continuing to slump, new data shows there is a significant decline in ‘Brand USA’s’ value. Nation brand values are produced through a detailed analysis of economic data, perceptual market research data and infrastructure measures producing a combined score out of 100. For ‘Brand USA’ decreases are apparent across all inputs. Infrastructure scores dropped from 77 to 76 points, economic measures fell from 74 to 64 points and the brand equity measure slipped from 71 to 61.

As the world’s biggest economy, ‘Brand USA’ is still significantly more valuable than the next nearest nation. However the drop in brand strength has been caused by inflation, cost of capital, reduced capital, higher unemployment and declining image abroad. If ‘Brand USA’ had been given the AA- rating in the Brand Finance Nations Brand Index (published in May 2011), it would fall below Canada, Australia and South Korea in brand strength.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance plc, comments:
“‘Brand USA’ is under enormous pressure as a decade of crises in business and foreign policy have been joined by serious economic problems. Low consumer spending, a static property market and the sovereign debt credit downgrade have all taken their toll on the value of ‘Brand USA’. At the same time other developed and emerging nation brands are performing better and growing in value. The economic crisis and double dip recession will accelerate these differences, with further shifts likely in the near future.”

Ollie Schmitz, Director of Nation Brand Valuation, Brand Finance plc adds:
“Prior to the recession, ‘Brand USA’ communicated strong and desirable values in everything from popular culture and entertainment to food and retailing brands. However, as a result of the current economic situation the brand strength has now dropped to its lowest score since tracking began in 2000. Once the global benchmark, emerging markets across the globe will now look to other nations to take the lead signalling exceptionally testing times for the ‘Brand USA’ in the future.”

The full Brand Finance plc Nation League Table 2011 and methodology is available upon request from Brand Finance plc.


Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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