Tue, 21 May 2013
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Riddle of the brands: the secret formula of kudos
Fundamentally the problem here is dividing general brand awareness from a firm's specific brand value for a client. Everyone's heard of Slaughters and DLA....great, but that tells us very little.
What matters is where they are placed in the market and who their peers are in relation to that market positioning. I.e. being known for being large and cheap may be a very good thing to some clients, others not. Brand is dependent on the values being sought by the client.
You can't have DLA and Slaughters in the same branding index unless you're just looking for a blunt input on whether the market has heard of you. Brands operate in discrete market segments, not on a universal index like the FTSE.
You can compare Slaughters/Davis Polk/Bredin Prat/Cravath and their brands, and DLA versus Eversheds and their brands, but not both groups of firms in the same index because they don't do the same things. Peer brand value is far more important than general brand value.
Also, the point by Acritas about using financials to give you a brand value is right - it makes no sense at all. It's just a form of City mysticism.
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