Branding Rankings: What Do They Mean?

Gina Deveney
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If you're charged with responsibility for establishing and maintaining a public brand strategy, how can you tell if it's working? Is your brand strategy costing too much, or should you invest more? Brand rankings came into existence to answer exactly these questions; they provide feedback on which brands enjoy the highest profiles, which brands consumers trust, and which ones are most valuable. One widely consulted list of brand rankings is maintained by SyncForce, which publishes periodic reports.

SyncForce's brand rankings are established via a confidential process that is only hinted at on the company's website, The process appears to involve a wholesale inventory of reviews and other notices the brand in question has gotten, with a complex system of weighted points awarded for each notice. The upshot is that the more positive reviews a brand accumulates relative to overall notices, the higher the brand ranking it will enjoy, and the higher the brand ranking, the more likely customers are, statistically, to have a positive experience with it.

Brand rankings are also very important in determining the net worth of a company. Some companies—Nike comes to mind—own very little in the way of hard assets or capital goods. By far, Nike's most valuable resource is its brand. By recognizing this in the brand rankings, the market helps to assign a value, measured in dollars, to the Nike brand. In the event of an audit, stock offering, or bond evaluation, the estimated value of the brand will figure prominently in calculations of the initial public offering, creditworthiness, or reserve capital needed for a collateral call. Putting a definite ranking to a brand's profile makes it possible to quantify the work of a firm's advertising and marketing team.

Another use for accurate brand rankings is quality assurance. The success of a marketing or PR firm in achieving market penetration can be very difficult to gauge accurately. Surveys and traditional market research methods can only reveal so much, and these are skewed toward the specific demographic being surveyed. By evaluating the global impact of a marketing strategy, brand rankings can give you a definite answer about your campaign's success or failure, which can help you to correct a mistake midstream or decide whether to apply more resources to an already-successful strategy.

Brand rankings have been serious business for going on twenty years, and they look to be growing in importance over the near future. Considering all of the applications to which the underlying data can be put and the importance of getting an accurate snapshot of a brand's general approval rating, rising brand rankings are likely to become a standard against which your work will be judged.


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