Branding guru Wally Olins has blasted the process of brand valuation, saying it is ‘about as meaningful as sticking your wet finger in the air and shouting out a number’.
Saffron Brand Consultants chairman Olins says brands are for the most part ‘inherently unquantifiable’, adding that valuations are ‘like a comfort blanket for a child, which makes it feel safe, secure and stable’.
He adds, ‘But all of us know deep down life isn’t like that. Brand valuation and other statistical analyses with which it is associated are supposed to be an aid to predicting the future, when, as has recently been made clear yet again, the future stubbornly refuses to be predicted.’
Olins’ statement follows recent developments in brand valuation, which include Interbrand valuing the Royal College of Art’s brand at £57m, and the release of a report by Westminster Business School and the British Brands Group which suggests that the total contribution of the branding industry to the UK is not being fully accounted for.
Read Olins’ comments in full in the next issue of Design Week, out tomorrow.