Great brands and the role of ideals

Nick Cooper
Millward Brown Optimor

Recent research impressively documents what we instinctively feel: brands that represent an ideal have more-committed employees and a markedly better financial outcome.

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Have you ever reflected on the fact that great businesses own great brands, and great brands belong to great businesses? It's no coincidence, and there are few exceptions. Perhaps one exception is the British car industry, which is littered with fabulous, sought-after brands. But in the past few years they have been brought into expertly run businesses, and the business results – with Land Rover making more profit proportionate to its size than any other car maker in the world – are clear to see.

Why do businesses own brands? When you boil everything down, brands exist for one reason and one reason only: to enhance the ability to make profit. Otherwise every business would be churning out commoditised products and services and everyone would be competing purely on price.