Google is the World’s Most Cost-Effective Brand

Nice work by the Valleywag gang showing that Google may be the world’s most cost-effective brand. They cross-reference top brands against U.S. marketing spend to come up with following hugely instructive figure:

Great stuff.

[via Valleywag]


  1. Interesting, although apparent gaps gape:
    a) What expenses are marketing (Is compensating third party properties for Adsense marketing expense or opex?)? Surely even Advertising Age does not believe that only advertising is marketing. If they do, they need to send someone to study marketing in b-school quick.
    2. What time scales are these costs apportioned over (after all Google is a baby compared to GE and Microsoft)? The Ad Age magazine has compared 2005 ad spends. Brands, like Rome, are not built in a day so there is a certain degree of naivete in there, and that last line of the Valleywag post, I hope was meant in irony…
    The Financial Times Global Brands section yesterday had a less comparative, more absolute explanation of Google’s value as a brand – the values of its founders. The article suggests that with a high profile ‘do no evil’ corporate line, any failure to live up to its tough standards is a major risk factor for Google (which we all know and do not need the following link for).
    But you live by the sword, you die by the sword… Thus the engineering culture is also a risk in that tech innovation is not a zero-sum game, and some un-named experts reckon that MSFT and Yahoo have vastly improved their search algorithms, as well as advertising networks (though I am sure that last bit was written before Double Click’s acquisition being announced).
    Link (requires subscription):,dwp_uuid=4336ccae-eda9-11db-8584-000b5df10621,Authorised=false.html?

  2. Utterly ridiculous. Google has more brand value than Coke or Disney? Go and look at how they calculate ‘brand value’ and you realize it’s a hodgepodge of handwaving techniques. Once you read ‘future value’ you know you are dealing with people who are pushing something.
    The takeaway from this requires no brand value measurement. We know the brand recognition of Google is pretty good. Not Coke good but good. The fact that it became that good without a lot of marketing spend says something about the value of a good product and the high rate of speed of ‘word of mouth’ communications in this electronic age. It’s a good lesson for branding types. Is it really necessary to spend so much on advertising to get your branding goals met? There’s probably no need to approach branding the way GM does. This isn’t your dad’s marketing department.