I spotted an interesting article on Brand Channel, when the headline had caught my eye: “Audi’s Brand Strength is more than Sales.” Reading further, there was a provocative quote from CMO Scott Keogh, “True luxury leadership comes from being the thought leader in the segment, not necessarily the sales leader.” The argument, as I understand it is that sheer sales volume can be a measure of many things including price differentials in segments, distribution structure, manufacturing capacity and market penetration. Sales will always be contextual to the company and the market – similarly the brand will be contextual, but to more subtle measures – social, emotional, historical and more. These are qualitative measures however, rather less amenable to observation than sales figures.
Another way of looking at these two dimensions parallels the way we measure business value. Sales are represented in the Profit and Loss account, where the brand should sit firmly on the Balance Sheet as a corporate asset.