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European Business and Brand Building

Edited By Luciano Segreto, Hubert Bonin, Andrzej K. Kozminski and Carles Manera

A strong brand is a key factor in business success, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Brands help to provide a better understanding of the corporate and commercial culture of different firms. A brand reveals the knowledge capital held by a company, but also often reflects the perception of the firm held by consumers and stake-holders.
The book explores the historical process of building some of the most famous brands among European businesses and examines the extent to which the brands have contributed to the image of the firms and their differentiation against competitors in the industry.

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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS - Caution: Brands at Work! Branding between Time, History, and Financial Markets 15 - Luciano Segreto

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15 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS Caution: Brands at Work! Branding between Time, History, and Financial Markets Luciano SEGRETO University of Florence 1. How much is that brand? Defining and evaluating the brands In early March 2011, when Bernard Arnault, the owner of LVMH, acquired the Italian jeweller Bulgari from the founder’s family1, the famous anecdote by the actor Richard Burton referring to Liz Taylor came to the mind of many commentators: “The only word she knows in Italian is ‘Bulgari’. I introduced Liz to beer and she introduced me to Bulgari”. Apart from the evident intent of the (fifth and sixth) husband of the movie star, who recently died, this expression can be considered the best introduction to evaluate the importance of a brand: a single word for an entire linguistic dictionary. Some years ago scholars involved in research about brand and brand value took a new direction: “a new dominant logic for marketing has emerged, shifting the focus from tangible to intangible resources, from frozen value to co-created value and from transaction to relationships”.2 To some extent we could argue that they were finally realizing the importance of that anecdote. How to measure the value of a brand has always been an important issue in business activity, as well as in any approach to analyse it. In 1998 General Motors had record sales of 166 billion dollars; its capital was 229 billion dollars and in that year profits were 7 billion dollars. The same year Coca Cola’s sales were just...

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