Research Proposal

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Introduction
Brand valuation has been one of the main marketing research topics since the late 1980’s. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine a modern world without brands and branding. Almost every company is trying to make their name a brand, believing that brand can change the world. However we hardly understand what branding is, what its functions are and how to measure a brand value. Brands are living business assets brought to life across all touch points to create identification, differentiation and value for customers and shareholders. However, you cannot identify and estimate the value that it makes for a company right away. Strong brands drive improved business performance. They do this through their ability to influence customers’ choices, command a premium for products and services and create passionate customer loyalty. As the contribution of brands have become appreciated, it became necessary to value them. Brand value is considered both in customer and financial terms with the contribution of the brand to business results measured. Brands with high levels of equity are associated with outstanding performance including high market share, competitive cost structures and high profitability. A stronger brand generates more loyal customers reducing risks and increasing brand value. Since brand equity has financial benefits for the companies, researchers have been looking for different ways to measure and evaluate this asset [4].

The purpose of this outline is to evaluate a brand known as Starbucks, a very popular coffee company, applying different approaches of brand valuation. The theoretical part of the research proposal will overview all the approaches and methods of brand valuation, such as cost-based, income-based, market-based approaches and other brand valuation methods along with considering the pros and cons of each approach. In the practical part we will consider a particular company Starbucks, its characteristics and the market that it operates in. Using different methods we will try to estimate the value that brand makes to a company and according to them try to estimate the brand value. The object of this research paper is a well-known Starbucks company. The research objectives are:

* Define what brand, branding and brand value are
* Find out how important brand value is for a company
* Overview the history of defining brand valuation
* Consider the approaches which estimate the brand value of a company

Theoretical Background
In order to estimate the brand value of a company it is necessary to find out the definition of a brand, branding and brand value. Brand is usually defined as “A name, term, sign, symbol, or combination of them which is intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors” [6]. Branding is when this symbol or mark is being recognized by more and more customers and the product or service is being chosen when there are a lot of other companies offering same products or services[8]. For many products and companies, branding is an important part of marketing, placing brand a heart of the business. Brand value can be defined as “discounted back to a present value brand earnings, reflecting the likelihood that the brand will be able to withstand challenges and deliver the expected earnings into the future” [5]. So brand valuation is considered as “The process through which qualified experts forms an opinion on the value of a brand, based on the set of premises and hypotheses and taking into account the objectives and audiences which his or her expert opinion has been solicited” [3]. In order to estimate a brand value it is necessary to overview most of the approaches and methodologies that have been developed earlier. The valuation of brands started to emerge in 1980-s after the wave of brand acquisitions in the late 1980-s resulted in large amounts of goodwill that most accounting...
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