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Brand financial management in the luxury goods industry : « Show me the money » !

The study of the Financial Value of Brands, Brand Management and Goodwill valuation within the Luxury Goods Industry, in its full richness, has preoccupied me for three decades. Although the balance sheet may not even put a value on it, a company’s brand or its portfolio of brands is its most valuable asset.

While trained as a Corporate and Investment Banker mostly with Citibank and Merrill Lynch and steeped in the discipline of both financial and marketing reasoning, I have sought to capture the complexity of what actually means brands and branding in a way that advances financial theory and brings that theory to life for practitioners.

During my academic life, my goal has been to develop both rigorous and useful frameworks for understanding best practice in branding from a pure financial standpoint, covering everything from the value of brand positioning to the value of brand protection, the value of visual and verbal identity to the value of brand communications.

In other words, there is a relationship between a brand and its customers and that relationship means money specifically within the Luxury Goods Industry where clients want to know what prestige and what quality they are getting for their money!

This being said, the tricky questions are: what explains a Premium Brand’s Profitability and what should be your Premium Brand’s Optimized Financial Strategy?

This short note is just a result of the blending of my academic experiences at Sorbonne Business School, EDHEC, ESSEC, ISC SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT and the Universities of Maryland, RUTGERS, Texas A & M, Utah, North Florida,USD, KAIST -as well as my business experiences.

Many people both in the academic and “real” worlds –too numerous to mention- have had an influence on my today’s expertise and state of mind.

To all these persons, I am deeply grateful.

My sincere appreciation goes also to all my students who helped in their own special way by asking questions…and more specifically to Yin and Engi whose thesis written under my supervision develop some refreshing and consistent themes such as the keys to shareholder value creation within Mergers and Acquisitions in the Luxury Goods Industry and the ways companies in that unique Industry can create and sustain superior financial and marketing performance.