There are lots of ways to measure brand value. For marketers it’s a very important metric, which is why they often end up spending large amounts of money trying to measure it. It occurred to me yesterday that, while not perfect, eBay provides a very good way to measure the value of a brand. This thought sprang from the fact that the Blackberry Playbook is already being sold at a discount on eBay. For a product that has only just been launched this speaks volumes for the current state of the Blackberry brand. Indeed eBay can give you a very accurate read on consumer sentiment towards the ‘value’ of a brand through this kind of price analysis. eBay can go further though. The site gives you a clear sense of the popularity of a product both by the volume of products being sold and by the number of bids on each product. Lastly it gives you a measure for the reliability of a brand. Search on digital cameras and you will find a host of ‘broken’ items. If you were to tally the number of broken items as a percentage of those for sale by brand you would a) demonstrate what a sad geek you were and b) get a read on how reliable that product was. I’m sure people with more brainpower and time than I have could come up with a host of other eBay metrics that would help derive the value of brands. At the very least though, I would highly recommend that marketers scour eBay to get a sense of the competition and of the community around their or their clients’ products.
If like me you occasionally poke around on YouTube for research reasons, you may have noticed an increasing number of videos of things that are for sale. This includes items like cars and houses. This of course makes complete sense as it becomes clear that if you want to buy a big ticket item it might be nice to have more than a few pictures, which is typical on eBay. It would seem logical therefore that Google, as the new owner of YouTube, may just look at adding an eCommerce engine to YouTube to enable people to actually buy the items shown on the videos. YouTube purists may say this will make it even harder to find good content but I suspect the guys in Mountain View could find a solution if the site really does fill up with sale items. Of course, the other alternative is that eBay adds YouTube like features to its site. Watch this space.