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.