An attribute must be important and differentiating if it is to be useful in strategy development. When marketers fail to understand buyers’ perceptions and market requirements, the result may be failure. Toyota had failed to attract prestige-led car purchasers, even though it produced well-specified executive cars. The brand image was not attractive enough to these target customers. As a result, Toyota created its highly successful Lexus marque, focusing on the brand values desired by these customers.
The value of a brand is based on a number of dynamic variables including competitive set, category strength, differentiation, relevance, management ability, corporate strategy and existing intangible and tangible assets. Not only do these change regularly, but the focus on each one changes depending on the requirements of the business. Brand value is a relative measure, contingent on circumstances and perspective. Ultimately, brands are valued by their audiences, not by consultants.