- Tools for Investors
- Stock News
- Investing Ideas
- Econ & Policy
- Personal Finance
In the battle for brand awareness, money is often the most powerful weapon. When big companies sell similar products, enormous marketing budgets and million-dollar brand campaigns crop up, ostensibly differentiating products and driving sales in different demographics.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) pretty much wrote the book on this. Interbrand has estimated Coca-Cola’s brand to be worth more than $77.8 billion, and it has topped the chart for years. The company has 16 additional brands beneath its umbrella worth over $1 billion each, and it definitely paid the price to achieve this. In both 2012 and 2011, Coca-Cola spent $3.3 billion on advertising costs. The result of this investment is reflected in its sales.
In the past — and maybe in the future, but not right now — Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was able to differentiate itself through its products alone, with fairly minimal investment in traditional advertising. Apple pretty much defined product spaces with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and therefore owned sales in those categories. But competition is now hot on the company’s heels, and it’s no longer obvious where consumers should spend their money.
The iPhone is great, but the Galaxy line is not too shabby, either. After some dormancy, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) also have phones that can stand their own ground. Innovation will always be the name of the game in tech, but when the difference between products shrinks, brand becomes more important. On that note, it’s hard for an investor not to read into the fact that Samsung (SSNLF.PK) increased its mobile phone ad spending by 414 percent between 2011 and 2012…
Don't miss one of the biggest bull markets in history! Covers Gold, Silver, Gold & Silver stocks, and miners.
There's always a bull market in some sector! Find the best opportunities in commodities.