IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Dynamic Relationship Between Investments in Brand Equity and Firm Profitability: Evidence Using Trademark Registrations


  • Dirk Crass
  • Dirk Czarnitzki
  • Andrew A. Toole


Most marketing practitioners and scholars agree that marketing assets such as brand equity significantly contribute to a firm’s financial performance. In this paper, we model brand equity as an unobservable stock that results from up to 30 years of past brand-related investment flows. Using firm-specific trademarks as investment proxies, our results show a significant long-run impact on financial performance. The dynamic profile of brand-related investments has an inverted-U shape that reaches its peak after 11 years. On average, it takes four years before brand-related investments show a positive return, and investments older than 19 years show no significant impact. For the median trademarking firm, brand equity contributes €265,000 to annual profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Crass & Dirk Czarnitzki & Andrew A. Toole, 2019. "The Dynamic Relationship Between Investments in Brand Equity and Firm Profitability: Evidence Using Trademark Registrations," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 157-176, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:26:y:2019:i:1:p:157-176
    DOI: 10.1080/13571516.2019.1553292

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philipp Schautschick & Christine Greenhalgh, 2016. "Empirical studies of trade marks -- The existing economic literature," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 358-390, June.
    2. Dirk Czarnitzki & Kornelius Kraft, 2010. "On the profitability of innovative assets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(15), pages 1941-1953.
    3. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marco Ceccagnoli & Stuart J.H. Graham & Matthew J. Higgins & Jeongsik Lee, 2010. "Productivity and the role of complementary assets in firms' demand for technology innovations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 839-869, June.
    5. Aschhoff, Birgit & Baier, Elisabeth & Crass, Dirk & Hud, Martin & Hünermund, Paul & Köhler, Christian & Peters, Bettina & Rammer, Christian & Schricke, Esther & Schubert, Torben & Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Innovation in Germany - Results of the German CIS 2006 to 2010. Background report on the Innovation Surveys 2007, 2009 and 2011 of the Mannheim Innovation Panel," ZEW Dokumentationen 13-01, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    6. Sandner, Philipp G. & Block, Joern, 2011. "The market value of R&D, patents, and trademarks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 969-985, September.
    7. Sascha Rexhäuser & Christian Rammer, 2014. "Environmental Innovations and Firm Profitability: Unmasking the Porter Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 145-167, January.
    8. Dubin, Jeffrey A., 2007. "Valuing intangible assets with a nested logit market share model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 285-302, August.
    9. Carol J. Simon & Mary W. Sullivan, 1993. "The Measurement and Determinants of Brand Equity: A Financial Approach," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(1), pages 28-52.
    10. Andrea Fosfuri & Marco S. Giarratana, 2009. "Masters of War: Rivals' Product Innovation and New Advertising in Mature Product Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(2), pages 181-191, February.
    11. Singfat Chu & Hean Keh, 2006. "Brand value creation: Analysis of the Interbrand-Business Week brand value rankings," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 323-331, December.
    12. Kevin Lane Keller & Donald R. Lehmann, 2006. "Brands and Branding: Research Findings and Future Priorities," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 740-759, 11-12.
    13. Buil, Isabel & de Chernatony, Leslie & Martínez, Eva, 2013. "Examining the role of advertising and sales promotions in brand equity creation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 115-122.
    14. Graevenitz, Georg von, 2007. "Which Reputations Does a Brand Owner Need? Evidence from Trade Mark Opposition," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 215, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bin Yang & Tao Yuan, 2022. "Trademark and IPO underpricing," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 271-296, March.
    2. Marco Grazzi & Chiara Piccardo & Cecilia Vergari, 2020. "Concordance and complementarity in IP instruments," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(7), pages 756-788, August.
    3. Kyriakos Drivas, 2021. "Which travels farther? Knowledge or rivalry?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 67(2), pages 299-333, October.
    4. Po‐Hsuan Hsu & Hai‐Ping Hui & Hsiao‐Hui Lee & Kevin Tseng, 2022. "Supply chain technology spillover, customer concentration, and product invention," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 393-417, April.
    5. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Roberto Manno & Marco Tappi & Emilia Lamonaca, 2022. "Trademarks and Territorial Marketing: Retrospective and Prospective Analyses of the trademark Prodotti di Qualità," Economia agro-alimentare, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2022(1), pages 1-37.
    6. Justus Baron & Cher Li & Shukhrat Nasirov, 2019. "Why do R&D-intensive firms participate in standards organizations? The role of patents and product-market position," Discussion Papers 2019-16, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    7. Crass, Dirk, 2020. "Which firms use trademarks? Firm-level evidence from Germany on the role of distance, product quality and innovation," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 730-755.
    8. Eunkyung Lee & Ji-Hern Kim & Chang Seop Rhee, 2021. "Effects of Marketing Decisions on Brand Equity and Franchise Performance," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(6), pages 1-15, March.
    9. Jasper Grashuis, 2019. "The impact of brand equity on the financial performance of marketing cooperatives," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(2), pages 234-248, April.
    10. David C. Mauer & Natalia Villatoro & Yilei Zhang, 2022. "Brand equity and corporate debt structure," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(7-8), pages 1077-1112, July.
    11. Chen, I-Ju & Hsu, Po-Hsuan & Wang, Yanzhi, 2022. "Staggered boards and product innovations: Evidence from Massachusetts State Bill HB 5640," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(4).
    12. Xinghua Deng & Ran Jing & Zheng Liang, 2020. "Trade liberalisation and domestic brands: Evidence from China's accession to the WTO," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(8), pages 2237-2262, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Crass, Dirk, 2014. "Which firms use trademarks - and why? Representative firm-level evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-118, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. Crass, Dirk, 2014. "The impact of brand use on innovation performance: Empirical results for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-119, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Lang, Le Dang & Lim, Weng Marc & Guzmán, Francisco, 2022. "How does promotion mix affect brand equity? Insights from a mixed-methods study of low involvement products," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 175-190.
    4. Muhammad Fahid MUQADDAS & Ishtiaq AHMAD, 2016. "Determinants Of Brand Equity: An Empirical Study Of It Industry," SEA - Practical Application of Science, Romanian Foundation for Business Intelligence, Editorial Department, issue 12, pages 555-560, December.
    5. Nasirov, Shukhrat, 2020. "Trademark value indicators: Evidence from the trademark protection lifecycle in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    6. Buil, Isabel & de Chernatony, Leslie & Martínez, Eva, 2013. "Examining the role of advertising and sales promotions in brand equity creation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 115-122.
    7. Crass, Dirk & Peters, Bettina, 2014. "Intangible assets and firm-level productivity," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-120, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. de Oliveira, Marta Olivia Rovedder & Silveira, Cleo Schmitt & Luce, Fernando Bins, 2015. "Brand equity estimation model," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2560-2568.
    9. Lee, Michael T. & Raschke, Robyn L. & Krishen, Anjala S., 2022. "Signaling green! firm ESG signals in an interconnected environment that promote brand valuation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-11.
    10. Barroso, Alicia & Giarratana, Marco S. & Pasquini, Martina, 2019. "Product portfolio performance in new foreign markets: The EU trademark dual system," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 11-21.
    11. Flikkema, Meindert & Castaldi, Carolina & de Man, Ard-Pieter & Seip, Marcel, 2019. "Trademarks’ relatedness to product and service innovation: A branding strategy approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1340-1353.
    12. Bei, Xiaoshu, 2019. "Trademarks, specialized complementary assets, and the external sourcing of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    13. Mirzaei, Abas & Baumann, Chris & Johnson, Lester W. & Gray, David, 2016. "The impact of brand health on customer equity," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 8-16.
    14. Elizabeth Abiola-Oke, 2019. "The Branded Hotel as an Element of Destination Branding," Academica Turistica - Tourism and Innovation Journal, University of Primorska Press, vol. 12(1), pages 83-96.
    15. Castaldi Carolina & Mafini Dosso, 2018. "From R&D to market: using trademarks to capture the market capability of top R&D investors," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2018-01, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    16. Block, Jörn H. & Fisch, Christian O. & Hahn, Alexander & Sandner, Philipp G., 2015. "Why do SMEs file trademarks? Insights from firms in innovative industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1915-1930.
    17. Rojas-Lamorena, Álvaro J. & Del Barrio-García, Salvador & Alcántara-Pilar, Juan Miguel, 2022. "A review of three decades of academic research on brand equity: A bibliometric approach using co-word analysis and bibliographic coupling," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 1067-1083.
    18. Castaldi, Carolina, 2018. "To trademark or not to trademark: The case of the creative and cultural industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 606-616.
    19. Esen ŞAHİN & Melis ATTAR & Aboobakr NIAVAND, 2020. "The Influence of Advertising on Brand Equity of Chabahar Free Zone Tourism Destination (Iran)," Istanbul Management Journal, Istanbul University Business School, vol. 0(88), pages 21-55, June.
    20. Venkatesh Shankar & Pablo Azar & Matthew Fuller, 2008. "—: A Multicategory Brand Equity Model and Its Application at Allstate," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 567-584, 07-08.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:26:y:2019:i:1:p:157-176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chris Longhurst (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.