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The dynamic relationship between investments in brand equity and firm profitability: Evidence using trademark registrations


  • Crass, Dirk
  • Czarnitzki, Dirk
  • Toole, Andrew A.


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 thirty 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 eleven years. On average, it takes four years before brand related investments show a positive return, and investments older than nineteen years show no significant impact. For the median trademarking firm, brand equity contributes 265,000 Euro to annual profits.

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  • Crass, Dirk & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Toole, Andrew A., 2016. "The dynamic relationship between investments in brand equity and firm profitability: Evidence using trademark registrations," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-004, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:16004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 730-755.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

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    More about this item


    Brand Equity; Firm Profitability; Intellectual Property Rights; Trademarks;
    All these keywords.

    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

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    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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