New ISO Brand Standard Addresses Geographical Indications


As brands are too often treated as incidental business expenses, the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) calls for brands to be proactively managed and measured at least annually to increase firm value as established by improvements in brand strength and brand performance.

The process is called brand evaluation, and to aid in its implementation two new standards have recently been published by ISO Technical Committee 289, with contributions by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB), which represents the United States under the auspices of ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. SAC, the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China, currently serves as Secretariat.

The first new standard, ISO 20671-2, provides requirements for implementing and reporting brand evaluations as described in the previously published ISO 20671-1. It includes more details on the steps of conducting a brand evaluation, methods for determining the indicators for brand strength, and quantifying brand performance relative to competitors.

The second new standard, ISO 20671-3, addresses requirements and recommendations for brands related to geographical indications. Geographical indications (GIs) “identify a good or service as originating in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good or service are essentially attributable to its geographical origin.” They can also highlight specific qualities of the location that are due to human factors, like traditions and particular productive or professional skills.

Evaluating GI Brands

The evaluation of a GI brand focuses on the added brand value of the region to the user brand. The evaluator assesses both elements and dimensions, thereby determining brand strength, brand performance, and financial results.

Elements determine the input which the brand operating entities allocate to the brand, while dimensions measure external reactions to the brand.

Brand Evaluator Certification

The brand evaluator should be independent and have relevant professional experience and brand evaluation qualifications. MASB is preparing to offer brand evaluator training and certification to eligible marketing measurement agencies and consultants and will be able to provide a list to accountable marketers seeking qualified brand evaluations.

Contact Frank Findley,, for more information.