Millward Brown, a WPP company, just came out with its brand value study, called "Brand Z". Encouragingly, this year, they have begun to look at the levers a company can pull. The methodology to calculate brand value still requires a firm grasp of finance, but Millward Brown broke down a couple metrics that actually begin to have relevance to leaders ... specifically, they look at a customer's engagement with a brand over time (called TrustR) and a willingness to pay metric (called Value-D). These are business priorities around which there are real strategic conversations happening.
The brand value rankings are still likely to be used as "score cards" ... how did my company do, what do I need to justify spend ex post facto, etc. However, going beyond a single brand value is a step in the right direction of informing decision making and begins to move the study's relevance beyond just corporate bragging rights. The study is worth a read.