Owning a brand is different than owning a company.
The latter, you see, is owning an income producing asset. (Well, hopefully, it produces income.)
But the former is owning an identity. You can almost think of a brand as a personality.
I mean, Apple has a personality. So does Disney. And so does Coke. This blog probably has a personality too.
I think that Seth Godin got it right in this little paragraph from his blog post The Elegance Of Nothing:
If Nike announced that they were opening a hotel, you’d have a pretty good guess about what it would be like. But if Hyatt announced that they were going to start making shoes, you would have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what those shoes would be like. That’s because Nike owns a brand and Hyatt simply owns real estate.
Of course, maybe this is unfair to Hyatt.
For I do have a certain expectation when I stay at a Hyatt hotel.
And: I exclusively stay at Hyatt hotels.