The authors examine the role of intangible marketing assets, brands in particular, as the essential growth engines of business. An analytical framework for trading off short-term returns of marketing expenditures versus long-term value building of marketing investments is described. Brand life-cycle analysis is re-expressed in this Value-Earnings framework using current brand histories to reveal that brand life-cycles are a result of management decisions rather than inexorable marketplace forces. An approach to linking marketing activities to financial outcomes, the Marketing Capital Cycle, is described. The Marketing Capital Cycle is demonstrated to enable greater management control over the Value-Earnings trade-off and the route to sustainable profitable growth. Finally, the potential impact of these paradigmatic changes on the methods of market research and the role of marketing are considered.