Football teams, both national and league, do have a lot in common with brands, of course. Those that build up a good reputation over the years can be excused one bad performance once in a while. And it does look to me as if the German team, despite their recent defeat, has held on to a lot of the values that they developed when the tournament was on home ground.
But I worry about England. They just seem to be lacking in cohesion - like some big conglomerate corporate brand that has bought up a collection of brands from here and there that don't seem to fit together or have many values in common. Just about the only thing that seems to be shared and consistent is the hype surrounding them.
And, although he has since apologised, this is why Wayne Rooney's sarcastic words to booing fans - "that's what loyal support is" - were so troubling. These days, whether it's to your country, your marriage partner, a political party, your team or a brand, the concept of unconditional loyalty is a dying one.
These days, people are only too prepared to vote with their feet when they are let down by poor performance or bad service. Let's hope England start doing something with their feet soon, too.