According to a new report released by INTA, trademark practitioners play a critical role in brand valuation and should be stronger strategic partners with their finance and marketing colleagues.
INTA established a Brand Value Special Task Force in March 2018 to review the latest thinking around brand value and brand equity – given a wider recognition of the value of intangible assets, including brands, by different disciplines, such as legal, finance, marketing, and accounting, as well as the often differing definitions and understandings of these key concepts by the various disciplines.
More importantly, the report notes, “with changing consumer behavior resulting from demographic, socio-economic, and technological developments, all brand professionals are faced with the question of how to measure consumer interactions with brands and how this impacts an organization.”
“Today’s times make it increasingly more important for companies to understand and come to a consensus on how to calculate brand value,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “So many forces are at work that can influence brand value for better or worse, and brands need to continually stay on top of this and adapt accordingly.”
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes this, noting that the unsettling economic climate as well as how brands respond to the crisis, such as by doing good for society, can influence brand value.
The report includes twenty findings and recommendations for various stakeholders, including in-house practitioners, outside counsel, and INTA itself. Among the specific recommendations for legal professionals, the task force suggests that in-house practitioners collaborate with finance and marketing colleagues to learn about and coordinate approaches to brand valuation and evaluation, providing a legal perspective where appropriate. In addition, law firm practitioners can learn more about topics such as brand valuation and evaluation to better support their clients in intellectual property matters and mergers and acquisitions.
Among the findings and recommendations for INTA, the task force proposes that the Association review its definition of “brand” to better demonstrate the financial contribution of brands to businesses and develop definitions for “brand value” and “brand equity.” It also recommends that INTA engage with standard-setting organizations to bring the trademark practitioner’s perspective to the legal considerations and dimensions of the relevant standards.
INTA’s Building Bridges Committee and its new Commercialization of Brands Committee will now build upon the task force’s work and recommendations.