I am often at pains to underline that most of what we confuse as ‘the brand’ are actually to do with brand communications, they are the signifiers, and it is what the brand is and does that really matters. Ownership of the brand is with the public at large. But one area that those charged with brand stewardship can and should take charge of is that of the brand assets. Brand assets are as valuable, sometimes more valuable, than those buildings and machines that appear on the balance sheet.
I break brand assets down into four main categories, broad and by no means exhaustive:
- Premises, location, iconic buildings, historic offices
- Flagship products
- Everyday products
- Vehicles etc.
- Intrinsic history, brand narratives
- Social actions
- National reputation
- Brand Loyalty
- Marcoms assets – The Michelin Man, the Dulux dog, Ronald McDonald etc; iconic advertising
- Brand identitiy, logos, colour schemes, corporate signatures
- Intellectual properties
- High profile people in the organisation – past and current
- Owners/founders – King Gillette, Richard Branson, Victor Kyham etc.
- Marcoms personalities
All of these assets require care and careful stewardship. You would not allow your premises to become dilapidated, nor machinery to seize or fail through lack of maintenance – yet those are replaceable unlike many brand assets.