Intangible brand assets or just intangible assets?

intangible brand assets

There were the bad old days when brands were not even valued when considering the worth of a business. Today, brand valuation is seen as vital and many takeovers are purely involved in acquiring brands. I have talked before about brand valuation (or evaluation) but not in terms of the components that make up the brand – the majority of these are what I refer to as intangible brand assets (IBAs) that make up the lion’s share of a company’s intangible corporate assets.

You can break these down into three categories:

Human IBAs

These include: skills, relationships, leadership, discourse, partners, values and human rights.

Structural IBAs

These include: history, geography, organization, ownership, financial, intellectual properties, distribution, supply chain and processes.

Promotional/communications IBAs

There include: brand identity, brand and product names, corporate signature, advertising assets, media reputation, URLs and corporate colours.

There are a number of uses for a classification such as this. Together with standard brand valuation methods you can identify and value the components of the brand by giving a weighted score to each category. They can be used for a SWOT analysis of your brand, and to rate your brand against your competitors as part of constructing a brand strategy.

Understanding how IBAs work together as a whole can help avoid some of the inadvertent brand damage that can occur when items are neglected or their importance overlooked in brand terms. Careless discourse within the organization (perhaps referring to customers as ‘punters’) or overlooking the importance of the business’s history, may seem like small points but once they are seen and valued within the whole context of the brand, their worth becomes apparent.

An intangible brand assets checklist is available for download on my website.


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