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INTA Report Highlights Practitioners’ Role in Determining Brand Value, Offers Recommendations on Understanding Concept

16-Apr-2020 | Source : INTA | Visits : 2597

NEW YORK - Trademark practitioners play a critical role in brand valuation and brand evaluation exercises and should be stronger strategic partners with their finance and marketing colleagues, according to a new report released by the International Trademark Association (INTA).

The "Brand Value Special Task Force Report" explores brand value, brand equity, brand valuation, and brand evaluation—concepts that are especially significant during times of economic uncertainty and changing consumer attitudes toward and expectations of brands. The report provides guidance on how brand professionals can discuss these concepts with stakeholders, and how the Association can advance its work around them.

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 20 findings and recommendations for various stakeholders, including in-house practitioners, outside counsel, and INTA; seven Expert Insights from the perspective of financial, legal, and marketing professionals on the concepts of brand value, brand equity, brand valuation, and brand evaluation; an Expert Insight on changing trends in consumer behavior; and a checklist of questions for brand professionals to consider when discussing brand valuation and brand evaluation with internal and external stakeholders. 

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.

“We are confident that this Task Force Report demonstrates the critical role that trademark professionals play in [brand] valuation and brand evaluation exercises alongside finance and marketing professionals, and provides the basis for formulating and developing practical applications of these developing concepts,” noted the report’s foreword.

Led by Co-Chairs Melody Schottle, Trademark Counsel at Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Doug de Villiers, Consulting Director at Deloitte, the task force was composed of 14 INTA members and non-members with varied backgrounds, including legal (in-house and law firm), finance, valuation, and marketing.

INTA’s Building Bridges Committee and its new Commercialization of Brands Committee will build upon the task force’s work and recommendations.


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