Lessons from Apple vs. Samsung: How To Identify Your Brand Assets

This is a guest post by Deola Kayode, if you want to guest post on this blog, please contact us.

With a judgement awarding $1,049,343,540.00 in damages against Samsung in the Apple-Samsung patent war, these two technology companies have opened a new chapter in intellectual property war. In case you missed it, a federal jury in California under The US Patent law found Samsung guilty of “wilful” violations of Apple’s patent. Will this law give Apple enough instrument to go after Google? Is Apple not opening a floodgate that may backfire given that most people believe Apple never invented anything? Is Motorola not waiting in the wings to collect the money from Apple? While opinions will fly in favour and against Apple and the future of intellectual property for a long time to come, there are lessons for every creative entrepreneur needs to know especially when developing brand assets for them and other businesses. Brand assets have significant value – financial and otherwise.

how to identifying brand assets

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Creative entrepreneurs are an interesting lot. Most times because design, artistic, programming talents were developed intuitively, we undervalue our ideas and creative work. Identifying your brand assets is one of the most important components of nurturing and protecting your brand from harm and dilution. It is not enough to have spent a lot of time in developing logos, corporate communication designs or other creative expressions that promote brands including advertising designs, TV adverts, designs or other creative and artistic expressions that promotes a brand only for it to be overtaken by some big-shot individual or company. You lose the product, the profits and annoyingly the bragging rights!

Ideas are difficult to protect and it is not enough to have a business idea, I will therefore opine that identifying your brand asset is as important so as to be able to cherish and put in the required effort to ensure their differentiation and viability.

While most people use the term “brand” as a synonym for “trademark”, I will term “brand” in the context of this article as all tangible and intangible elements (which I will get to in a minute) responsible for the image, reputation, loyalty and perception of a business/product/person garnered over time and across situations while consumers, customers and clients interact with your idea/business.

Following the identification of the distinguishing/ unique features of your brand components, your ideas/creative expressions can therefore be protected. These components constitute intangible assets capable of creating powerful and economically valuable intellectual property that increases the value of your concept.

These valuable intellectual assets include but not limited to the following;

  1. Name of your product/model/invention (e.g. Coca-Cola, Hp)
  2. Logo and logo designs (Nike, Apple, Pepsi)
  3. Tagline/ Campaign slogan ( Good thinking, good product; Heart of Africa)
  4. Unique design of the product features or packaging ( distinct shape of the Coca-Cola bottle, bounce back feature on Apple’s interface)
  5. Distinctive colours of the product or packaging ( the purple and black combination of Robert Kiyosaki’s books are protected by copyright)
  6. Distinct smell, music and other sounds associated with your product/campaign (Nokia’s distinct ringtone)
  7. Advertising copy or script within a radio or TV commercial
  8. Designs and features of the sales stands/ retail outlets

Well that’s it; content, graphics, compositions, articles, website design well all things you can create that is distinctively yours. All these expressions are valuable/ intangible intellectual assets which constitute and have a direct impact on the strength and value of the brand. Most enterprises have come to agree that developing a brand strategy as a can be a powerful tool for promoting and marketing goods and services can greatly increase the value of a business/idea. For business owners and enterprise in doubt, consider Interbrand’s 2010 valuation which places Coca-Cola as the world’s most valuable brand with more than 50% of its market capitalization attributed to its intangible brand assets. In the book titled The Brand Gap

Written by Marty Neumeier, President of Neutron LLC and Liquid Agency in San Francisco said without the brand value, after comparing Coke’s market capitalization with and without the value of the brand, the Coca-Cola bottle will be half empty. These valuable intellectual assets therefore constitute an important component of an organisation’s market capitalization. These intangible brand assets are called Corporate Intellectual Properties (IP). This term refers to all types of distinct creations of the mind (words, phrases, symbols and designs musical, literary and artistic works; discoveries, inventions, words,) for which a set of exclusive rights is granted to an individual (thus considering him ‘the owner’) and therefore protected by law. This is to encourage innovation and to give the creators/innovators of new ideas/ inventions enough time to profit from their ideas, recuperate
development costs and to determine how the products can be used/ distributed.

how to identifying brand assets

Common types of intellectual property include the following;

  1. Copyrights,
  2. Trademarks,
  3. Patents,
  4. Industrial Design Rights,
  5. Trade Secrets/Trade dress

In a generation where brands have become intangible assets in building goodwill and brand recognition in today’s marketplace, there’s the need for every organization, individuals or people groups to pay attention to it and to ensure that the fine details of its intellectual assets are adequately covered cannot be more paramount.

About the Author!

Deola Kayode is a Brand Strategy Communications and Inbound Marketing expert. He helps businesses get online, improve their presence, find their voice and to grow their profits. He maintains a blog at www.adeolakayode.com.

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  1. Mahesh Verma says

    nice information thanks for sharing this 🙂

  2. […] you still remember the case of Samsung vs. Apple? Just a reminder, case Samsung and Apple are about patents owned by Apple that are used by Samsung. […]

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