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As research emphasises how companies and consumers can shape brand equity, Tish Berard, president of the International Trademark Association, considers what role IP practitioners should play in this process.
Brands are sometimes labelled “intangible” assets, but over the past few years much research has been undertaken to evaluate, identify, and quantify the tangible value of brands. This so-called brand equity has been analysed to determine how it has been influenced by companies, consumers, and third parties, how it can be enhanced, and—equally important—how it might be lost.
This understanding is critical not just to marketers and accountants, but also to IP professionals, largely because the ways IP rights are protected, used, and enforced have a direct impact on brand equity. INTA’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan recognises this. The Strategic Plan encompasses three major strategic directions, including “reinforcing consumer trust”.
This objective addresses brand equity. According to the Strategic Plan: “Companies or individuals own their trademarks and related IP. Consumers influence, in more ways than ever before, how a brand and its equity evolve. INTA will build bridges with consumer associations, professional organisations, and academia to be part of the brand equity conversation.”
INTA, International Trademark Association, Tish Berard, trademark