A nonphysical asset such as intellectual property, brand recognition, customer contact information, certain financial assets and goodwill. May be considered definite (has a limited, defined “life”) or indefinite (continues to impact a business as long as it remains operational).
Brand recognition, intellectual property protections, trade secrets and customer loyalty all function as particularly valuable intangible assets. Certainly, physical assets including equipment, facilities, supplies and land all significantly contribute to the success of a business. However, it is a company’s ideas, business model, marketing reach, branding and competitive edge in the marketplace that set one corporation apart from others within any given industry.
During the “soda wars” of the 1970s and 1980s, it was intangible assets that fueled all of the hype. In addition to the patented cola formulas being tasted by the public, branding and marketing reach were used effectively as “weapons” in the “wars.” All of these elements placed both Coca-Cola and Pepsi repeatedly in the public eye… be it on the news, referenced in pop culture, etc. and helped to drive sales.