I have a client who offers second-to-none customer service. He’s written guidelines so that service is consistent—he’s named the process and trademarked the whole thing. Pretty neat. But valuable? We’ll see.
This same client developed a way to consistently produce the highest quality products in the category. He utilized technology, new processes and training of personnel to accomplish it. Again, he named it, trademarked it and created a quality assurance logo that was stamped on every product that left his plants—kind of a ‘Good Housekeeping’ seal of approval. Again, any value in this? I’ll get to the answer.
My client has gone on to name and trademark 13 proprietary processes and procedures that he has developed. He calls it his Brand Bundle.
A great deal is accomplished by having a brand bundle. First, everyone (employees and leadership) has guidelines and documented procedures for how things get done. New hires are trained according to these processes, and rewards are appropriated for those who not only follow them, but also make suggestions for improvements. Lots of time and money is saved by having all of this in place.
The answer to the question of value is yes. You may not realize exactly how much value is added to the balance sheet because of this brand bundle, but it’s definitely a plus. If you think about it for a moment, you’ll see that this kind of attention to detail makes for a very well oiled machine that woos the socks off potential buyers, leadership prospects, banks and the industry at large. And that means a higher selling price, better terms for capital, top talent attraction and more assurance of sustainable profitability. Not to mention the fact that you’ve just created an intangible asset that only your company can own. Now that’s valuable.
This is hard work, no doubt. But, you can start small and grow it. I always recommend starting with something that should be in place anyway: customer service. You want every customer to be taken care of. So gather a group of your bright minds and figure out some steps that could raise the bar in the service area. Sometimes it’s just a more emotional connection with customers—especially with the leaders of the company. Often, there is technology that can improve service. Maybe it’s a live person answering the phone. Any and all of these and more can create a level of service your competition can’t quickly duplicate. Your next step is to name the new service offering and trademark it. My client named his customer service, You First.™ And his customers loved it.
Once you have one new very valuable intangible asset in place, look around. Do you have other proprietary processes or procedures? If so, formalize them, name them, trademark them and add them to your brand bundle along with some additional dollar signs.