Cross-over business models are the way forward. Think Amazon, which is an e-commerce, tech, retail and services company all in one. The success of cross-over business models relies on proprietary assets – both tangible and intangible – but the question is: how do you value this? World Trademark Review turned to Founding Principal Brian Buss to discuss what valuation involves, what businesses should do with that information and the impact valuating your business can have.

Buss explains that valuing a brand can include trademarks, websites, social media accounts – the list goes on. “The challenge for valuing brand assets is that you can’t focus on the brand and ignore all the other proprietary assets of the company,” said Buss. For example, it takes technology and brand assets working together for an online business to be successful.

“The conversation that follows from the valuation result is probably as important as the actual dollar amount of the results,” Buss added. “The purpose is not necessarily to get the dollar-amount result, but to give people a snapshot of where the company’s at, what makes it work at that point in time and the relative contribution of different assets. That snapshot helps to create conversations that lead to strategic decisions.”

Buss explains that valuation is also based on future projections, which are inherently uncertain. In addition, you need input from legal and in-house counsel, information from marketing, the product and R&D teams and finance. “If done well, it would be a communication from all those different functions within the company to say how they’re working together to create assets that will drive the future success of the company,” Buss commented.

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