What an Intangible Economy Means for Marketers

The increasing importance of positioning brand as an asset

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John Stuart, the former head of the Quaker Oats Company, once told a colleague the following over lunch: “If this business were to be split up, I would be glad to take the brands, trademarks and goodwill, and you could have all the bricks and mortar—and I would fare better than you.”

If this were the case around the mid-20th century, when Stuart stressed the power of brand, his point is only more valid today.

In recent decades, the American economy has shifted from focusing on physical objects—land, vehicles, factories—to non-physical items such as patents, copyrights and know-how.



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