Brands May Prove Valuable Even as Companies Founder
On July 15, Twinkies return to supermarket and store shelves across the U.S. after a roughly eight-month absence triggered by the liquidation of Twinkie’s long time manufacturer, Hostess Brands. While Hostess Brands as a company may be gone, the Hostess brand remains strong.
And Twinkie is hardly the only brand to survive the dissolution of its one-time owner. Polaroid, Halston, and Sharper Image, among countless other brands, have survived bankruptcies, liquidations, or prolonged periods of distress. Retailers come and go, but powerful brands can live forever.
The persistence of these recognizable names points to an important truth: to successfully turn around a struggling retailer or maximize the return for creditors in a liquidation, the value of intangible assets, such as trademarks, trade names, brand names, and other intellectual property, must not be ignored.
This article describes a multistep approach that some companies and asset purchasers employee to unlock this hidden value, revealing opportunities to capitalize on past retail successes, propel brands to greater heights, and assist bankruptcy estates in monetizing intangible assets that are sometimes overlooked by turnaround professionals.
Deriving value through rebranding and intangible asset disposition is not for the faint of heart – nor is it for amateurs. Much the same way that distressed entities seek out a team of lawyers, bankers, accountants, and other professionals, distressed retailers should consider engaging brand strategist and asset disposition advisers that focus on intellectual property sales to spearhead a turnaround or maximize value in a liquidation.