Determining Intangibles in Emerging Businesses

Determining intangibles in an emerging business is a special case within the disciplines of marketing and communication.

For an emerging business, the base of customers is small, and many customers represent innovators and early adopters, buyers whose characteristics are not typical of the majority of the future market. Indeed, attempting to build a business based on innovators is often a course that leads to bankruptcy. Even if the company does not fail, relying on innovators leaves the majority of the market open to new competitors who focus more effectively on the intangibles important to other adoption segments. It is this phenomenon that results in pioneering firms doing all the early eduction and market development, only to find the lion's share of the market falling to a later entrant.

Building intangibles for emerging businesses remains a special art, particularly in markets where the majority of customers are still classified as innovators. In this situation, traditional research techniques usually do not provide adequate insight into potential intangibles. Instead, management is often wiser to embark on a course of creating intangibles rather than searching for them in the customer base.

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