Intellectual Assets of Anheuser-Busch

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  • Topic: Brewing, Anheuser-Busch, InBev
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Intellectual Assets
Anheuser-Busch has an abundance of intellectual assets, also known as intellectual capital. To begin, intellectual capital can be defined as “the total Knowledge within an organization that may be converted into value, or used to produce a higher value asset. The term embodies the knowledge and expertise of employees; brands; customer information and relationships; contracts; internal processes, methods, and technologies; and Intellectual property” (Prior, 2008). Breaking the term down even further we can divide intellectual capital into three components: human capital, structural capital, and relational capital (Zambon, 2002).

The creation of human capital at Anheuser-Busch is a top priority. “When you become a part of our family, your input, ideas and insights are accepted and valued. Since 1852, we have invested human, technological and financial resources to ensure that Anheuser-Busch quality remains strong and true. We consistently think of newer, better, and/or bigger ways to improve our products, services and operations” (Anheuser Busch, 2008).

Anheuser-Busch offers an array of benefits including medical, dental, vision, prescription, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, travel accident benefits, short and long term disability, retirement benefits, tuition reimbursement, employee assistance programs, work/family balance, liberal vacation and holiday packages, promote from within policies, tickets to Busch entertainment theme parks, use of fitness centers, and even complimentary beer with the thought that an outstanding place to work who offers great benefits will attract great human capital (Anheuser-Busch, 2008).

One of Anheuser-Busch’s business units, Busch Entertainment Corporation, has a “leadership training program that employs a variety of exercises, assessments, and out-of-class assignments to teach the importance of and the keys to promoting service leadership” and “employees can enhance their skills through a 16-hour leadership training program delivered over three to four weeks, cross-training, team projects, participation in roundtable events, and visiting other parks for benchmarking” (AARP, 2008). Training programs such as Anheuser-Busch’s create human capital.

The second component of intellectual capital is structural capital. Structural capital can include such concepts as organizational processes, trademarks, laboratories and market intelligence, leadership, leaseholds, franchises, licenses, and patents. Anheuser-Busch’s most notable and profitable trademark is Budweiser.

Budweiser is synonymous with Anheuser-Busch. Even if a person never heard of the Anheuser-Busch company they have almost certainly heard of the beer called Budweiser. The name is so prestigious that even today Anheuser-Busch still battles with “the Czech beer producer Budejovicky Budvar over the right to use the trademark name Budweiser on their products” and “Both the brews have a long history of existence. The disagreements over the right to use the trademark started in late 1870s, when the brewers began to export their like-named products to markets beyond their national borders” (Homolova, 2000). The ongoing fight proves that the name Budweiser is an extremely valuable intangible asset in itself.

Anheuser-Busch also has very valuable licenses that are attributed to its intellectual capital. Most importantly Anheuser-Busch is licensed to sell its product all over the world which adds to its profitability. Other structural capitals attributed to Anheuser-Busch include an array of patents; their process for brewing beer and treating spent grains, step mashing process for producing low alcohol beer, and their process for filling beer into containers to name a few (Bioportfolio, 2008).

The third component of intellectual capital is relational capital. Relational capital can include customer relationships, customer loyalty and satisfaction, distribution...
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