This paper examines how intangible assets contribute to firm-level productivity in the small open economies of Denmark and Finland from 2000 to 2013. We examine whether the role of intangible assets has changed over time, from the period of fairly stable growth prior to the crisis in 2008 to the more difficult period of recovery afterwards where intangible capital deepening decreased in 2008–2013 in many European countries. The productivity analysis is conducted in two stages. First, we derive total factor productivity (TFP), and second, we estimate the effects of intangible assets on total factor productivity. Our approach for measuring intangible assets is based on occupational classifications in a linked employer–employee dataset. We construct measures for three types of intangibles: broad R&D assets (R&D), organizational assets (OC) and information and communication technology assets (ICT). In both countries, the TFP effects of broad R&D increase slightly in the period after the crisis. For Finland, we also find that the TFP effects of OC increase after the crisis, while Denmark experienced a considerable increase in OC assets after financial crises in intangible intensive industries such as information, education and health industries, where productivity is lower.