Despite a first defeat of the season, Inverness manager Terry Butcher took satisfaction from seeing how much it meant to Aberdeen to beat his side.
Scott Vernon's 81st-minute winner meant the Dons beat Caley Thistle at Pittodrie for the first time since 2011.
"The way you see Aberdeen's reaction at the end of the game; we're a big scalp," Butcher told BBC Scotland.
"We've come a long way in a short space of time."
Inverness remain top of the Premiership despite the loss in the north-east. They lead second-placed Celtic on goal difference, with Aberdeen three points behind in third.
"We're disappointed we've lost our unbeaten record and that we didn't score today," Butcher said. "But we'll lick our wounds and say 'fair play' to Aberdeen.
"We're still in a good position; 16 points out of a possible 21. That's not a bad haul.
"We didn't play to our fluency but top of the table clashes are very nip and tuck. We felt that if a team was going to score, it would be us."
The Highlanders only real chance came midway through the second-half when Dons midfielder Cammy Smith cleared Josh Meekings' header off the line.
In the first-half, Inverness's on-loan Luton goalkeeper Dean Brill made two excellent saves - one from Smith's powerful shot and another from Michael Hector's bullet header.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes introduced Vernon in the 77th minute and the English striker did well to control the ball and shoot on the turn to give the hosts the victory.
"Sometimes you need a bit of a slap in the face to wake you up and get you going again," Butcher added.
"You learn more in a defeat like this than you do in a victory. We'll certainly bounce back and show that resilience.
"We've got Dundee in the League Cup on Tuesday away from home, so another game comes around pretty quick which is what we want."