NMSI’s licensing programme for The Science Museum has been so successful that one of its licensees has gone to the expense of setting up interactive branded shop-within-shop Science Museum spaces to further boost sales.
Wow Stuff partnered with a number of retailers back in late 2008 to launch the in-store concept with a £2.7 million deal. Retailers already signed up include Harrods, Woolworths, House of Fraser, Fenwicks and Hamleys.
The areas include video demonstrations systems linked to Wow’s head office so that content can be changed remotely to suit weather, stock-outs, promotions, etc. Demonstrators and branding are also in place to bring the toys to life.
In its first week of trading, Wow’s store in Harrods saw sales rise by 700 per cent. Licensing executive for NMSI, Ben Jackson comments: “Wow Stuff’s in-store TVs have been a huge success for retailers. The touch screen televisions allow purchasers to view videos of products before they buy and offer an immersive and interactive retail experience.”
The Science Museum brand works well for the majority of its licensees, which include Great Gizmos, Halsall, Wow Stuff and Macmillan Children’s Books. Six years after the launch of its licensing programme, Jackson explains: “The Science Museum brand has been phenomenally successful with sales on the high street in the region of £15 million in 2008.”
New deals are seemingly constantly arising. Green Board Games has recently announced it will produce a variation of its Brain Box game for The Science Museum. Jackson explains the brand’s appeal: “The Science Museum brand is respected and stands for innovation and quality. When a member of the public buys one of our products, they know that they are getting a carefully selected item that will match up to the brand on the packaging. It is for this reason the brand stands up so well at retail.”
NMSI is now looking to expand outside its popular books and toys categories with The Science Museum. Jackson comments: “We are keen to move into apparel, new media and other image-led products such as stationary which can utilise our collections.”
The younger sister brand of The Science Museum is The Flying Scotsman, which was born out of the National Railway Museum. Launched two and a half years ago, the brand has seen significant growth with a raft of new licensees signed up in anticipation of the locomotive’s return to the tracks in 2010.
A wider range of licensees have been attracted to the Flying Scotsman brand. Walkers has launched a range of Shortbread under the licence, high-end cufflinks and a specialist pen sold internationally by Dunhill join a trinket box by Halcyon Days in the eclectic portfolio.
Jackson continues: “We have partnered with Bradford Exchange and Danbury Mint to produce a wide range of off-the-page collectibles including a cuckoo clock, decorative egg complete with miniature locomotive and wrist and fob watches from Zeon.”
The National Railway Museum itself also continues to have a strong presence in the stationery category and calendars. Note cards and greetings cards will also be available from licensing partners throughout 2009. Tablemats have also been produced using the NRM poster collection.
The National Media continues on a similar strain with the first stationery products recently produced in conjunction with Icarus Arts with early indications that High Street buyers have shown a positive response.