Target Entertainment Group has something of a cradle to grave approach to signing, launching and managing new licences.
One to one meetings using creative sales materials are the first step, along with a solid presence at trade exhibitions such as Brand Licensing.
Once licensing deals are in place, the firm develops strategic marketing and product roll-out plans to ensure each product in the market place is carefully managed.
Helen Howells, commercial director at Target explains: “We work with rights holders, licensees, retailers and specialist PR and marketing agencies, to ensure the brand is marketed to the consumer using above and below the line marketing tools.”
She continues: “We also monitor current trends among young people to ensure the brand is refreshed and new product lines are introduced.”
It was this strategy that made Target’s initial licence, Fifi and the Flowertots such a huge success in the market. Soon after the launch of the merchandising programme, Fifi had one of the highest numbers of licensees for any European girls’ pre-school properties.
Howells comments: “Fifi and the Flowertots has to date been our most successful licence. This is because firstly it’s a great show, it engage young children and the love the characters.
"Secondly we spent a lot of time, in conjunction with Chapman Entertainment, putting together a strategic brand and roll out plans, even before the show went on air.
“Once the show was established, we continued to carefully manage its roll out and had regular meetings with our licensees.”
Fifi was the firm’s first licence in 2004, signed shortly after the home entertainment and licensing divisions of Target Entertainment Group were set up.
The firm began life as an international TV distribution company in 1998, founded by current CEO, Alison Rayson.
Since its formation in 2004, the licensing division has gone from strength to strength and now has a portfolio of entertainment properties including the rights to the Sony Playstation brand, the individual software IPs including Littlebigplanet, Invizimals, God of War and EyePet and the girl’s fashion lifestyle brand, Brit Chicks.
In 2005, the firm expanded further by setting up a children’s and families division, which is currently in development on a number of new properties slated for 2010/11.
Three years later, Target acquired UK distribution company, Minotaur International, followed by UK drama production company, Greenlit Rights the following year. To finish off a busy year, later in 2008, Target opened a production office in LA headed by CEO Jennt Daly.
Last year was a busy one for Target Entertainment Group. Howells explains: “We actually expanded into two new areas in 2009; virtual worlds with Brit Chicks and gaming with Playstation.”
This year, we can expect some news of deals for its latest licence, the Playstation brand. Howells offers: “We will also be announcing some innovative new licences for the individual IPs including the first for Gran Turismo.
“During 2010 we are also planning to firmly establish Brit Chicks as the new must-have for girls ages seven to 12 years-old. We are also hoping to lock down master toy and publishing deals for the pre-school series we are developing in-house.”