Firstly, can you tell me the history behind the brand?
Moomin has its origins in publishing. Written by the remarkable Tove Jansson, the first Moomin book was published in 1945.
In 1954 a Moomin comic strip started in the Evening News and ran daily for 20 years. Moomin then became the focus of a 104 episode animated TV series, so the brand is known across a broad age range from various different sectors.
How did the brand perform over the past 12 months?
The 100th Anniversary of Tove Jansson last August and the event we held in Covent Garden, coupled with the beautiful Moomin play at the Polka Theatre and Waterstones fantastic support with in store and window displays all contributed to attract a new audience to Moomin.
How many licensees does it have to date (in the UK and worldwide) and in which categories?
We have around 25 licensees in the UK covering a wide range of products from publishing to apparel to plush. Whilst our focus is the UK only, I do know that there are over 400 licensees worldwide.
What are some of the best performing products?
Most of our licensees are reporting significant growth. I would say that plush from Aurora and sleepwear from Somberond are performing particularly well.
Are you looking to expand the consumer products programme further this year – for example into new categories or territories?
Moomin are characters that you want to embrace and with their wholesome Scandinavian feel they are perfect for baby products so this is one area we are particularly keen to develop.
Do you have any special marketing initiatives or promotional activity planned for 2015?
We are delighted that Moomins on the Riviera, a full length feature film will open May 22nd. It will be distributed nationwide by Vertigo.
What has the retail reaction been like to the brand?
Moomin has always performed extremely well at the department store and independent retail level. We were keen to widen the distribution when the time was right.
Top Shop was the first fashion retailer to launch Moomin and Primark followed in 2013 with a range of sleepwear which continues to sell exceptionally well. Sleepwear ranges have since been launched in Tesco and Asda.
What are some of the main challenges you've come up against? And how have you overcome them?
For those that aren’t familiar with Moomin, understanding the visceral reaction that Moomin elicits from those that know and love them is really key to communicate. They appeal on so many levels – both aesthetic and for their wonderfully bohemian, kind, family traits.
What would you most like to achieve with the brand in 2015?
To continue to develop good quality, well designed product that exceeds the expectations of the existing fans and attracts a new audience to Moomin.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Just that Moomin is an exceptional brand.