Brand and deliver

The rise of corporate brand licensing examined.
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Coca Cola has been doing it for almost a century and now more and more of the world’s biggest and smallest, oldest and youngest corporate brands are following suit and turning their hands to brand licensing.

With a worldwide retail sales value of $39.1bn in 2007 (an increase of 1.8 per cent on the previous year) and licensing revenues worth $1.6 billion, corporate brands represent the third largest segment of the licensing industry following the giant character and fashion categories.

But not only are more brand owners waking up to the power of licensing – partly due to the growth of the premier specialist agents – those already involved are becoming more ambitious and adventurous. They are expanding their licensing programmes, according to License! Global, ‘across an ever increasing array of categories and price points in order to maximise IP value, target consumer trends and attract new licensees and partner with more retailers in different channels.’ Particularly popular categories, and those offering the greatest opportunities currently, include automotive, home, healthy foods and beverages and, of course, green and eco friendly.

The increase in corporate brand licensing – and its increased importance within the industry – has been well reflected in the exhibitors and visitors attending Brand Licensing Europe in recent years. More than 40 per cent of properties in the hall last year were brands: everything from Spam to Pampers and NASA to JCB were represented at Olympia last October. And around 40 per cent of all visitors attend Brand Licensing Europe with a specific interest in brands – unsurprising when you consider how many properties there are to see.

This autumn, exhibitors will showcase a diverse range of brands from the worlds of automotive, fashion, food and beverage, lifestyle, retro and legacy among others. For example, ATARI, NBA, Purple Ronnie, Royal Air Force, Science Museum, The Tower of London, The Red Arrows, University of Oxford, Renault and Cosmopolitan.

Beanstalk will also be bringing the likes of Lee Cooper, Vespa, Jaguar, Land Rover, Harley-Davidson, Ford, Stanley, Samsonite, Jack Daniel’s, Paris Hilton, Janet Reger, Pampers and Max Factor to Brand Licensing Europe. LMI adds to the automotive count with Mini Cooper and MG, as well as Cape, Fyffes, Outspan, MTV’s new poster girl Cherry Girl and global super brand Pepsi. Performance Brands will present a diverse offering, including Kew Gardens and Newcastle Brown Ale. And the brands division of The Licensing Company will represent household names including BIC, Coca-Cola, Courvoisier, Jeep, Jelly Belly, Jim Beam, National Trust and Umbro.

Off the show floor, the Licensing Academy is also embracing brand licensing with a session from Louise French from The Beanstalk Group entitled ‘Licensing in a Recession: The essential ingredients to weathering the economic storm.’ This session will look at how brands can monetise their brand equities and emotional connection with consumers as they face tough economic times and more discerning consumer spending. Delegates will also discover which market and consumer trends are emerging, how to maximise opportunities in a recession and the key ingredients brands need to develop robust lifestyle licensing programmes.

So if you’re a buyer or licensee of branded goods, don’t miss out on the biggest and best showcase of corporate brand licensing opportunities in Europe.

Register for a free pass now at www.brandlicensingeurope.com. Brand Licensing Europe takes place on September 30th and October 1st at the Grand Hall, Olympia, London.

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