How licensed brands can unlock their potential.

Realising the potential of film merchandising and licensing

Not many licensed brands do retail that well, but millions of products are sold on the back of the success of films and TV programmes.

This is often because that opportunity is realised by brands who choose to partner with retailers or an online company such as Amazon, but in doing so they will lose a big margin. So how can licensed brands make the most of their potential, extending from TV and the big screen to toy shops and beyond?

At Worth Retail we want to start letting brands in on the secrets of direct-to-consumer selling. How could this translate for the licence holder of a cartoon pig or an action film?

Well firstly, selling directly to the customer and cutting out the middle man will almost certainly make you more money. An official store selling exclusive ranges is another golden ticket. But of course you have to go where the people are, where your audience is, so a high footfall venue is important here, but of course at a high footfall shopping centre you will be competing with just about every household name and so the secret here is to offer your customer an experience.

Let them embrace the essence of the programme or film as they walk through the store or exhibition space. Give them the opportunity to link up (and buy) online as they do so, via phones or tablets. And if they ‘like’ it on Facebook… there can be a store there too, online, waiting to sell exclusive merchandise to the eager fans. We have ‘been there and done that’ and you can too, whether you are marketing for a film, tv programme, or other brand extension aimed at an audience of enthusiasts.

At Worth we have successfully worked on hugely ambitious and ground-breaking projects with names you will have certainly heard of, including Dr Who, and we know how entertainment can be a huge direct-to-consumer retail opportunity.

The essence of our formula is to set consumer brands free by enabling them to have their own retail channels, both online and in the real world – bringing together an absolute understanding of customer experience, the power of data and skillful retailing – basically ‘connected retail’.

Let me give you an example: The Sweeney film had a strong opportunity for retailing: fast cars, well-known actors and some classic stunt moments, but how can you turn a ‘like’ on Facebook into a love, or into a transaction? Turn your Facebook pages into a temporary store – a pop-up online store aimed at giving fans a personal opportunity to not just ‘like’ your brand but own a piece of it… to turn that passion and interest into a transaction, where the interested consumers are, not by waiting for them to track down your brand on a desolate, rainy, High Street somewhere miles from their home or by leaving the fan page and surfing for an online store. And remember you can use this online connection as a chance to share exclusive content that the user could not get anywhere else.

We think it has never been easier for brands to go straight to consumers – whether it’s with a combination of smartphone or tablet-based online retail and real life store presence on the High Street, or something more unique such as the wif-fi cloud we created to enable a Dr Who interactive experience at their live Olympia event.

So the ‘magic’ formula = experience + data ownership + brilliantly ‘on brand’ e-commerce stores which are linked to social media. This is the way forward and we are happy to chat to any retailers or brand owners who would like to know more. The High Street is not dead as many have predicted, instead it is personalised and interactive and ready to be re-invented.

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