If you get it right, brand licensing is a fantastic way to extend the reach of your brand, move into new markets and generate revenue - but it is not a passive exercise.
There are many ingredients for a successful brand licensing programme. This article from the Retail Gazette makes a number of interesting observations about what can make or break a brand licensing programme, and highlights the importance of fully understanding both your own brand and your market. It's well worth a read.
Licensing partnerships should enhance your brand. The point that resonates most with me is that brand licensing is fundamentally about building a partnership. In the first instance, this means being selective about who you license to, ensuring that the association will both complement and enhance your brand.
It takes effort to make a relationship work. It's also crucial that both partners are prepared to commit the time, energy and resources needed to make the partnership a success.
Once you've found your perfect licensing partner, it's important to use protection. Allowing someone else to use your brand will always involve exposing it to a certain amount of risk (e.g. through issues with product quality, or the risk of damage to reputation by association with the licensee or its supply chain). It is crucial that your licence agreement includes robust provisions that help to minimise these risks and enable you to take appropriate action (which may include pulling the plug) if something does go wrong.
If you'd like to talk about brand licensing, please get in touch.
Moving into licensing or brand extension is an exciting proposition for any retailer and a potentially lucrative revenue extender. However, it does come with its challenges and entering into it purely as a moneymaking exercise will likely end in failure.