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Proven and Most Successful Licensing Strategies

Brand licensing can be a smart, resource-effective way to grow both your brand reach, impact revenue quickly and profitably. But it can be difficult to find the right licensing strategy. As you may well be familiar with both from the business news and your personal experience as a consumer, licensees can drain time and brand image from a company if the relationship is not well selected and well managed.
Fortunately, there is a well-trodden path to successful brand licensing. In this blog we will be discussing some successful brand licensing strategies. So let’s get started!

1. Using Local Expertise in Non-Core Markets for Brand Licensing

Often there will be demand for a company’s products or services outside its home market. Even as consumers we see this and bring home from foreign items that we like but are hard to find at home when we go for holidays . However, for a business to set up in non-core markets can consume time and resources. Sometimes it may be impossible, for reasons from regulation to capacity constraints.

Whether it is a geographical market or a different distribution channel within your existing market, licensing can solve these challenges very effectively. It can be a way to work with an organization which already has the knowledge, contacts and experience to make a brand work in a new market.

Licensing the brand to a local company with market expertise allows the brand to be monetized with limited risk, as with Top Shop.

TopShop is a success story in its home market of the U.K., where its combination of cutting edge styles with affordable price points has helped it stand out in a crowded market. There is often overseas demand for fashion brands, but shipping them adds expense and time, both of which undercut some of TopShop’s brand promise.

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2.Getting Full Value from Strong Brand Licensing

Some brands are clearly valuable because of their deep emotional appeal. But the further a brand stays from its core areas of expertise, the more challenging it can be for its managers to execute the brand consistently and profitably. That is where brand licensing can play an important role, by enabling revenue streams without requiring active ongoing involvement from the brand owner.

This is used by food brands who want to get their logo out on t-shirts and other clothing, like Kellogg’s iconic cartoon characters such as Snap, Crackle and Pop. They spend a lot of time and energy developing such characters, which thanks to ubiquitous advertising exposure over decades are often well-recognised and enjoy a cult following. Brand licensing is a way to help get some return on this investment without directly stepping outside of the company’s core business areas.

3. Leveraging a Personal Brand with Brand Licensing

Licensing can sound a bit scary, because for some people the word can conjure up images of team of lawyers sitting in intimidating conference rooms. But in fact, it is not only large brands who can do well from licensing. Individuals who are recognized in their field, whether by consumers or in a B2B context, can also extend their reach through licensing.

An illustrative case study on point is famed chef Mary Berry. Best known for her many decades of presenting cooking shows on television...

She has lent her name to a line of manufactured cakes, so effectively added to her earnings without having to commit the time required compared to building and running the business oneself. Indeed, the Mary Berry brand is now being extended to other foodstuffs.

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4.Stretching a Brand with Baby Steps in Brand Licensing

Sometimes brands want to see what adjacent areas they can move into, without necessarily taking the risk of a full launch. This can be as simple as an accounting firm offering some planning advice, or a coffee shop starting to sell food. It can stretch all the way to enormous decisions which require large scale expenditure. A licensing arrangement can be a smart way to do this, especially if it is for a limited time frame, such as a limited edition.

The iconic British food spread Marmite has done this by licensing its brand onto other products, such as savoury snacks. Even further out is chocolate gifting. Marmite licensed its name for Easter eggs. This is a smart way to get PR exposure for the brand.

Conclusion

It takes time and effort to build a brand. But as you build it, there are adjacent opportunities which could reward your effort even though they may seem difficult to realize. This is where brand licensing can sometimes play a role. It enables you to channelize your efforts and grow your brand footprint, without the financial risk or manpower that it usually requires when you do it directly. So it can be a good option worth considering which might help your brand reach new heights.

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