Brainstorming on brand licensing
By Rajni Pandey
Brand Licensing India 2011 was held at the Hotel Ashok, New Delhi, on 2nd – 3rd December 2011. The show has been leaving its mark for being India’s only show in licensing.
The Brand Licensing India 2011 kick started with licensing dignitaries, both national and international, exclusively speaking on the science of brand licensing, its recent trends and the future prospects. The show commenced with Adam Berg, Sr. Vice President, LIMA, initiating the topic, “Brand Licensing in India: An overview”, wherein three prominent personalities of the trade, Gaurav Brar, Director, Cartoon Networks Enterprises, South Asia, Turner; Vineet Sharma, Managing Director: Indian Subcontinent & Middle East, Parragon Publishing India Pvt Ltd; and Anand Ramanathan, Associate Director, Management Consulting, KPMG Advisory Pvt Ltd expressed and shared their views.
Sharing his views on world licensing industry, Berg said that the worldwide licensing and merchandising market is estimated to be around US $ 185 billion in which the most popular category is apparel with a market hold of around 46 per cent. Gaurav Brar expressed his concern over the piracy or counterfeiting in licensed merchandise. He said that the implementation of licensing laws is little difficult in India. Vineet Sharma talked about the popular kid’s character in licensing and why they are so successful. He also gave an overview of licensing in publishing. Ramanathan explained the tax structure for royalties and respiration.
The second session of Brand Licensing India included five prominent speakers - Rajiv Sangari, CEO, Spacetoon; Samir Jain, Director, Green Gold Animation Pvt Ltd; Rob Ridder, Partner, Bradford Licensing LLC, USA; Andy Jha, Chief Financial Officer, Wiesner Products Inc.; Michelle Minieri, Partner and President, Bradford Licensing LLC, USA, speaking over developing, managing and growing a successful brand licensing programme. In this session, they discussed on how brand owners can evaluate if their brand is ready for licensing and how to evolve internal structures and processes to support the licensing programme, and explore the overall benefits and risks of licensing.
In the third session, the discussion was on “The retail connects of licensing”. Participating speakers were Rahul Akkara, VP, Marketing, Parag Milk Foods Pvt Ltd; Mudit Khosla, CEO, Seventymm.com; and Pankaj Sikka, Licensing Manager, Bioworld India. Rahul Akkara expatiated over how using licensed characters from Disney had helped in increasing sales of his “Go” brand. The session also discussed on identifying and developing relationships between manufacturers, retailers and brand owners.
The fourth session was on “Licensing and the law" wherein discussion took place amongst Safir Anand, Senior Partner, Anand and Anand Law Firm; Tanushree Sangal, Senior Legal Counsel, Bradford License India; Himanshu Chahar, Corporate Lawyer, LexCounsel; and Tushar Chawla, Partner, Economic Laws Practice. The speakers discussed on the legal aspect of licensing, its cruciality, be it drafting an agreement, being aware of various intellectual property rights involved or the role of a licensing agent.
The topic for the fifth session was “Royalties, risks and advanced financial know-how” wherein Rob Ridder; Rahul Dev, Partner, Tech Corp Legal LLP; and Rodney D. Ryder, Partner, Scriboard (Advocates & Legal Consultants) discussed on 360° analysis on royalty rates — what they are, how they differ by category, how they relate to margins and cost of goods, and how they relate to other business terms like advances and guarantees.
The sixth and the last session for day 1 was on “Designing a Style Guide for Your Brand”, wherein Michelle Minieri and Adam Berg participated. In this session, Berg explained why design guide is required, how it is designed and how it helps in building brand equity. Minieri spoke over the benefits of a comprehensive style guide.
The first session of day 2 began with “Sports licensing: Beyond the Pitch” wherein Col. Arvinder Singh, Chief Operating Officer, K.P.H Dream Cricket Pvt Ltd; Rob Ridder; and Arun Prasad, Manager- Sales & Marketing, Total Sports & Entertainment India Pvt. Ltd. took part. Col. Arvinder Singh shared his experience during IPL cricket series, explaining that people are interested in buying licensed sports merchandise but majority are not willing to pay for it. Prasad talked about the growing popularity of sports merchandise in India. Rob discussed some of the pain points of licensing industry.
The next session was on “Entertainment Licensing” on which Achille Forler, Managing Director, Deep Emotions Publishing (a joint-venture with Universal Music Publishing Group); Hrishi Oberoi, Director – IG Studios, Indiagames Ltd; Pankaj Sikka; and Mandar Gupte, Vice President- Finance, Universal Music India discussed in detail. The speakers discussed the major trends in games, movies and music licensing.
The third session was on “Corporate Licensing” on which speakers - Sid Shah, President, The Wild East Group; Michelle Minieri; Adam Berg; Prem Kamath, Executive VP and GM, Channel V, Star India Pvt Ltd; Subham Ray, Chief-Private Brands, Future Value Retail Limited; and Rahul Gambhir, Director-Licensing, Tommy Hilfiger, shared their view points and experiences. Sid Shah discussed about how corporate brands are using brand licensing to extend their brand portfolio.
The last session of day 2 was on “Celebrity Licensing” wherein Sid Shah and Michelle Minieri shared their view points. Speaking on the same, Minieri said that consumers instantly connect to a brand endorsed by a celebrity. This is one way for a product to become an instant hit among the consumers. Sharing his view points, Shah explained a checklist while considering buying celebrity licensing.
The conference was attended by sixty plus delegates including brand owners, manufacturers, retailers, marketing professionals, management students and licensing agents.
For the first time ever, two major licensing award categories were added to the prestigious Star Retailer Awards in the mega Show of Franchise India 2011. While the Licensor of the year award was received by Gaurav Brar, Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises, South Asia, Turner and Anand Singh, Senior Manager- Theme Parks and Retail Sales, Cartoon Network Enterprises, India and South Asia; the licensee of the year award was received by Subham Ray, Chief-Private Brands, Future Value Retail Limited. Both the players have been doing some extra ordinary work over the years and acknowledgement was certainly due!
The conclave gathered experts under one roof to confer on marketing strategies with brand licensing was held on May 6th, 2011
The initiative of License India in a forum format, ‘Marketing Conclave: Licensing Can Help!’ which was held on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at Tivoli Daffodil Hotel at New Delhi, saw marketers from across the industries, understand and comprehend ‘Licensing’ in multiple genres for product, promotional and brand. This event was supported by International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) with Bradford License India as the knowledge partner.
Today, Licensing is relatively a new concept in India and is at a nascent stage. While the figures are miniscule compared to other international markets, India is fast establishing itself as a strong potential market in the future world of licensing. Elaborating further, Mr. Gaurav Marya, President, License India said, “Brand extensions are flourishing for a number of reasons. More and more companies today, realize that one of their most valuable assets is the brand and not just their technology or other tangible assets. A strong brand commands loyalty, emotions, preference and associative powers, which are hard to duplicate by the competition. The brand is the USP for many products today. Also, in the much cluttered marketplace, where it is very expensive and time consuming to get brand recognition and brand affinity, many companies choose brand extension licensing to launch new products, by leveraging the power of existing strong brands.”
Some of the key note speakers included Martin Brochstein (SVP industry Relations & Information, LIMA, USA), Rob Ridder (Partner, Bradford Licensing LLC, USA), Jiby George (COO, Dream Theatre), Rahul Gambhir (Director- Licensing, Tommy Hilfiger), Ashish Kulkarni (CEO, Big Animation – A Reliance Big Entertainment Group Company), Atulit Saxena (COO – Brands Future Brands Ltd), Pankaj Sikka (Manager – Brand Licensing, Bioworld), Dimpy Mohanty (Founding Partner, LexCounsel, Law Offices), Tushar Chawla (Partner, Economic Laws Practice). Many consumer products marketers believe that the brand has become more important than ever before and many a time, the only differentiator in many product categories. Brands with strong consumer recognition, relevance and loyalty have been successfully extended into new product categories. In fact, for years, brand extension licensing has been used as a strategy to generate revenues. But today, the scenario is changing, with more focus on other benefits that a carefully crafted licensing program can deliver, apart from just royalty revenues. Commenting further, Mr. Rahul Gambhir, Director – Licensing, Tommy Hilfiger said “Only if handled right, Licensing is a low cost and high gain prospect. A right partner, right category, right time, right pricing, and right controls makes a successful model. The opportunities in licensing are limitless. We have only seen a trailer in India.”
Added, Mr. Jibi George, Chief Operating Officer of Dream Theater, “The key to success in Licensing is that the product must bring the brand and property alive. Therefore it is important to identify brand attributes, understand target audience, map product categories, ensure balance of core and secondary categories while working with key retail for creating the right retail environment.” “The next big leap in marketing strategies is brand extensions which are seen as an excellent strategy to enhance and reinforce existing brand equity. Typically, a licensee benefits from the popularity of a particular brand. However, there is also a reciprocal benefit that the licensor receives from the advertising and promotional support by the licensees. Licensing revenues can soon become the most profitable revenues of the company. Because the investment in building the brand has already occurred, there are few additional costs associated with putting forth a licensing program. As a result, a high percentage of revenue is pure profit.” opined Ms. Michelle Minieri, President, Bradford License India.
To add to this, Mr. Martin Brochstein, SVP industry Relations & Information, LIMA, USA, said “Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of change in the Indian licensing industry. India, once a closed market, today, has a foray of international and strong local brands to choose from. Today, we have celebrities and properties who have become licensors – Harbhajan Singh with his very own chain of restaurant and IPL team such as Kings XI Punjab with their own range apparels. Licensing is no longer limited to character licensing in India. The licensing industry in India has gained substantial momentum now. The licensors, for sure, stand to gain the maximum, but this has also opened doors for others in the value chain, like independent licensing agents, retailers, advertisers, consumer products manufacturers and distributors.”
The conclave also saw the display of the product lines available for licensing from various known brands such as Me to You, Pepsi, Donald J Trump, University of Oxford, Pampered Girls, Teletubbies, Guinness World Records, Zorro to name a few.
Brand Licensing India 2010
Brand Licensing India 2010 was held at Hotel, The Ashok, New Delhi, on 11-12 December 2010.
The Brand Licensing India 2010 show, which took place on December 11-12, 2010 at Hotel Ashok in New Delhi, comprised a Brand Licensing Conference and Exhibition. This was the third edition of the show; and is the only event in India where key licensing industry people gather together, diverse properties are displayed, tapping into new markets & territories is discussed and, above all, networking creates business-building deals.
The conference commenced with an introduction of the Brand Licensing session, the speakers and the dignitaries. Then she quickly went over the agenda as she acquainted the guests of the forthcoming topics.
Kick starting the first session, Martin Brochstein, Sr. VP-Industry Relations and Information, LIMA,USA, spoke on “Brand Licensing in India: An overview” in which three prominent dignitaries of the trade expressed and shared their views. He gave an account of LIMA, with statistics of 1100 members in 30 countries. He also elaborated on Demographic Trends that support Brand Licensing in India. Following suit shortly, Michelle Minieri, President, Bradford Licensing, USA elaborated on understanding the role of agents, the must- do checklists for prospective licensees like company background, category and industry analysis, viability, distribution capabilities etc. Rajiv Sangari, CEO, Spacetoon, India, cited main reasons of its low take off in India like piracy, 94 per cent share of unorganized retail and Bollywood fixation etc. Marc Mikulich, VP-Brand Mgt and International Rights, Wiley Professional Trade Group, US. talked about Wiley’s published title series ‘For dummies’next.
In session two, Safir Anand (IP Partner, Anand and Anand, and Chander lall ,IP partner(Chander M Lall discussed key legal aspects of License agreement for licensees and licensors for a good negotiation . Also, what is IP rights and how they can add value to a licensing business? Piracy in Bollywood, owner of IP, scope of issues, trademark, divisibility of copyright, design and pattern, identification of Intellectual property, etc were other topics of interest. Shortly, Kelvyn Gardner, MD,LIMA,UK joined the band wagon and shared his views on trust involved in licensing agreement in matters like financial, protection, and importance of boosting awareness etc. He also discussed the importance of drafting of licensing agreement as well as reading it carefully.
In third session, which was on royalties, risks and advanced financial know how, Kelvyn Gardner, MD,LIMA,UK discussed benchmarks for fixing royalty rates and current trends, key elements of license agreements, royalty as percentage of sales, audit, royalty rates etc. Rob Ridder , Partner, Bradford spoke on legal points involved in licensing relationship and also the importance of reading contract properly from beginning till the road to contract.
This was followed by fourth Session, which was on Brand Partnership where Atulit Saxena, COO, Future Brands spoke on brand licensing, consumer insights, brand licensing solution-partnership. He also cited case study of McNoe in terms of their products Axe, Set up and Wild Stone, Secret Temptation etc. He concluded with example of Sachin Tendulkar who has been licensed for Sach Soaps, Sach Toothpaste etc. (a case of Brand Extension).
The topic for the fifth session namely “Behind the Scenes” started with Brochstein explaining how International licensor should approach and structure their business in emerging market like India. Anurag Rajpal, VP Apparels, Spencers Retail defined and analyzed a brand for its licensing worth, while emphasising on creation of licensing brands with well thought out diverse product lines. He discussed in detail, what is brand licensing? What are the admired brands? What are great products, what are the categories: whether it is apparel, fragrance, toys etc. The essay extended to ways of generating new revenue streams, process of licensing. How it works? Mismatched expectation, the logic etc. Chandan Savera, Head Retail, Creative Portico joined him as he explained in details licensing of characters like Barbie, Hanaah Montana, Poo etc. and that there lies lots of scope, it is still unexplored.
In the last session of the day, Atulit Saxena, COO, Future Brand, initiated licensing facts and the private label opportunity by speaking about licensing of foreign brand category in India. He talked about their best selling brand Shruti. Anurag Rajpal, of Spencers compared Brand versus Pvt label while laying emphasis on the fact that if Brand sells more than Pvt label, then Pvt label has value space and that Brand and Pvt label co exist. Joining in the discussion, Gardner discussed private label opportunities which are not just in interest of a big brand but equally lucrative for small and midsized retailers.
First session began with a discussion on the future of sports licensing in India where Brochstein spoke on global business of sports licensing. Here he defined sports licensing as about passion and fashion, category of merchandise in sports, growing popularity in India, business models that would work. He also discussed multi level licensing, collegiate licensing and games that are big internationally and hence lucrative for licensing.
In the chat, he was joined by Sangeet Shirodkar, Business Director, The Right Picture who discussed about sports licensing properties and the importance of choosing a consistent brand for licensing in respect to cricket.
Next in line was Anand Dhand, Head Sales and Distribution, Nokia Tej who spoke about Nokia Tej and its usefulness for SMBs. Partnered with Sify, the technology reduces paper work or makes it redundant. He said they presently have 1000 subscribers and the subscription rate is 500 per month.
In the following session, Rajpal, spoke on the importance of Licensing Style wherein he also discussed how some brands fail but keep coming back. What are the reasons of their failure? He also gave examples of Dockers that made two unsuccessful entries but failed yet it is seeking a third entry in India. He gave examples of other brands also. Following him, Brochstein discussed the motivation for licensing, i.e., enhancing visibility, extending brand’s equity, entering new categories with knowledgeable licenses and create new revenue stream. He cited case study of JEEP.
Next was Entertainment Licensing, in which Gardner shared that except in India, entertainment holds 50 per cent share in rest of the world. In Europe and UK, entertainment licensing continues to outperform. He cited shares of some popular characters: Ben 10- 6.3, Star wars- 6.7etc. Also that Preschool share is 25 per cent, 5-8 years is 27 per cent and 9-14 is 13 per cent in categories of toys, videos, videogames, footwear, school stationeries etc. Brochstein asserted that the business of future, entertainment holds 50 per cent share in rest of the world except India where licensing rules fashion.
This session was followed by talks on Corporate Licensing in which Minieri discussed best practices involved in Licensing agreement like taking a background check/overview, whether it is private or public ltd company, number of years in business, continual update, etc. Gardner joined in and Mikulich, VP-Brand Mgt and International Rights, Wiley Professional Trade Group, US. talked about Wiley’s published title series ‘For dummies’ wherein he discussed the licensing of the title and its various aspects.
The last in the list of conclusion was Celebrity License, where Brochstein shared that the celebrity image must justify brand. And Minieri talked in depth giving example of Marylin Monroe whose account they are handling. Shirodkar joined her while giving insights of Indian Celebrity licensing. Why some brands fail. What do licensees expect out of Celebrity licenses? Also, an example cited was “Why Sachin Tendulkar is a popular property?”
A very interesting topic discussed was – The advantages and disadvantages of licensing dead and alive celebrities. The speakers gave an interesting insight on how a brand can get affected due to personal traits like behavior and problems.
The conference concluded with a vote of thanks by Vrinda Oberai, our excellent host as she expressed gratitude to speakers and other participating guests without whose attendance the show would have not been such a huge success.