Ubisoft together with IMPS, has introduced a new mobile game featuring the Smurfs. Titled as ‘Smurfs Epic Run’ the game is available worldwide on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon.
The 2D platform mobile game, with more than 100 levels and 250 challenges to complete, allows players to run, jump, glide, rush and dash to free captive Smurfs and defeat the minions of the evil sorcerer Gargamel. Inspired by Peyo (Pierre Culliford) - the creator of the Smurfs, the game’s storyline has Gargamel casting an evil fog to capture the Smurfs.
The player, who can choose to be a popular Smurf character (Smurfette, Papa Smurf, Handy Smurf, Brainy Smurf, and others), must run away from the fog. The player journeys gather powerful magic artifacts, and save the Smurfs to become the hero of the village.
Commenting at the launch, Véronique Culliford, the president of licensing firm IMPS and daughter of Peyo said, “We are glad to collaborate once again with Ubisoft on The Smurfs.”
“Working with Ubisoft means a lot when it comes to building a rich and original gaming experience while respecting The Smurfs’ identity. Smurfs Epic Run is probably the most ‘smurfed’ title to date and one of the best visual experiences in a game based on our beloved blue characters. Our art teams have been working closely together to deliver what we hope will delight both Smurfs fans and mobile players alike,” she further added.
Smurfs Epic Run is available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian.
Star Wars has collaborated with Universe for an all-new apparel collection. The “Star Wars” x Her Universe collection includes t-shirts, joggers, jackets and more.
Ashley Eckstein, Founder, Her Universe, said, “I am a huge ‘Star Wars’ fan, and I love showing off my fandom proudly. When designing this collection, we wanted to create the perfect outfit to wear while living your best life on Batuu. Whether it’s drinking blue milk, picking out your perfect lightsaber or flying the Millennium Falcon, everyone wants that wearable souvenir and photo that shows the perfect day at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.”
The “Star Wars” brand has forayed into multiple partnerships with the recent release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”. Additionally, Star Wars’ recent collections with Pat McGrath and Columbia have also made their way to the market.
The new collection is now available at Disney Parks and will be available at ShopDisney.com starting January 27.
This January, fashion designer Manish Malhotra and European beauty brand MyGlamm celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Manish Malhotra Beauty by MyGlamm.
Manish Malhotra Beauty by MyGlamm has quickly established itself as the number one premium makeup brand in India with 200 retail locations across 50 cities in India and online orders delivered to over 1000 cities in India. In 2020, Manish Malhotra Makeup by MyGlamm expects to become the first brand to cross the Rs 100 cr number in less than two years of launch.
In January 2019, couturier to the stars, Manish Malhotra became the first Indian designer to introduce a complete range of beauty & colour cosmetics with his exclusive, luxurious makeup line co-created with European beauty brand, MyGlamm. A first for both brands at the time, the collection launched uber-luxe eye palettes, lip glosses, lipsticks, nail lacquers, blushes and highlighters with MyGlamm, as part of an exclusive collaboration.
This year, they have expanded the already extensive Manish Malhotra Beauty by MyGlamm line by doubling in size, growing to 100+ SKU’s.
And to celebrate their first anniversary, they unveiled 2020 Celebration Edit, a new collection of Manish Malhotra Haute Couture Makeup by MyGlamm. This new collection is designed to celebrate not just special occasions but also the little joys of life.
The label and the couturier have also unveiled their new campaign, with Mira Kapoor, Tahira Kashyap, Ananya Birla, Aishwarya Desai, Medha Rana, Aishwarya Sushmita, Priyanka Kapadia and Anjali Lama as the faces of the campaign to depict beauty is for everyone. There are no stereotypes, there is just that beautiful YOU, who we celebrate every day.
The 2020 Celebration Edit will introduce five new products, innovative, multitasking lip/eye/cheek metallic chalks, glitter eyeliners, liquid matte lipsticks, black mascara & gold mascara topcoat, and a face & body highlighter. For bold and sexy eyes, the brand will be launching two new extensions to their best-selling 9-in-1 shimmering eye shadow palettes that will be perfect for creating a day to night looks.
Manish Malhotra, said, “Makeup for me is a celebration of your own style. I wanted this campaign to reflect my world, and include people from all walks of life, where the one unifying thread is that each of these women has their own unique reasons to celebrate. You don’t need to be the stereotypical beauty image that you see in magazines and hoardings; Manish Malhotra Beauty celebrates being yourself. And in my opinion, it’s the best kind of celebration.”
Malaika Mahtaney, Chief Marketing Officer, MyGlamm, stated, “We are excited as we continue to evolve and bring to life Manish Malhotra’s vision of beauty to his many fans across the country. We wanted to celebrate beauty without defining it or limiting it to a stereotype. Our campaign is a celebration of every woman who is her own beauty. We are proud of what we have created. This year, we have doubled the collection bringing products that India has never seen before, encouraging the MyGlamm woman to 'live glamorous' every day.”
The Manish Malhotra 2020 Celebration Edit is exclusively available on myglamm’s website, Manish Malhotra Flagship Stores, MyGlamm retail outlets as well as at Shoppers Stop outlets across India.
With lipsticks starting at Rs 950 and eyeshadow palettes at Rs 1850, Manish Malhotra Beauty by MyGlamm has become the product of choice for consumers in the premium segment.
POPxo, India’s largest online community for millennial women designed to blend content and commerce, has partnered with PopSockets, a global leader in the mobile accessory space, to launch an exclusive range of PopGrips, an expandable, collapsible grip and stand for your phone.
The PopGrip collection has been designed keeping in mind the modern millennial women who are fearless, fun and loves to experiment with their style. From 90s characters like the Powerpuff Girls to popular catch phrases that every girl would love, this collection has it all. The collection starts from Rs 695 onwards and is available on POPxo Shop.
Priyanka Gill, Founder & CEO, Luxeva Ltd, said, “Both POPxo and PopSockets are young and dynamic brands offering lifestyle products enabling the millennial audience to express themselves. The data-driven female-focused designs carried onto the original PopGrips make for fun fashion accessories apart from being high on utility. The collaboration reinforces our commitment to offering quality well-designed products and the launch further strengthens our narrative of integrating content with commerce.”
Siddharth Gadodia, CEO at Upbeat Retail, stated, “We are very excited to announce this partnership with PopXO, we felt that both brands have a very similar approach towards a young and modern millennial audience, and this tie-up would bring out designs that resonate very well with them.”
PopSockets exists to change the world for the better with innovative, magical products and community empowered activism. Products include the PopGrip, PopTop, PopWallet, PopThirst and PopMirror, all designed to increase the functionality of devices use daily. PopSockets has sold more than 160 million grips globally and has become a staple on phones around the world.
Launched in 2015, POPxo is India’s largest online community for millennial women to read, watch, shop and hangout. From content to its own private label brand, POPxo is designed to blend content and commerce. POPxo’s articles, video and social media content in six languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Bangla, Tamil and Telugu, draws more than 42 million users every month who spend over 3 million hours across all its platforms.
General Mills has announced partnered with Hershey’s to launch a line of candy-inspired cereals.
With this partnership, fan-favorite Hershey’s candies will be transformed into breakfast cereals. These cereals consist of Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher and a new version of even bigger Reese’s Puffs.
The new cereals will be launched nationwide throughout the next few months. While Hershey’s Kisses cereal is available starting this month, Big Puffs and Jolly Rancher cereal will debut in March.
Earlier, the two food brands tied up on the original Reese’s Puffs as well as Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Fillows Cereal and Cocoa Puffs made with Hershey’s chocolate.
The latest agreement with General Mills adds to Hershey’s other major partnerships. In July last year, The Emoji Company inked a deal with Hershey’s to introduce a limited-edition chocolate bar to shelves during the summer. Hershey’s also unveiled a holiday capsule collection with Forever 21 in November.
In 2019, General Mills also mixed up some new deals, including a partnership with Godiva to develop baking mixes in four different flavors.
Puma has collaborated with British designer Tabitha Simmons for an apparel and footwear collection.
The new collection features reimaginations of the Puma Cell Stellar and Ralph Sampson. Most of this collection has been decorated with Simmons’ signature floral patterns.
Adam Petrick, Global Director Brand and Marketing, Puma, said, “We’re excited to introduce our partnership with Tabitha Simmons, an incredible creative with an extremely diverse set of talents. For our first collaboration, we’ve blended Puma’s iconic sport-inspired silhouettes with Tabitha’s well-known custom florals resulting in disruptive new executions with a feminine touch.”
The Puma x Tabitha Simmons collection also offers matching apparel like the reversible full-zip nylon track jacket with batwing sleeves, adjustable drawcord stoppers and practical pockets, and track pants in black decorated with a floral T7 panel on the side.
The collection includes accessories such as the shiny backpack with a custom-made all-over print, a padded laptop pocket, a mesh pocket on the front, and utility-inspired webbing details along with a waist bag with floral prints, a frontal mesh pocket, chunky zippers with detachable keyring puller and webbing details.
Tabitha Simmons stated, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with such an iconic brand like Puma for my first venture into the sportswear and athleisure market. Together, we married Puma’s sporty aesthetic with my signature, feminine florals to create a collection of shoes, bags and a stylish tracksuit for all women on the go.”
Counterfeit products and grey market has been a major hurdle for the licensing fraternity in India, thus pushing the brand owners to ramp up and protect their intellectual property.
Working on same sidelines, Disney - the world’s leading entertainment brand, works closely with enforcement agencies around the world to protect our intellectual property and brands.
As a part of an ongoing enforcement campaign in India, the officers of the Zone-2 Mumbai Police conducted raids of the following five targets: Niva Bags; Capitol Bags and Return Gifts; National Bag House; Raj Bags; and Roshan’s the Bag Kingdom in Crawford Market.
More than 2,000 counterfeit Disney products were seized in total from all stores and the owners/ proprietors of the stores, Shailesh Mavji Daga of Niva Bags; Dhiraj Ramesh Suthar of Capitol Bags and Return Gifts; Mohamed Jaid Ahmed Parwani of National Bag House; Ravi Rasiklal Shah of Raj Bags and Mohamed Nazim Idris Shaikh of Roshan’s the Bag Kingdom, were arrested on charges of criminal counterfeiting.
Investigations are ongoing to identify the source/ locations of the manufacturers of the seized goods, who will also be prosecuted as appropriate. This enforcement action follows up raids that took place on 12 July 2017 in Mumbai’s Crawford Market, where police seized over 3,500 Disney counterfeit products.
“It is critical that we protect the integrity of the products that bear the Disney name,” said Sanjeet Mehta, Executive Director, Consumer Products, Disney India.
“Our consumer products lines in India include fashion apparel, home, toys, consumer electronics, stationery, food, health and beauty, and publishing. We are grateful to the local Zone-2 Police and the Crime Branch Control in Mumbai for protecting both the rights of trusted brand owners and Indian consumers.”
Disney has an ongoing focus to stop counterfeiting within India, working with government agencies and local police. To assist in these efforts, Disney asks that the public report any suspected infringements through an email account—Tips@DisneyAntipiracy.com—which has been set up for this purpose. Disney takes seriously any suspected violation of its intellectual property rights and cooperates with the appropriate agencies to pursue reported violators.
Ravindra Jadeja, India's all-rounder cricketer has ended his innings with Rhiti Sports as the left-arm spinner has signed a three-year contract with Baseline Ventures. Jadeja who has been associated with Rhiti Sports (owned by an associate of MS Dhoni) from a long time and has recently ended his term with the firm.
As per the new agreement signed between Jadeja and Baseline Ventures, the new company will be handling all his endorsements, brand associations, corporate profile, merchandise and other business and commercial interests of the all-rounder. With this development, Rhiti Sports has lost its second ace India cricketer after Suresh Raina, Last year, Raina too decided to not renew the contract of Rhiti Sports and opted to shift to IOS Sports and Entertainment.
Rhiti Sports, run by Arun Pandy, continues to manage Dhoni and other cricketers such as Mohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and South African Francois du Plessis. Jadeja, 27, has an impressive on-field record.
Elaborating further on the deal, Tuhin Mishra, MD, Baseline Ventures said that brand has signed long-term contract with Jadeja on Saturday. Company plans to fully exploit his commercial potential over the next few years where the firm will help to build the brand Ravindra Jadeja .
Bollywood's heartthrob who is known for his million dollar films, Salman Khan has forayed into the jewellery business. Earlier, Indian Retailer had reported that Sultan starrer has shown a keen interest in this segment and was chalking plans to explore the jewellery sector of the country. Today, Salman Khan Foundation has announced that it has partnered with Style Quotient Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. to launch an enthralling range of fine diamond jewellery.
Style Quotient Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. is the exclusive global licensee of Being Human Jewellery to design, manufacture, distribute and retail the brand. The latest collection is inspired by Being Human's six core brand values including love, care, share, joy, help and hope. Inimitably designed, these jewellery articles are light weight and are available in gold and diamonds. The collections are termed as Being Human Statement Collection, Trinity Collection, Classics Collection, Partners for life Collection, Black Galaxy Collection and Linear Collection. 80 per cent of jewellery will be cater to women and rest 20 per cent to men. The collection will be available across jewellery retail stores in India and also, exclusively on Amazon.in.
These lightweight differentiated collections have been designed for everyday wear and the range starts from Rs. 5,000 to 50,000. The entire range of Being Human jewellery is designed in certified natural diamonds and crafted in 18K gold. Each piece of the collection will be crafted with natural Australian diamonds that have been passed through Rio Tinto's Chain of Custody system from mine to retailers and will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.
Each article is certified by Gemological Science International (GSI). Speaking about the launch, Bajrangi Bhaijaan of Bollywood, Salman Khan stated, “I have been associated with Style Quotient Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. before and it feels great to now collaborate with them. Being Human is a brand with a soul, and with this association, we are moving to the next step of expansion. People have always given me and Being Human tremendous love and I hope, we continue to receive in the days to come”.
“It is our pleasure to be connected with Being Human foundation. We have worked very closely in the past with Salman Khan and the association has been gratifying and joyous one. Salman Khan represents the modern-day India and has huge global and mass appeal. His presence will boost our brand equity and will assist us to move effortlessly into the western and the northern region, which is our focus currently,” said Prasad Kapre, CEO and Director, Style Quotient Jewellery Pvt. Ltd.
“We are excited to launch Being Human's line of jewellery exclusively on our lattice. This offering gives millions of fans of Salman Khan and the brand from across the country and easy and immediate access the fresh selection. After receiving an overwhelming response from Bajrangi Bhaijaan pendants on our platform, we are pleased to bring this exceptional offering to our customers just ahead of festive season,” commented Mayank Shivam, Category Leader, Amazon Fashion.
Amazon India has inked a long term content partnership with T-Series to feature its new releases on Amazon’s soon to be launched Prime Video service. As per the pact, Prime will stream the videos just few weeks after their theatrical release in the country.
While revealing the information, Amazon stated in its official statement that new releases by T-Series will be streamed within a few weeks of their theatrical release in India. Currently, company is looking forward for some of the big releases such as ‘Tum Bin 2’, ‘Raabta’, ‘Simran’, ‘Chef’, ‘Yaariyan 2’, ‘Hindi Medium’, ’Wajah Tum Ho’, ‘Hate Story 4’ and ‘Noor’.
Elaborating further on the deal, Nitesh Kripalani, Video India Director and Country Head, Amazon said that T-Series is one of the leaders in the Indian entertainment industry. As a result of this partnership, Amazon Prime members will soon enjoy a wide variety of some of the best Bollywood movies in the country, all within a few weeks of their theatrical release.
Adding further, he commented that Amazon is committed to adding value for Prime members and it is excited to give them exclusive access to premium entertainment they will love. It will continue to add more content in the coming months.
Adding another feather in its cap, company informed that its Prime subscribers will be able to watch 17 under production movies of T-Series first before their television premier.
T-Series has always strived to be ahead of the curve in the digital content distribution space and this exclusive alliance for its future under-production films with Amazon is another step in that direction, said Bhushan Kumar, Chairman and MD, T-Series.
Mandhana Industries, a Mumbai based textile firm which recently ventured into the retail business, has sought assistance from its private equity investors. The company has asked the PE investors to put in 5-10 per cent stakes in its retail biz.
As per the recent development, Mandhana is on the verge of demerging its retail business and it will be called as Mandhana Retail Ventures. Mandhana plans to host roadsshows to get PE investors on board to build its licensed brand of Being Human, which is pegged in the mid to premium segment in the apparels category.
Speaking on the development, Manish Mandhana, MD, Mandhana Industries said that the company is already a listed company with a turnover of Rs 1,400 crore. In the next few weeks, it expects to demerge and list the retail operations under a separate company. Since it is 25 per cent Ebitda (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) positive, it will be having roadshows with PE players, and selling 5-10 equity in the demerged retail company.
Mandhana has recently forayed into the retail sector after it acquired a licnece for the brand Being Human from Salman Khan Foundation. It is now seeking to increase the valuation of its retail business post the demerger before it brings in new PE investors to give a boost to its operations.
The demerger should help the company in getting better valuation for the retail business and since it has to grow the business, the firm would seek funds from PE players. Currently, the retail business is growing at 35-40 per cent, added Mandhana.
Presently, Being Human carries its operations from 700 shops in shops and 60 exclusive stores in India, it has also launched its operations internationally, hence increasing its nexus globally. With competition increasing in the apparel industry with the entry of international brands like H&M and Zara, Being Human expects to ramp up its presence in smaller cities as well.
India's star batsman, Rohit Sharma, who has already made his mark on world arena by becoming the only batsman to score double ton twice in ODI, has now put his foot in the world of mobile gaming. The ace cricketer has recently launched Cricket Championship mobile game for his fans in association with Nazara Games.
In order to shape the project, the publisher, Nazara Games, has partnered with Rhoit's digital and gaming rights company, Cornerstone Sport. The deal further states that Rohit will be working closely and exclusively with the game publisher to help them in carving a product which will take the exhilaration level of the users to the next level.
Shedding the light on the deal, Rohit stated “It is really exciting to have the first ever cricket game on me coming out in the market. I look forward to the game and encourage all cricket fans to download and play the game”.
The game Rohit Cricket Championship involves the cricketer guiding every cricket fan with his insights and helps players become a cricketing star. With tournaments, mini challenges, leaderboards and achievements, Rohit Cricket Championship is a social cricketing experience and has simplistic controls clubbed with features such as shot variety, running between the wickets, rewind the ball and in-game challenges.
Commenting on the move, Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Games said that the company is really thrilled to announce oits exclusive mobile gaming partnership with the 'Hit Man' of Indian cricket and are confident that the game Rohit Cricket Championship would give millions of his fans joy of enacting Rohit's real world flair of hitting the shots outside the boundary line.
Liverpool, one of the prominent league football clubs of Premier League, has signed an exclusive deal with Baseline Ventures. Sports marketing firm, Baseline Ventures has been appointed as the licensing agency of Liverpool that enables the company to sell club's merchandise in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The Premier League is one of the richest and most viewed sports event of the world, attracting magicians of the game from across the globe to show their skills and talent while playing for outstanding teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and last year's champions, Leicester FC.
This four year deal with Liverpool will equip the Baseline to sell official Liverpool merchandise such as apparel, footwear, stationery products and mobile phone covers, among other things, in the three countries. The deal was signed on Thursday.
The company has stated that it is targeting revenue of US $4-5 million as licensing revenue by the end of 2017. Speaking about the strategy, Tuhin Mishra, MD & Co-founder, Baseline Ventures said that company will handle both product and promotional licensing for Liverpool across categories. Currently, Liverpool has a fan base of more than 75 million in India. Firm will strive hard to grow LFC's (Liverpool Football Club) licensing business in India and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.
Liverpool currently has ten official supporters' clubs in India and an LFC International Academy in Pune. Founded in 1892, the club has won 18 League titles so far. Liverpool is currently owned by Fenway Sports, which bought the club for £300 million ($392 million) in October 2010.
Tablez India, an arm of Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group, is moving in to bring US children retail brand Toys 'R' Us to India. The company has inked a master franchisee agreement with Toys 'R' Us and as per the pact, Tablez will be opening the outlets of the brand in India and Sri Lanka with a massive investment of Rs 570 crore.
Currently, Tablez is planning to open around 65 outlets of Toys 'R' Us in India in next 10 years. Speaking about the deal, Adeeb Ahmed, MD, Tablez said that company will open the first store in Bengaluru next year and it is in talks with three developers and will close the deal by the end of this month. The first store will be full-fledged experiential store and looking at some 15,000-20,000 sq ft carpet area. The brand comes with two formats Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us. Toys 'R' Us operates more than 850 eponymous and Babies 'R' Us stores in North America and its products are sold at 1,000 inter-stores in 37 countries.
This will be another feather in the cap of LuLu, the company that operates around 130 hypermarkets in 21 countries in Middle East, Asia and Africa. Company's commitment is 65 stores in the next 10 years but it feels if the present market trend continues, the firm should be able to close that in the next eight years. Company also has the licence to sell those brands online in India and is planning to have dedicated e-commerce site, Ahmed added further.
On the other hand, Toys 'R' Us arch rival, Hamleys has teamed up with Reliance Retail and has jointly installed its 22 outlets in various parts of the country commenting on the competition, Ahmed opined, “Hamleys does not sit in the bracket where we are looking at. We are looking at the mass side of the market.” Elaborating further on the pricing structure, he added that major chunk of brand's toys and baby products will fall under the price cap of Rs 200-1000.
After writing a new success story with its last two releases in the series, 'Chota Bheem' franchise is back to burst some crackers on silver screen this Dussehra. Crowned with the title 'Super Bheem Hawa Mein Halla', this release will be the third installment in the popular 'Super Bheem' TV movie series.
Pumped up by the success of their last two releases 'Main Hun Super Bheem' and 'Super Bheem Trayodash Ki Kahani', the makers are looking very positive about their new venture. Speaking about the third installment, creator of Chhota Bheem, Rajiv Chilaka of Green Gold Animation said, “We have been toiling with the idea of expanding Bheem's capabilities and giving him an extra edge over a new breed of far more menacing villains”.
“During the course of our theatrical release, we felt that Bheem on TV needed the spunk of the Bheem on 70 mm. It was a germ of an idea, but television viewing follows an entirely different pattern and to cater to this we needed the aid of a spin-off to showcase a far more powerful Bheem and uncharted terrain,” he added.
Turner India's licensing and merchandising arm is aiming for a strong double digit growth this year as it expands into new South Asia markets of Sri Lanka and Nepal in partnership with some of the biggest FMCG brands including Perfetti, Heinz, Unilever, Parle, Mondelez, United Biscuits and Kellogg's.
As part of its expansion plans, CNE will seek more collaboration with players from retail, e-commerce and FMCG sectors to increase its footprint, and strengthen its leadership position in the market. In line with this growth strategy, CNE has also partnered with Myntra and Future Group. Besides the re-launch of the ever popular global franchise The Powerpuff Girls, CNE will also be focusing on a strong roster of DC movies from Warner Bros. that includes Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aqua Man and Flash.
All this and a preview to plans for 2017 were unveiled at the Cartoon Network Enterprises roadshow on September 20, in Mumbai with over 200 trade partners attending this showcase of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. extensive portfolio of current and future IPs, TV shows and movies.
Siddharth Jain, Turner India’s Managing Director said “The licensing and merchandise segment has evolved over the years and is currently witnessing a strong upswing due to ecommerce explosion in South Asia. We are looking at driving strategic partnerships across various categories in the coming months and providing different touch points for our fans to experience our brand. This roadshow provides an ideal platform for us to connect with our current and potential clients to showcase our portfolio and significant range of products”.
A brand new series of the multi-million-dollar franchise, Ben 10 is launching as part of an international premiere on Cartoon Network in October and an extensive new product catalogue will be announced soon after.
Standing at the worth of $576 million, the brand licensing and merchandising industry of India has proved to be an effective retail strategy, given the increasing fan base of the millennial consumer. Driven by the animation and entertainment content, the L&M industry has so far witnessed the participation of manufacturers and retailers striving for visibility and shelf space in the retail landscape and to a level, the industry has addressed these issues.
Given the handholding and guidance from the parent company, licensing not only helps the manufacturers of the licensees’ position themselves in the market, it also enable them to address the issue of credibility. Many manufacturers, especially those of Back-to-school merchandise, have swiftly made it to the retail shelves in leading retail stores, credits to the brand licensing alliances. As a result there exist a bevy of names popular as licensee to one or more entertainment moguls. For instance, Kolkata based HM International is best known to the industry as one of the largest Back-To-School licensee and so is with Bioworld that is globally acknowledged as the largest T-shirt licensee.
Cut to present and the ideal profile of licensees has transformed from being just the not-so-large names battling for visibility, with addition of some big names in the club.Given the swelling size of retail eco-system in India, the well established brands have hopped on to the licensing bandwagon.
Commenting on the trend, Abhishek Maheshwari, VP – Consumer Products, Disney India said, “Finding the right partner is the foundation of licensing. This is a common phenomenon globally and we have had some of the biggest names from the Fashion industry collaborate with Disney which include Coach, UNIQLO, Marc Jacobs, United Colours of Benetton, Vans, Forever 21 and more.”
“I am happy that brands in India have started to see this as a viable option of business too and are willing to take a step in this direction,” he added. In India Disney has tied-up with some of the premium fashion brands including Satya Paul, Jack & Jones and ONLY.
Below are some of the factors that interest well-established brands to step into licensing domain.
Best of both the world
Vinita Jain, Chairperson & Managing Director, Biotique said, “Our aim is to bring together the best of both brands — Biotique’s expertise in the skin & hair care segment and the emotional connect kids and families share with Disney, through their great stories, wonderful characters and engaging products.”Of late, Biotique has inked pact with Disney to launch Disney characters inspired products for kids.
Chitra Johri, Director, Bradford License India said, “Such alliances means that the licensee will get additional marketing support from the licensors, which will in-turn result in increased visibility reciprocating to rise in sales.”
“The catch here is that an established brand may or may not increase the price of licensed product, because mainly he is looking at increase in volumes due to licensing deal,” she added.
Wider consumer base
Such a strategy not only allows the brand to keep the existing consumers glued to it, but also helps it woo all new set of consumers in an efficient manner. Striking a similar opinion, Pankaj Sikka, Chief Visionary, Invision Brand Consulting said, “A Simpsons T-shirt collection by Celio will not only woo the Celio loyalist, but will also attract the fans of the character.”
Xilam, the Paris-based entertainment production company is heading to India and has licensed its celebrated property ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches’ for Indian region.
Xilam has appointed Dream Theatre to serve as the licensing agent in India for its children’s series Oggy and the Cockroaches.
The two-year agreement entitles Dream Theatre to represent Xilam’s flagship global kids’ brand across all consumer products categories and brand promotion. ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches’ is telecasted on both Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon in India.
The Oggy brand is distributed in more than 160 countries worldwide. It is available in 600 million homes, has an internet audience of 3 billion total videos viewed on YouTube and 3 million fans on Facebook.
Marie-Laure Marchand, the senior VP of global licensing at Xilam, commented, “We are delighted to have secured this partnership agreement with Dream Theatre; we know their experienced licensing team will capture the essence of Oggy and the key characters in a range of products that will engage the fans of today as well as tomorrow. Asia is a key growth market for our business and it was important we appointed an agency, which shared our vision and passion for the brand.”
Jiggy George, Founder and CEO of Dream Theatre, added, “Oggy‘s continued success on television has made it one of the top-rated kids’ programs in India and it is a much sought-after brand for networks as a show that drives up ratings, bearing testimony to its power and popularity. Dream Theatre is proud to work with Xilam and bring Oggy licensed merchandise to its huge legion of fans in India.”
Safilo Group, Italian eyewear distributor, has put the final seal on the new global licensing deal. The Group has announced a new global licensing agreement for the design, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of the Moschino and Love Moschino collections of optical frames and sunglasses, including in travel-retail.
This eight year agreement will be floated in the global market from January 2018 and will end on December 31, 2025. However, after completing the cycle of eight years, it could be extended for further eight more years.
Speaking about the company's new move, Luisa Delgado, CEO, Safilo Group said that “The many who love Moschino's provocative surrealist wit will celebrate with us this new exciting entry in our brand portfolio. We had been looking for a while for a brand that would add distinctive momentum through irony to our premium offer, and found it in the vivid creativity of Moschino, now so powerfully interpreted in Jeremy Scott's vision. The subversive and pop spirit of the brand demands the highest levels of creative sensitivity, product knowledge and industry expertise, that have all been in our DNA since 1878.”
“Moschino is an amazing inspiration for eyewear stylistic design and product creation. It perfectly leverages our leading capability to translate distinctive brand equity into iconic design, and transform the most incredible sketches into detailed product construction and excellence of manufacturing. This is the foundation for the growth potential we see in this new Brand,” Delgado added further.
Authentic Brands Group (ABG), General Growth Properties (GGP) and Simon Property Group (SPG) finalise the acquisition of the global trend-focused apparel and accessories brand, Aeropostale. The consortium includes ABG, the owner of a global portfolio of fashion, sports and entertainment brands, GGP and SPG, two of the largest retail real estate companies in the world.
Aeropostale offers young women, men and kids a focused selection of active-oriented fashion and fashion basic merchandise at compelling values. The brand will continue to be available in over 700 retail doors around the world; more than 400 stores in the US and Canada and approximately 300 doors across Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Through ABG's proven know-how in brand building and licensing, combined with the expertise of retail real estate specialists, GGP and SPG, there is now a strong foundation in place for long term performance and growth.
"We are pleased to be part of this consortium that has saved thousands of jobs and preserved a legendary American brand," said David Simon, Chairman and CEO, Simon Property Group. "We are encouraged by the tremendous amount of support we have received from employees, vendors and other landlords”.
“This consortium brings a new approach to brand development and Aeropostale brings another facet to ABG's fashion portfolio,” said Jamie Salter, Chairman and CEO, ABG. “The purchase of Aeropostale propels the retail revenue driven by ABG's brands to over US $4.5 billion USD in retail sales worldwide. We look forward to working closely with our new partners, General Growth Properties and Simon Property Group to continue to grow the Aeropostale brand on a global scale”.
“Aeropostale has significant brand equity and the go-forward portfolio of stores generates more than $1 billion in global retail sales, over $800 million of which is from the US,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO, GGP. “The entity is financially secure and well capitalized and we are very pleased that thousands of jobs will be preserved”.
Touted as the second most revenue generation season globally, after Christmas, Back-to-School (BTS) category is gradually witnessing a surge in its share of the market portion, especially when kids have greater influence on the purchasing decisions of their parents.
“BTS, including stationery, bags etc is one of the most lucrative categories in India along with apparels and toys for any licensor,” said Anand Singh, Director, Turner International, South Asia.
“Gone are the times when kids used to have just one school bag. Now with growth in spending capacity of parents, most children have 2-3 bags, which indeed, is a welcoming change,” says Bansari Manik, Head – Business Development, Genius LeatherCrafts who are the official licensees for Pampered Girls school bags.
The number of licensees actively operating the market could be the reason behind this boost, other than the exposure to international properties like Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, Oxford University and the consumer’s inclination towards brands and licensed products.
Emphasising on the growing demand, Samir Virani, Founder, It’s Our Studio, says: “Parents are being more open to the options and are letting their kids to be a part of purchase related decisions. Moreover, the penchant towards characters has resulted in multiplying the demand by almost five times.”
“In recent times, everything is so much on the face that the child is well aware of all the characters. Further, the craze to own character inspired merchandise has boosted up to a level where limited edition merchandise is a big go,” adds Virani.
Unlocking the opportunities
While BTS spans across a varied array of products globally; in India, it is restricted to the basic utility products, of which bags have the maximum wallet share and stationery has most of the market share. Moreover, the shrinking age group is also modifying the BTS market. The category which was once heavily dominated by cartoon characters now sees football clubs, universities, and diversified properties such as FCB, Oxford, WikiLeaks etc as options.
In the words of Shree Narayan Sabharwal, Business Head, Simba Toys, “The age group is shrinking in BTS category and 10 is the new 12 at present. A 12-year-old student would now prefer Adidas or Puma and Messy, Ronaldo, Sachin Tendulkar etc adorning their backpacks instead of a Spiderman or a Batman.”
Catering to the changing demands of the target group i.e. school kids, the licensees are running over the mill to incorporate changes in terms of designs while sticking to the look and feel of the IP. “The product design is more childlike and soft in case of a 6-year-old girl; while the colour shades are altered, the logos are set in metal and more vibrancy is added to the product while designing it for a 12-year-old girl,” asserts Manik.
A different set of IPs is made available for the slightly older children, driven by their preference. “Oxford is the most impeccable IP that could be ever related to education, reason being the age-old legacy carried by Oxford University. Moreover, the merchandise under this brand addresses the early teens and teenagers looking for a change from the monotony of animated cartoon characters,” opines Hardik Vasa, the director of Vasa International, which is the Master Licensee of Oxford University in India.
Addressing the bottlenecks
The marketing of ‘back to school season’ is challenging because it’s not a defined season with a predefined start or end like Christmas or Diwali, it doesn’t “officially” kick off with great sales and promotional offers and is pretty much over within a fortnight.
Children in year-round schools could need supplies as early as the end of June or beginning of July, and schools on traditional calendars may not start up until September.
“What is selling more in BTS category is a rhetorical question,” says Anvita Prasad, Head – Licensing at Green Gold Animation Pvt. Ltd. Adding to it, Prasad says that BTS as a category can be fragmented into – seasonal and evergreen. Products like schoolbags, lunchboxes and water bottles are seasonal and a kid can have a maximum of three or four, but products like stationery and school essentials including notebooks, stickers, pencils etc are in demand throughout the year.
Seasonality obviously has a major impact on market performance as bag packs range up to Rs. 4,500 and comprise of a considerable portion of the wallet share, followed by lunch-boxes and water bottles.
Further, counterfeit and piracy is a concern for both the licensee as well as licensor, which is primarily driven by a lack of awareness about licensing in India. Manish Rajoria, Director, Adarsh Publication, who owns Purple Turtle, says, “There are two sets of retailers following false practices in licensing – one who is not at all aware of licensing, and the other, who does it knowingly. The task in case of the first type of retailers is to make them understand that why do they need to pay a handsome amount in the form of royalty to the brand owners.”
With hundreds of new properties and many more brands entering the market, the competitive landscape for licensed products continues to intensify, not only for new consumers, but also for the much-coveted shelf space at retailers and perhaps more so online.
To tap on this kids oriented market, the retailers are not only expanding their selection, but are also working on strategies like dropping prices on key school supplies to lure the audiences while forming new alliances; for instance, CNE inking pact with direct seller Tupperware and Genius LeatherCrafts adding Pampered Girls in its kitty for school bags.
Now when schools are opting for customised bags carrying school logos, it is the notebooks with superheroes or animated characters imprinted on them where the retailers have their eyes laid on. While Ben 10, and the like are the eternal IPs in this category; Despicable Me (Minions!), Frozen and IPs inspired from games like Angry Birds are the new entrants.
To augment its market presence, M&B Footwear, the company which markets Lee Cooper footwear in India, is aiming for a bounty of US $100 million, As per the market experts, the brand has ramped up its business cycle to raise the amount. It will be deploying the capital in fuming in more international brands in the country and also in increasing its presence by opening standalone outlets.
Company had gone through a lull phase in 2009-10 when it was forced to shut many stores due to financial crunch but now, it is gearing up to start its story on a fresh page. As per its new strategy, it is targeting to open around 150 stand alone stores of Lee Cooper within next three years.
Speaking about the company's plan, Bhai Ajinder Singh said that brand is actively pursuing plans to raise about Rs 100 crore, especially to expand its retail network. It is also scouting right partners who can bring value to its business to help the company to grow faster. It is also exploring options of bringing in more foreign footwear brands which do not have presence in India.
The company has also set up a target of increasing turnover from Lee Cooper brand by 50 per cent to Rs 600 crore by 2020 as against Rs 400 crore at present. The brand has been growing at a fast pace and the now the market in right for brands like Lee Cooper. Firm is targeting Rs 600 crore turnover from Lee Cooper by 2020. It already has good presence in the metro and tier I cities through multi brand outlets in retail chains like Shoppers Stop. Now, company is looking at opening majority of these 150 stores in tier II and tier III cities, Singh further added.
ChuChu TV is now shifting gears to move beyond the screen. The Chennai based Indian Youtube channel has signed a pact with Dream Theatre to roll out its consumer products globally. This two year deal enables the channel to float in toys replicating its popular character and also empowers it to make the IP licence-ready.
Sharing his views on the deal, Vinoth Chander, Creative Director, ChuChu TV said that on the revenue front, channel will be getting a royalty percentage for the deals which happen, in addition to this, its characters will be upgraded to 3D. Currently, the channel has the subscriber base of over five million.
Dream Theatre has been involved in this business from quite a while and has already converted many renowned characters such as Hello Kitty, Angry Birds and Candy Crush into toys for teenagers and kids.
In India, licensing such products is in its infancy and is estimated to be worth Rs 2,500 crore. The industry has seen a massive growth in the last five-six years across areas of entertainment, sports and lifestyle, said Jiggy George, founder of Dream Theatre. ChuChu TV, which is currently doing a 13-episode series targeting platforms including YouTube Red, Amazon Prime and Netflix, plans to double its production team to 120.
In order to focus on global distribution of channel's content, company has recently partnered with MoMediaTv. This comes especially after the recently launched ChuChu TV Police series became a huge hit, with the first two episodes garnering around 60-million views in less than four weeks, added Chander.
Being Human, venture of Bollywood's superstar Slaman Khan, has now entered into an exclusive partnership with Mandhana Retail Ventures Retail Ltd. (MRVL). The newly signed pact allows the retail to distribute, market and sell the products of Being Human exclusively through its stores.
Confirming the news about the agreement, Mandhana Industries informed Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that MRVL is the exclusive licensee to market, distribute and sell the products under the trade mark of brand ‘Being Human’.
Company’s statement further added that MVRL is the resulting company following the demerger of the retail business of Mandhana Industries. On execution of new agreement with MRVL, the earlier agreement executed between the company and the foundation stands terminated.
The board of directors of Mandhana Industries had approved the demerger of the company’s retail and trading business of the brand Being Human to MRVL. The shareholders of Mandhana Industries will get two equity shares of MRVL to every shareholder holding three equity shares of the company.
Over the years, organised retail has been witnessing massive spur in India and kitchenware segment is no exception. Growing at a CAGR of 21 per cent, the kitchenware industry is projected to reach Rs 55 billion by 2020, driven by multiple factors including growing demands from urban and rural areas, emergence of nuclear families and kitchenware transforming from mere necessity to a statement. About a decade ago, this segment hardly received a standalone mention as a major retail category, but now things have changed with a plethora of new brands emerging in. More than just satiating the functional needs, modern retail in this sector is catering to the diverse needs of the customer.
While this is a gradual shift in lifestyle that is incurring changes, there were a few major snags here such as dealing with the unorganised market and tapping the millennial youth that is extremely brand conscious. Amidst dearth of many success stories in kitchenware sector, the industry unlocked potential of this segment through brand licensing.
Power of licensing
When we talk about licensing in kitchenware, we don’t just mean coffee mugs anymore as the gamut of licensed kitchenware merchandise has expanded just from coffee mugs to entire range of cookware, serving ware, accessories, among others.
Given the changing cooking and eating habits of the Indian consumer, convenience is emerging as an important factor for selecting kitchenware and now there is more emphasis on aesthetics, novelty and style.
Commenting on the trend, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor says, “Today food is not merely limited to the senses of taste and smell but has gone beyond this to also include the senses of sight. Through our licensing and merchandising vertical, our focus is to bring-in products that will add the lifestyle experiential quotient to the houseware and kitchenware categories.”
He has attracted several brands on board to cohesively transform the entire kitchen and dining experience of modern-day consumers. “While other factors are easy to incorporate, visibility or discoverability is a major issue that has been well addressed by brand licensing,” asserts Chitra Johri, VP, Bradford License India.
Asserting the same, Deepak Agarwal, Director of Clay Craft, says, “Licensing is a great way to explore new horizons and learn from the associated brands and partners.”
In terms of material, the Indian market can be bifurcated into several ways with ceramic, china and porcelain, metalware, plasticware, etc. being the major sub-segments. Though the cookware segment dominates the Indian houseware market, serving ware, cutlery and associated accessories are the preferred choice for brand licensing. Reason being the comparative lower ticket size and flexibility to imbibe the DNA of licensed out property or brand. For instance, one can’t tweak much in case of a non-stick pan, but this is possible in case of crockery or serving ware.
“From house ware category per se, the market is very fragmented as there are brands concentrating on a particular product only. We want to create a concept where consumer walks into Sanjeev Kapoor branded corner and gets entire home solution from table, kitchen linen to kitchen fashion (aprons) integrated with entire dining look including table runner, table covers,” opines Vishal Sinha, Business Head – Brand Licensing and Digital Content, SK Brands.
In India, more than 90 per cent of sales in the segment happen through traditional channels, but now modern retail, direct sellers like Tupperware and also online retailers are fast increasing their market share. In terms of manufacturers, the national players include Tourmaline, Tangerine, HM International, Paul Studio, Clay Crafts India, Servewell and so on.
In the modern retail sector, general merchandisers and, to an extent, department stores have been retailing kitchenware products. Home Stop by Shoppers’ Stop, HomeShop 18, Home Town by Future Group, Pepperfry, etc. are focusing on this segment.
Kitchenware market in India is still very niche and features mostly imported brands, but given the rising penetration of brands, one can expect tremendous growth in this segment through licensing alliances.
Making his grand foray in India, Brazil-born and Miami-made pop artist Romero Britto is all set to lend his pop sensibility to some out-of-the-box collaborations. Bradford License India has got the Indian representation for the popular Brazil-born and Miami-made international artist Romero Britto.
Bradford License India is seeking new licensing and merchandising partners in categories including collectables, plush, apparel and accessories, home and room décor, personal care and tech accessories.
Targeting a much wider target group, from preschoolers to teenagers, Britto as a brand features strikingly bright designs that are bold and vivid in colour and embodies various moods of happiness, friendship, and solidarity. As said, his designs bring Miami to you, no matter where you live.
“We are excited to represent this internationally acclaimed artist in India. I feel that the look and feel of Romero Britto as a brand would accentuate the synergies of India which is known for its fondness towards colours,” said Chitra S. Johri, Director of Bradford License India.
Caroline R. Cardenas, Vice President - Licensing for Shriver Art, the exclusive licensing agent for world renowned pop artist Romero Britto added, “The BRITTO licensing program has aligned Britto with 50+ major corporations and internationally recognized organizations and has been very successful. They (Bradford License India) will be exposing the world of India to my artwork, and I couldn’t be more excited."
Shriver Art oversees all special projects and concept store expansion for the artist, on a global level. Caroline joined Shriver Art from a wholesale background, where she was a representative for multiple fashion brands.
The artist catapulted to fame in 1988 when his art was chosen for an Absolut Vodka art campaign. Since then he has completed other corporate works including the ones for the 2016 Presidential campaign of governor Jeb Bush as well as for Monsanto, Bain Capital, Movado, Philip Morris, Academi (formerly Blackwater), Disney, Enrico Coveri, Pepsi, the United Nations, BMW and Royal Caribbean Cruises. He was also appointed the global ambassador for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
India’s flamboyant left handed batsman, Yuvraj Singh, who has given many nightmares to some of the ace international bowlers, has step-up to unearth the unexplored imperatives of the fashion retailing business. India’s ace cricketer has now made his debut in clothing segment by launching its apparel brand called ‘YouWeCan’ (YWC).
The brand was unveiled in a start studded event in Mumbai with Bollywood celebrities and international cricketers flaunting the work of brand’s designers Shantanu and Nikhil on the ramp. Report says, Yuvraj is expecting his new brand to be valued at Rs 100 crore in the next three years.
While addressing the media during the event, Yuvraj Singh said that when the YouWeCan NGO started in 2012, it was tough to collect funds. It needed something big to streamline revenues. Now, a person can buy apparel from YWC and they’ve automatically contributed to the NGO while wearing a premium piece of clothing.
To back Yuvi’s venture, celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Kajol, Deepika Padukone, Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag and many more attended the event.
Flipkart, India’s leading online marketplace, is on the move to further garnish its online fashion and lifestyle segment. As per the recent development, the firm has entered in an exclusive licensing agreement with brands such as Provogue, Swiss Military, Carlton London and Chemistry, among others. With this positive step, company is aiming to strengthen its leadership position in lifestyle and fashion category.
Revealing the idea behind the move, one of the company’s executives said that the move is aimed at getting greater control on the product range and pricing of these brands. Apart from penning down the agreement, the brand, which owns two fashion verticals Myntra and Jabong, is also planning to manufacture some of the products of these brands. These products, carved exclusively by the manufacturing team of the company, will only be available on Flipkart.
Rishi Vasudev, VP at Flipkart Fashion, said these partnerships would ensure that a broader range of products is listed under Flipkart-Assured, its newly launched programme that guarantees an overall better consumer experience and quality.
He further stated that Flipkart has also inked an exclusive brand tie-up with Peter England for PE shoes and Flying Machine. Company is outsourcing the manufacturing of these products to different partners. Footwear has very high penetration online — close to 35 per cent of the organised market. It has become the main channel for most brands to sell, so Flipkart has launched this exercise with footwear.
The recent move clearly indicates that Flipkart doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned, since its competitors are also gearing up for the upcoming festive season. Amazon has already floated many offers that can easily entice consumers as well as sellers and now, Flipkart is also churning up its wheels to catch up with the pace.
Bewakoof.com, five year old fashion and lifestyle portal, is now shifting gears to enter into the brick and mortar retail space. The move came right after the company managed to pump a funding of US $ 4-5 million from a new set of investors. However, this the second time the company is planning to explore the offline platform, having done a pilot through distributors in 2014.
Speaking about the move, Prabhkiran Singh, Co-Founder, Bewakoof.com said that about two years ago, company did a pilot with about 150 to 200 boutique outlets but after facing payment issues, Bewakoof closed down the operations and decided to focus on the online segment. But now since its online business is doing well, firm wants to slowly get back to giving our consumers the brand experience through flagship stores which would measure between 2,000 to 3,000 sq ft.
Having built adequate brand equity for its private label under Bewakoof (meaning foolish in Hindi), the Mumbai-based start-up now wants to sell its brand across market places of all the big players like Amazon and Flipkart.
“Since we design and manufacture our private label of Bewakoof , we have managed healthy margins and have been profitable. Having raised angel funding, we are now looking forward to PE and VC funds to raise capital and slowly make an entry into brick and mortar retail with our flagship stores,’’ Singh added.
After the flop show of its much-talked-about Bollywood title 'Mohenjo Daro’ Disney studio is looking to shift its focus to Hollywood slate and going low on Bollywood content. This news came in just after the alleged exit of Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur after his contract gets over. Getting away from Bollywood content, the Walt Disney Company India is shifting its focus from local-language features to marketing its Hollywood slate.
According to a report by ET, coming off the record success in India with The Jungle Book as well as some Disney-produced Bollywood flops, including historical epic Mohenjo Daro, the studio is moving away from the Bollywood business.
The studio created box office history in India when The Jungle Book became the highest-grossing Hollywood release in India this summer. Directed by Jon Favreau, the title grossed $23.7 million (1.57 billion rupees) within its first 12 days of release, thus beating the previous records of Furious 7, which grossed a total of $23.4 million (1.55 billion rupees) during its entire theatrical run last year. The Jungle Book went on to cross the $30 million (2 billion rupees) mark.
Disney expanded its Indian presence in 2012 when it acquired a controlling stake in UTV, a leading broadcasting, film and Media Company for which the studio made an offer of $454 million. Following the Disney takeover, UTV delivered a number of Hindi-language hits, including 2014's PK, which is estimated to have grossed more than $100 million. But of late, the studio has had a string of flops, including the romantic drama Fitoor and the big-budget Mohenjo Daro, which opened to mixed reviews and a disappointing box office.
Currently, the other Hollywood studios active in local content production include Fox Star Studios India, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sony. Warner also forayed into Bollywood in 2009, but subsequently exited local production and distribution and is currently focused on its Hollywood releases. Looking ahead, Disney's upcoming Bollywood releases include the much-awaited wrestling drama Dangal starring actor Aamir Khan and Jagga Jasoos starring actor Ranbir Kapoor and actress Katrina Kaif.
Reckoning the immense potential in brand licensing, Balaji Motion Pictures Limited has launched the official merchandise for its latest movie ‘A Flying Jatt’. Directed by Remo D’souza and starring Tiger Shroff and Jacqueline Fernandes along with Nathan Jones, AFJ is one of the home-grown superheroes.
The deals for official collection were mediated by Brand Monk Licensing (BML). So far, WOW Heads, Gingercrush.com, Utpatang.com, and Houzzcode have been roped on board as licensees to producing a range of licensed products in various product categories such as bobble head, home décor, apparel, accessories, stationery, novelty and other gifting products. The licensed merchandise will be available online at leading marketplaces and select key retail platforms.
Balaji is diversifying into Merchandising Business with their Youngest Superhero Film Franchise’s first edition “A Flying Jatt” which is releasing on 25th August, 2016 with Brand Monk Licensing.
Gaming world has emerged as the latest ‘it’ avenue for brand licensing and following the trend, Balaji has extended its superhero film to the gaming world by inking pact with Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd to develope the official game for AFJ.
The game allows players to race against 4 others and the player in the last place gets eliminated automatically every 30 seconds. The last man standing wins and is the Champion. The key feature of the game is a one of its kind multi-player mode allowing gaming enthusiasts to challenge their friends and invite them to come and compete in the game.
Along with being available on Android and iOS smartphones, the game is also available on Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV.
In words of Aman Gill, CEO – Balaji motion pictures, “The wide range of merchandise, comic book and game are all elements that help A Flying Jatt reach a wider audience across mediums. This will definitely help take the franchise to a larger audience.”
Siddharth Roy Kapur, the Managing Director of The Walt Disney Co. (India), is believed to quit the studio in January after the release of the most awaited Disney movie Dangal.it is believed that he is soon going to start his own production house.
Kapur heads the Indian division of the American conglomerate that currently operates Disney India and UTV Motion Pictures along with couple of television channels since 2014.
Husband to Bollywood actress VidyaBalan, this 42-year-old, joined UTV in 2005 and took over as Chief Executive Officer of UTV Motion Pictures in 2008. Further, after the integration of UTV with The Walt Disney Co. (India) in 2012, Kapur rose to the position of Managing Director-studios. Later in 2014, he was elevated to the role of Managing Director of Disney India.
There is a strong buzz in the industry that he may be leaving soon, and as speculation goes, it is likely to happen after the release of Dangal, reported a leading daily.
Dangal – the most awaited film starring Aamir Khan, is scheduled for release on 23 December.
Kapur will join the league of names like Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Ronnie Screwvala and distributor Anil Thadani to form a production, distribution and digital projection company after he quits Disney.
They are also said to have acquired a stake in United Mediaworks Pvt. Ltd (UMW), a digital cinema server that has a sizeable presence in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Bihar.
While speculation is rife on the names that could replace Kapur at Disney India, industry experts say an obvious choice would be Amrita Pandey, current Vice-President, studios, at Disney India.
Pandey is the senior-most member of the leadership team after Kapur and is most likely to head all-India operations after his exit.
Black White Orange has been appointed as the merchandise licensing representative for Paramount Licensing Inc., the licensing entity for properties of Paramount Pictures (A Viacom Company) in India. Under the agreement, Black White Orange will manage and represent Paramount Pictures’ expansive portfolio, including major premium franchises such as The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Grease, Top Gun and upcoming blockbuster releases such as Baywatch and XXX.
BWO will serve as the Indian arm of Paramount Licensing’s international network of representatives, which represent Paramount Pictures’ portfolio of legendary films and broad range of releases in key territories. Paramount’s licensing programs extend across a broad range of categories such as apparel, toys, stationery, gifts, novelty, back-to-school, home décor, innovative non-traditional categories and more. As the licensing agency, Black White Orange will play the role of establishing, growing and expanding the consumer products business of Paramount Pictures in India.
The Indian licensing and merchandising industry is at a nascent stage and in terms of potential, India is the second biggest untapped retail market worldwide, after China. The size of the consumer product licensed merchandise market in India was estimated to be around 2, 200 crores in 2017.
Bhavik Vora, Founder & CEO, Black White Orange Brands Pvt. Ltd said, “"Paramount Pictures boasts of some of the most iconic and cult movie properties with the likes of Godfather, Audrey Hepburn, Grease & Top Gun. These properties not only have a huge fan following but also lend themselves beautifully as art on merchandise, and that’s what we want to achieve - a great product with these iconic assets. We're also extremely excited to work on forthcoming releases like 'XXX The Return of Xander Cage' & 'Baywatch', which we believe will be a big step for Paramount in India as it stars 2 of our biggest talents, Deepika Padukone & Priyanka Chopra respectively."
Myntra, Flipkart’s fashion arm has recently purchased 51 per cent stakes in Hrithik Roshan’s lifestyle brand HRX. The brand which is jointly owned by Bollywood’s heartthrob and Exceed Entertainment has not yet disclosed the amount paid by Myntra to acquire the stakes.
According to the sources close to the development, Flipkart will be flushing out huge funds to further increase the brand’s presence in the market. It is also planning to launch new categories such as inner ware and men's grooming. With this move, Myntra now has the upper hand on HRX with higher stakes, on the other hand, Roshan and Exceed Entertainment will now have to compromise with just 49 per cent shares.
HRX was started in 2012 and was exclusively licensed to Myntra in 2013.This strategic investment is a first of its kind in the industry, wherein a celebrity-incubated brand has aligned with a leading e-fashion retailer in an equity model.
As per HRX’s future plans, it is aiming to hit a revenue of 200 crore by the end of fiscal 2017, hence almost doubling the amount as compared to its last fiscal year. Company has set a goal of Rs 500 crore revenue by fiscal 2019 and to achieve its target, brand is focusing on penetrating deeper into the Indian market to explore opportunities.
Moved by the success of Star Wars and Captain America capsule collection of Jack & Jones, Bestseller India is all set to adorn its female customers with its new limited edition of Mickey Mouse Collection. Bestseller India, parent company of Jack & Jones, has signed a deal with Disney India Consumer Product Division for its women’s brand ONLY.
As per the pact, ONLY’s new limited collection will feature Mickey Mouse, one of the most loved characters across the globe. The collection will be consist of tops, crop tops, skirts, pants and many more outfits, especially designed for the women of modern era. The company claims that this limited edition collection perfectly captures the original charm and wonder of Disney’s iconic character.
During his recent conversation with License India, Abhishek Maheshwari, VP & Head, Consumer Products, Disney India informed that Disney’s consumer products business works with partners on a licensing model all around the world. With ONLY, the brand has have licensed its IP – Mickey Mouse to work on a women’s collection together.
Intro: While the idea of setting up own venture wasn’t new to 24-years-old Vinayak Kalani, who hails from a business family of Indore, the way to conjoin his passion with business idea certainly was. However, making his venture a seamless fusion of his love for Bollywood with forward integration of family business, this finance graduate founded Bolywoo.ooo.
Betting on the mass appeal of movies like Tamasha, Cocktail, Roy etc. he inked pact with top production houses to manufacture and retail the apparel worn in these movies through his portal. The products at Bollywoo are not ‘similar’ but exactly ‘the same’ to what is there in the movie, revealed this young entrepreneur while talking to us over a cup of coffee during his visit to Delhi.
What drove this transition from a hardcore family business to a Bollywood oriented website?
Yes, the business family was there, but I as a person was always a Bollywood fan. Again, growing up in Indore, there wasn’t much to do on weekends other than spending those most happening days in a movie theatre. I was already inspired, and while studying abroad i understood that appeal of Bollywood is not just restricted to India, but is very global product. I was aspirational when it was about Bollywood, and wanted to dress like celebs, but when I searched for a portal, I couldn’t find anything like that. So, we created one. It was very surprising for me that in a country where Bollywood and cricket are a religion, there isn’t anything like this.
So, bollywoo is a decade old concept where you’d take the designs to your local tailor and ask him to stitch something similar. We explored the opportunity to get into this and as a Bollywood fan, I was passionate about such a thing. So I thought that this was a goo9d match. The family retail business helps in setting up your own brand because it is forward integration.
How are you taking this concept to market when several other portals including Limeroad are doing a similar thing?
We are very different from such portals. Everybody understands the power of Bollywood and is using it to market themselves. Now what others do is they take the look and use existing inventory to match similar looks. They are just matching the attributes like colour or style thereby promising a ‘similar’ look.
On other hand, we are a licensed portal and we have official tie-ups with all the production houses to manufacture the exact look as seen in the films. It is exclusive to our portal only and we get the designs manufactured under our label Bollywoo and hence we are able to match the quality, keep the price-points comparatively low and offer exact merchandise duly signed by the stars and authenticated by the production house.
Another difference is that we are a dedicated portal for Bollywood merchandise unlike others. Also, most websites are in ethnic wear rather than western realm, where the millennial youth is going today. Today everyday clothes are more western and in-demand. We aim to address this need of consumer category.
What all production houses do you have on your portfolio?
Every leading production house! We have tie-ups with Yash Raj Films, Eros, 20th Century Fox, T-Series. We have been able to do this as this is not a traditional merchandise of slapping logos on T-shirts. This kind of revenue stream acted as additional source of revenue for production houses and they were pro this concept and happy to tie-up with us. They get a lot of advantages with this concept like the product life is not restricted to two weeks before and after release date. Here I am selling merchandise of Cocktail released in 2013 which is as in-demand as merchandise of Tamasha because it is the appeal of Deepika Padukone. As similar to Disney’s Mickey, the character Veronica lives on even years after the release of movie.
How do you create the looks?
This was the first batch we did. On average we did about 7 to 8 looks per movie. Going forward we are getting a lot of analytics involved to get data from the community to know the looks they’d like to wear. There would be not set number, but only demand would drive the process. The production houses do not interfere in our choices.
Do you plan to practise licensing in a full-fledged manner?
Obviously we do! The plan is to create a dedicate eco-system. There are lot of celebs especially in west that might not be bankable to make a full-fledged motion picture with, but have huge fan following. May be in future we can come up with celebrity inspired fragrance range, but for that, first we need to establish ourselves as a brand with Bollywood fashion.
Riding high with the global success of opus movie ‘Sultan’, Bollywood’s mega star Salman Khan’s brand Being Human is all set to foray in the jewellery segment from next month. Recently, Khan’s sister Arpita Khan Sharma revealed the information while attending an award function.
Marking her presence at Retail Jeweller India Awards 2016, Arpita spill the beans and informed that she is present in the function because the brand is launching Being Human jewellery next month and that's really close to her heart. She attended the event so that she can provide her full support to brand's latest venture.
Being Human brand consists of its clothing line, as seen with Salman wearing T-Shirts from the brand. The brand also has a charitable foundation and a percentage of the profits from the clothing line go into the charitable causes of the foundation such as education and healthcare of the underprivileged.
She was also accompanied by Esha Deol and director Divya Kumar Khosla who were also the jury members for the award panel. The Being Human jewellery basically is affordable to all the consumers. It's 70 per cent ladies' collection and 30 per cent the men's. It basically is based around the values of the brand which are share, care, love and joy added Arpita.
Myntra, the online fashion brand who recently floated the news of opening its stores across the country is in the headline once again. The fashion etailer is inching closer to acquire major stakes in Bollywood’s heartthrob, Hrithik Roshan’s clothing and shoes brand HRX.
The company is in advance talk with Exceed Entertainment with whom Hrithik shares the rights of the brand. Though both the brands have not yet disclosed the details of the deal, but market experts feel that this move will certainly going to provide a perfect launchpad to Myntra’s upcoming stores.
This deal will add an attractive sportswear and lifestyle brand in company’s private brands collection. Buying an equity stake in HRX will align Myntra’s vision with HRX's over the long term, commented Rajesh Narkar, Vice-President, Myntra Fashion Brands.
However, explaining the HRX expansion strategy, Kamal Punwani, CFO, Exceed Entertainment said that Hrithik's HRX is planning to open offline stores with exclusive outlets in India and later to countries in West Asia.
Growing by leaps and bounds, the Indian mobile market has not only helped eCommerce beef up, but other domains are also benefitting from it, mobile gaming being one of them. With genesis in late 90s, when companies like Dhruva Interactive and Indiagames started developing and publishing games, at the moment India has more than 250 gaming companies, mostly start-ups aiming to develop the next Candy Crush or Angry Birds. While there is no dearth of games oriented at X-box, PSP, PS2 etc. mobile gaming is what has been the flag bearer, given the increasing smartphone market in India.
Gaming is all set become a Rs 4,580-crore sector by 2019, with mobile gaming leading the growth, says a FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry report for 2015. The mobile gaming market in India grew from Rs 820 crore in 2013 to Rs 1,070 crore in 2014 and is further projected to grow at a compounded annual 20 per cent to reach Rs 2,620 crore by 2019. The increase in the usage of smartphones and tablets is expected to encourage more users to access games on mobile web and app platforms.
Why is brand licensing crucial for gaming industry?
While gaming developers are dime-a-dozen in digital landscape of India, the competition is not going to be easy. When developing and publishing a game on digital platform, entry barriers are low, which has resulted in a significant growth of 138 per cent in the Indian gaming segment between 2013 and 2014. However, gates to platform have literally come down crashing and a flock of developers has flooded in, only to find that once they are inside, there is endless shelf space with new games launching every now and then, this makes a not-so-good-news leading to crunch of visibility in the arcade.
So, it’s no secret that getting a game noticed and downloaded (user acquisition) is the biggest challenge confronting any developer publishing their games on digital platforms these days, which is against this backdrop that developers embark on creating and publishing their digital game. The majority of developers still rely on a game publishing strategy that centers on “build it and they will come.”
This is where brand licensing has a crucial role to play. Acquiring the rights of a brand and leveraging the consumer awareness for that brand is a great strategy that has been used by developers for consumer acquisition.
"Since the brand/ fictional characters are already popular with the users, the discoverability of the game becomes easy. Consequently, the game downloads go up," asserted Ashish Gupta, Country Manager - India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh, Gameloft.
“An IP which is hugely mass with great fan following at the bottom of the pyramid will help Nazara meet its target of reaching out to 100 million monthly active users on its product offerings,” said Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara technologies that has been developing mobiles games for Chhota Bheem.
In words of Anila Andrade, AVP – Operations at 99Games, “If you look at gaming itself as a market, it is very over-saturated at this moment. There are players all over, discoverability is a problem and how would any consumer pick up your game out of that lot is not easy at all. There are companies who have hoards of marketing budget to promote their game and move up the chart and even if your game has quality content, it fails to stand in competition. Consumers may not really notice your game in such a case.”
The economics of developing game on a licensed content can be more cost effective than consumer acquisition by spending a bomb on marketing. “A good brand will have a ready market of consumers who already know the brand and the licensor can market to this audience for your game,” asserted Chitra Johri, VP of Bradford License India.
The fillip to licensing in Indian gaming industry
Citing brand licensing as an effective retail strategy, Andrade adds, “Creating a game out of a licensed brand, for instance Dhoom in our case, solves the problem of discoverability. The consumers are familiar with the franchise, given the movies released in past. The brand name gives credibility and visibility to the game which in turn drives the number of downloads.”
The strengths of this genre in licensing lie in cross-platform, mainly iOS and android based games, increasing exposure to internet and zero dependence on channels like theatricals or TV properties. Once the popularity spreads and fans get hands on, the addiction traverse to buying licensed merchandise including stationary, accessories, collectibles etc. while apparel being the hot-selling products.
"In majority of the cases, licensed games perform better than the non-licensed games, since the characters are already popular with the users. For instance: Our licensed games like Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Spiderman Unlimited, UNO & Friends are some of our popular games with high number of downloads," added Gupta of Gameloft.
Further, the popularity spreading fast at digital platform also adds to the value of IP. There is a dedicated digital audience at hand, who the property owners can communicate with in no time, about new products, promotions and also gain marketing insights from directly.
What’s in trend in India?
While celebrity licensing dominates there in west following by TV properties, Indian scenario is quite different with Bollywood movies ruling the rooster. Of late, Salman Khan starrer movie ‘Sultan’ has been licensed out by Yash raj Films to Udupi based mobile game developer 99Games.
Further, a plethora of players have been developing games around Bollywood movies such as Bajarangi Bhaijaan movie game that was downloaded 1 million times, Happy New Year: The Game (downloaded 1 million times).
Abhinav Chokhavatia, Founder & CEO, Zatun says, “Normally what happens is that when a lot of movies come out, games also come in market around those movies, which help promote the movie as well. But most of the times, games are released just an addition and not much thought is given into it. While in west, when a movie is released – for instance ‘Lord of the rings’, the game is given equal treatment as the movie is. So, the licensing deal for gaming takes place almost at the time when movie production begins.”
Addressing the bottlenecks
While exclusivity is the advantage in mobile gaming, shorter shelf life is a concern. As Andrade says, “One month before the release of movie to a month after the release is the maximum life span of a movie based game. However, the cross promotions happening endure that the game gets enough visibility. Moreover sops like a chance to meet movie cast act as factors to drive success.”
Also low cost handsets also act as impediment to the industry as a majority of population owns smartphones between price range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 that do not support games with high-end graphics due to crunch of space. Hence the developers have to restrict themselves to develop games worth 5 or 8MB.
“For global games, our size is 500-600 megabytes; in India, it is five Mb. We want to focus on games that are in 30-40 Mb,” says Amit Khanduja, chief executive, Reliance Games. Despite a big market, the quality of games has been low, due to low-cost handsets and slow data.
With rising smartphone and tablet penetration, the mobile gaming industry in India is expected to touch Rs 2,620 crore by 2019, with a year-on-year growth of 20 per cent, according to a recent report by FICCI-KPMG. “Smartphone penetration in India assures that mobile gaming will be huge, with major growth drivers being the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities,” said Arpita Kapoor, co-founder, Mech Mocha.
However, the sector must do its bit to stay on top as it requires constant innovations and additions to not just grow the market share, but to keep the fans engaged, it needs marketing innovations to stay top of mind in the ever-changing digital world and from a licensing perspective needs a strong programme and strategy.
Marie Claire, the internationally recognised premium French fashion brand, which have lead the Parisian fashion scene since decades, has finally forayed into the Indian market with Epic Brands Pvt. Ltd being its licensee. The lifestyle brand has launched its first Prêt collection that would be available exclusively at Myntra. In a candid conversation with us, Stephanie Ertzbischoff, the Brand Licensing Director of Marie Claire, who came all the way from France for the launch, shared the details of this new collection. Excited about the launch, Ertzbischoff told that though the manufacturing has happened in India, the fabric has been imported from Korea and China units.
What made the brand foray with licensed Prêt collection?
For Marie Claire brand, we don’t have many Prêt collections. We have one ready-to-wear collection in Korea and the one in India is our second such collection. Prêt is very strategic category for our brand as this marks our foray in India which is quite a large market for such range.
I think the collection has come up very nicely and very well related to brand concept. The collection is fresh and fashionable with little twist of details that make in quite different from what we see elsewhere. I think it is a good mix of Indian market specificity and our brand content and concept. It is a good interpretation of design book. Designers of Epic Brand worked together with the Marie Claire designers at Paris to create this line of apparel.
Initially this range is available only on Myntra. Would you be launching physical stores as well?
Selection of retail points depends on each market organisation. I think today online presence is must for any brand because of the trend. Also I think India being a young market is very reactive to digital commerce. Moreover we are targeting young consumer somewhere between the age brackets of 20 to 40 who is more connected through online. Hence we have forayed with exclusive online retail store at Myntra.
Brick and mortar store would be the next stage development with our ready-to-wear collection in India. Most probably in first half of 2017, we will launch Marie Claire stores with our licensees, and we are in early talks for the same.
What would be the next category in line?
We think ready-to-wear is a strategic decision which will give other partners a clear picture and confidence about the brand. Next we are in advance talks to come up with licensed lingerie and accessories. Further we are aiming to launch all the women centric products’ including leather goods, cosmetics etc. as Marie Claire is a lifestyle brand and we are open for most categories.
The first stage when we enter into a new territory is to mark presence through ordinary categories, fashion being the topmost priority that includes ready to wear range followed by cosmetics and accessories. Next stage is where we aim at services like café, saloons, spa, beauty bar or nail bar.
What are the criteria for ideal licensee?
So those looking to be licensee of Marie Claire have to be expert in their respective product line. Though our preference would be manufacturers, followed by ones outsourcing manufacturing to third parties.Further it varies from category to category.
Marie Claire, the internationally recognized premium French fashion brand driven from women’s magazine has finally steps into the Indian market this year. With aid of its Indian representative Bradford License India, the Global lifestyle brand will soon be launching its first Prêt collection aimed at the 20 to 40 year women.
The exclusive launch of the Prêt Collection of Marie Claire is slated for 22nd June 2016 in New Delhi. Marie Claire and its exclusive Indian partner have big plans for India markets since it feels that today’s Indian women embodies all that a Marie Claire women is.
This Prêt Collection will be showcasing the vivacious ensemble exclusively created by Marie Claire design team for India. The unique and desirable Marie Claire is designed for women around the world seeking a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that will style their life, all their life.
Stephanie Ertzbischoff, Brand Licensing Director, Marie Claire says “Indian Women are smart and full of life which matches the brand’s identity and thus, we see Marie Claire has a great opportunity to grow in India. We look forward to achieve a good market share in India and achieve the revenue of in excess of INR 3 billion in next 5 years.”
Marie Claire will cater to Prêt (ready to wear) women category initially which would include short shirts, tops, skirts, trousers, crop tops, tube tanks, tunic, jumpsuits and maxi dresses etc. The price point would start from INR 999/- to 9,999/- targeting women between the age group of 20 to 40 years.
Amiteshwar Grover, Director, Epic Brands Pvt. Ltd. says “We are happy to tie up with Marie Claire as their exclusive licensing partner for marketing and distribution in India. By 2020, we see Marie Claire as top 3 choices among female consumers when they are looking for classy French styling, great quality and perfect fit.”
The brand will start to operate with ‘Exclusive Brand Outlet’ and ‘Multi Brand Outlet’ from 2017 onwards and will initially start with tie-ups with only reputed online fashion stores to market their products. By 2020 plans include 20 exclusive stores and 200 multi brand outlets for Marie Claire in India.
As Finding Dory - the sequel of Finding Nemo, hits the silver screen today in India, a plethora of brands have strategized to sail along with this Disney●Pixar movie. As many as 16 brands have formed strategic licensing alliances with Disney India to monetise from the success of this animated flick from the satchel of entertainment mogul Disney.
The bandwagon for Finding Dory includes Myntra, Bioworld, Trucare, Hamleys, Gingercrush, Firstcry, Colgate and Yakult among others. As per the studio, this is the highest number of brand integrations that any animated movie has achieved in India.
Considering the increasing importance of kids in purchase decisions, the retail brands have shown a penchant towards forming alliances for animated movies to increase their visibility. Of late, Rovio’s Angry Birds entered deals with four brands including Mondelez India and Snapdeal, Fox Star’s Kung Fu Panda 3 inked pact with seven brands including McDonald’s, Horlicks, Ching’s Noodles Krispy Creme donuts.
Explaining the retail connect of Finding Dory, AbhishekMaheshwari, VP and Head, Consumer Products, Disney India said, “Animated content has a direct affinity with kids & families worldwide and has been growing over the years in the Indian market too. Finding Nemo was one of the most successful Disney●Pixar movies.”
“It’s heartening to see Indian brands opening doors to collaborate on animated films and we are proud to have as many as 16 brands on-board, which is by far the highest for any animation film,” he added.
Finding Dory across categories
Apart from the usual associations with brand that have kids as their primary TG, Finding Dory has seen media promotions and merchandising deals across a wide range of categories.
While Myntra, Bioworld and Trucare have signed merchandising deals for its apparel range, brands My Baby Excel, Frank and Rowan have inked merchandising pacts to launch for the new Finding Dory toys product line. In the home décor segment, Essfil is launching special Finding Dory themed frames and mugs, while Raghuvir Lifestyle is coming up with bedsheets with the colourful characters on.
Excited about launching an apparel collection for the much anticipated Disney film, Myntra Fashion Brands head AbhishekVerma said, “The in-house brand, YK (Yellow Kite) has specially associated with Disney for a fun filled Finding Dory kids wear collection. We are extremely excited about our collaboration and look forward to its success".
For the consumer electronics segment, Macmerise and Hamee have signed deals for their power banks and mobile covers. Betting big on the franchise, Retail and eCommerce players are not letting go any opportunity to make the most of the animated movie. Hamleys, Gingercrush and Firstcry have come on board as brand partners.
“Activities around movies give us a good opportunity to engage with the customers and create lasting impressions, especially if there is good movie merchandise available. Finding Dory is one such successful story where we are seeing a lot of traction on the sales front with animatronic models of Dory, Nemo and others selling as hot cakes in our stores even before the movie hits the theatres. We are planning multiple activities across our stores in association with Disney over the next two weeks to promote the movie and the merchandise,” shared Hamleys head of products Manu Sharma.
As per industry estimates, these brand associations have churned out somewhere between Rs 15 to 20crore worth of media value for the studio.
Apart from the media promotional deals that the studio has signed with Colgate and Yakult, Disney has focused the film’s marketing strategy on two key points -- firstly, it reached out to Finding Nemo fans and built affinity towards Dory among kids; and secondly by creating a local relativity in the market by inducing local elements.
Banking on fans of Finding Nemo
Disney’s marketing and promotional strategy for Finding Dory focused on two key points: Reaching out to Finding Nemo fans and building affinity towards Dory, especially with kids.
Disney’s marketing strategy included tie-ups with media houses to host special ‘Bring your kids to work’ activities wherein kids were treated to fun Dory related activities to build affinity towards the character.
The film was dubbed in Hindi with dialogues written by Mayur Puri. Puri and his team of writers along with the extraordinary voice cast have given a unique twist to the Hindi dubbed version of Finding Dory, by giving the characters special localized accents – such as the Nawabi Sea Lions as seen in the Hindi trailer. Disney India had earlier used the same strategy which successfully worked for its popular international release The Jungle Book.
In addition, Disney India has partnered with PVR cinemas for special ‘Doryminders’, reminding people of movie going etiquette and ‘Finding Dory’ treasure hunt, which allows lucky movie goers to win exciting prices. Disney has also partnered with Imagica and Hamleys for Dory centric activities and photo opportunities with interactive standees.
TIMEX, the world’s largest watch manufacturer has announced its association with Indian entertainment mogul Yash Raj Films. Through the association, TIMEX aims to reach out to the audience encouraging them to live an active and fit life with its most successful fitness trackers – The IRONMAN series. TIMEX as a brand has always focused on improving lifestyle through its technologically advanced products and Timex Ironman Sleek 150 series is one of them. Taking this effort to the next level, TIMEX has chosen one of the most anticipated movies of the year- Sultan starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma to partner with.
As part of this campaign, the company today launched a video that showcases Salman Khan’s journey from Salman to Sultan. The movie’s director Ali Abbas Zafar talks about Salman’s intense training with Timex Ironman Sleek 150 for the movie and how features like stopwatch with 150 Lap Memory, Interval Timer, Target Pacer & Hydration Alerts helped in the training.
Anupam Mathur, Head - Sales and Marketing, Timex Group India Limited said, “We are very excited to be associated with YRF. We saw a beautiful fit with this association given the connect that exists between TIMEX’s focus on fitness and Sultan’s essence. The movie is a perfect fitment for us as it encourages people to have a healthy lifestyle through the main character, Sultan, portrayed by Salman Khan. With the IRONMAN® series we aim to offer our consumers a confluence of future technology and style.
Manan Mehta, Vice President Marketing & Merchandising, Yash Raj Films said “Since YRF is very particular about merchandising and licensing brand associations, we employ our proprietary evaluation tool - 'The Co–Aud’ (pronounced ‘The Cord’) for any partnership. We believe the brand’s message which is communicated via our films should be congruent with the marketing message of our content. Its only when we approach the brand’s consumers and the movie’s audience as the same, thus Co–Audience, can we deliver a seamless experience. With Timex, YRF has found a partner who understands this.”
The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced plans to launch NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training center in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) for the top male and female prospects from throughout India.
NBA Academy India, the first of its kind in the country and the NBA’s fifth elite training center globally, will be funded by the NBA and will open in April 2017. The NBA will conduct a national scouting program beginning later this month to identify the inaugural pool of 24 elite prospects who will receive scholarships and training at NBA Academy India. The 24 prospects will be selected by February 2017.
"The NBA remains committed to growing the game in India, and the launch of NBA Academy India marks our most significant investment in basketball development in the market,” said NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations Brooks Meek.
“This academy will provide the top male and female prospects in India with world-class coaching and training, as well as academic support and an emphasis on life skills.”
NBA Academy India will help us identify and develop elite homegrown prospects and shape the next generation of national players,” said NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco.
“Youth basketball players in India have had relatable figures to look up to in Sim Bhullar and Satnam Singh, and now NBA Academy India will give them a platform to prepare for the opportunity to develop into a professional-level prospect.”
The announcement of NBA Academy India follows the launch of academies in Hangzhou, Jinan and Urumqi, China in October 2016 and the planned launch of NBA Global Academy, the NBA’s elite training center at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport.
NBA Academies, which will consist of a network of elite training centers around the world, include educational development for top international male and female prospects and mark the NBA’s most significant investment in elite player development. The initiative will support existing international basketball academies by exposing elite prospects to NBA-level coaching, facilities and competition and by providing a global framework for elite-level prospects to maximize their success.
These academies will employ a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development extending beyond the court by focusing on education, leadership, character development and life skills. The initiative builds on the NBA’s existing grassroots programming, including Jr. NBA and NBA 3X, which engaged more than 12 million youth globally during the 2015-16 season.
Each elite training center will be staffed with NBA-trained coaches to foster the development of prospects on and off the court, both during and after their basketball careers. Each center will house under-16 and under-18 teams that will compete against top competition throughout the year. The top students at each center will have an opportunity to be selected for travel teams that will play in international tournaments and exhibition games. NBA Academies will also aim to foster the development of local basketball support staff.
NBA Academy India builds on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India. The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has reached more than 3.5 million youth and trained more than 3,000 physical education instructors nationwide since its launch in 2013. ACG-NBA Jump, India’s first national basketball talent search program, debuted in 2015 and provided the top player with the opportunity to attend the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) National Tryout in the United States.
Foraying into new product categories, herbal and organic beauty products maker Biotique has announced partnership with Disney India to bring the entertainment major’s characters into the Baby and Kids range.
Operating in the personal care industry for over 20 years, the brand brings together a combination of time-tested Ayurvedic products with Disney’s timeless menu of great stories and compelling characters to launch a special range for kids and babies.
Talking about this association, Vinita Jain, Chairperson & Managing Director, Biotique said, “It has always been our focus to develop the best products with natural Ayurvedic ingredients. The Indian Baby Care sector which is still in a nascent stage is expected to enter a growth phase owing to the change in the spending patterns of the Indian consumer.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Disney India for our kids and baby range and our aim is to bring together the best of both brands -- Biotique’s expertise in the skin & hair care segment and the emotional connect kids and families share with Disney, through their great stories, wonderful characters and engaging products,” Jain added.
Speaking on the occasion, Abhishek Maheshwari, VP & Head, Consumer Products, Disney India said, “Disney is a brand that parents trust and kids enjoy. At Disney, we constantly look at bringing newer products to consumers as a natural extension to our stories and characters, giving kids and families an opportunity to relive their magical moments. Biotique’s expertise in the personal care market gave us the confidence to launch a range of kids and baby care products with them.”
The Baby girl and Kid girl range of products are inspired by the Disney Princesses -- Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White. The Baby boy range will feature Mickey & Friends and the Kid boy range will have Disney•Pixar Cars.
Priced between Rs 55 to Rs 280, the Baby Biotique range comprises of Nourishing Soap and Lotions, Powder, Shampoo, Massage Oil and Body Wass, Lip Balm. Also, the group has set plans to invest Rs 450 crore on opening dozens of exclusive stores and brand building to benefit from the rising demand for cosmetics in the country.
Touting herbal as the new phenomenon in the cosmetics business in India, Jain said, “In the current fiscal we are going to expand our presence in the market."
Her company plans to invest Rs 450 crore on growing its business, out of which Rs 200 crore will be spent on marketing and setting up its second manufacturing plant. The company is looking to grow its exclusive outlets from two at present to 40 this year. It will also focus to increasing its online presence.
Biotique is a privately held, internally funded and a zero-debt cash-rich company.
Following the many brand licensing oriented alliances with brands, Shoppers Stop has once again set its eyes on exclusivity. This retailer has teamed with entered into an 'exclusive' agreement with Kolkata-based Torero Corporation, who has acquired exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute Cross and Police leather accessories.
As per the agreement, the first phase of the launch would focus on leather bags, belts and accessories. Police-branded shoes would be added, followed by the Spanish brand Torero's leather accessories and Swarovski IB handbags in later phase.
Torero recently acquired the rights to design, manufacture, distribute and retail Police-branded leather accessories, bags and shoes in India, USA and in Western Europe. The company, which is paying a royalty to the Italian brand Police for manufacturing and distribution rights, is expecting a business of $10-million in the current financial year from this business.
"Since India is a price-sensitive market, we plan to offer premium quality products at competitive price. Police leather accessories in India will be 30-35 per cent cheaper than the global prices," said Yashovardhan Gupta, director and CEO, Torero Corporation. The company also plans to launch its own brand, Torero in the Indian market in 2016-17.
Founded by ISB Alumni Yashovardhan Gupta and Varun Narayan, the Kolkata-based startup Torero Corporation bagged the exclusive global license for the American writing instrument brand, Cross in 2012. The partnership with Police will help the company expand its product portfolio.
Fashion! A category that fascinates as much to a retailer as it tempts to a 20 something youth. However, admit the fact that the ongoing battle for survival intensifies further in case of fashion retail and a majority of it includes apparel.
In a scenario where modern retailers are trying hard to keep up with the ever-evolving demands of millennial youth, the foray of international brands raking on fast fashion has aggravated the ecosystem. The chase to offer newness and exclusivity has made the brands seek out newer ways to tap the section of super-consumers.
This is where brand licensing has a major role to play. Sensing the immense potential the $740 billion worth brand licensing industry holds, many of the retail giants such as Arvind Brands, Madura garments and Reliance brands have acknowledged licensing as an effective retail strategy to cater to the Gen-Y. Also, several brands like Celio, H&M and Jack & Jones have launched capsule collections of licensed merchandise.
What makes the fashion lucrative for brand licensing is the $40 billion worth apparel market which is second only to food & groceries. Moreover, apparel act as a potential medium to create a consumer engagement with brands, given the decreasing consumer loyalty and rising influx of internet.
For instance, the Guns & roses collection of T-shirts by H&M is selling like hot cakes in India. Retailer Media highlights top reasons that make fashion the best bet for licensing.
Lower entry levels: While other segments as fragrances or eyewear require specific set of expertise, apparel segment offers comparatively lower entry barriers given the standard sizes and not so high manufacturing cost involved.
Pocket friendly ticket size: With price range starting from Rs 899 (for T-shirts), apparel market is quite often driven by impulse buying behavior of consumers. And when graphics of a superhero or any of the popular TV characters adorn that canvas of apparel, the tendency of impulse buying goes a level higher. This is why the T-shirts with logos of Superman and Batman are in trend irrespective of the success or failure of the movie.
Reach to masses: Apparel as a licensed merchandise acts as a failure-proof medium to create consumer engagement for the brands with fashion being embraced as an idea of self-expression. For instance, a Hulk T-shirt makes more sense to a 20 something college going and fitness freak guy rather than an olive green polo neck T-shirt.
Visibility: Brand recognition forms the core of every strategic alliance and brand licensing is no exception as the main motive behind licensing is to enhance the visibility of the brand. And this is why apparel segment works wonders. In case of eyewear, the brand is visible only in form of logo at temples, in case of footwear only a small area is available, but with apparel, an entire canvas is there to market the brand.
Fading brand loyalty: Again the super consumers may or may not be excited about the latest collection of some XYZ brand, but if it is Captain America capsule collection by Jack & Jones or Simpsons exclusive collection by Celio, it is surely going to click with the millennial youth.
While a plethora of brands are looking at India as a potential market for brand licensing, counterfeits and parallel markets are proving to be a major threat to the industry, says Nitin Mohta, Director Athom Trendz in an interview with Retailer. In his words, such practices not only slender licensee’s margin, but also affect the brand image and effective measures by licensors to create brand awareness will somehow lessen such practices.
Talk to us about Athom Trendz and its experience with brand licensing.
Established in 2012, Athom Trendz (P) Ltd is a part of Premier Silks Group - renowned exporter that specialises in institutional supplies. To become a one stop solution for kids and regular home furnishing was what fueled Athom Trendz. Along with our regular range we have developed an end to end range of kids bed linen, bath linen, curtains, cushions, mats & carpets, etc. Also, we are licensee for various brands such as Disney and Marvel portfolio along with Viacom18.
What have been the driving factors for this category?
Kids furnishing is a very specialized segment where we have three main driving factors - first the quality of the product. A child is very sensitive and understanding their needs is important and we design and fabricate the products accordingly. Hence commitment towards quality is our priority. Second - we believe in the concept of ‘Value for Money’ and lastly retail placement - we work across with a wide range of retailer ranging from home furnishing stores to toy stores.
Why did you think of stepping into brand licensing?
We got into licensing for couple of reasons, one being in kids furnishing space we wanted to establish connect between the child and the product. And at the same time we wanted to be selective of the brands with which we associate, this would help us convey our quality consciousness.
What has been your year-on-year growth after you became a licensee?
In licensed merchandise, we are going at over 30 per cent year-on-year.
How are you taking your products to the market?
We have 3 channels of distribution: Regional Distributor network which cater to the dealers, Large Format Store supply channel and eCommerce distribution. The dynamics and product assortment vary in each of the channel.
What are the challenges that you face while practicing licensing and how do you address them?
The major challenge that we face is fake, spurious and counterfeit products that are easily available in market. A major portion of our revenue is lost to this. This not only damages the sales figure, it also damages the brand reputation, as these counterfeit are of inferior quality. The brand consciousness and awareness among consumers as well as retailers, that character like Disney’s Mickey Mouse is actually a brand and they should buy the original product for the quality of the product which their kid will be using, is of utmost importance.
At the same time the licensors should take up fast and effective measures to curb piracy and also do extensive brand awareness activities, like events and shows targeting both end user and retailers.
What all properties do you have and which is the best performing property for your brand?
As mentioned we have a wide range of characters- Mickey, Minnie, Cars, Winnie The Pooh, Princess, Sofia, Avengers, Spider man, Star Wars, Frozen, Motu Patlu, etc. Each of the character has different target audience and age group.. Characters like Princess, Mickey, Frozen, Spiderman, Motu Patlu are in good demand.
What other properties would you want to add to your existing portfolio?
The trend and rating of characters keeps changing and we have to keep understanding and evolving with that. The character that drives the sales today may not be doing so in future. And this is a major challenge on which we need to be acting on continuously. We are also exploring opportunities with sports brand licensing as well.
Back-to-school, the second most popular category in licensing industry only after fashion, is where most of the characters find their stay. With school reopening after a month, brands are stocking up their back to school paraphernalia. While eCommerce has created ripples in retail industry, this category is least affected, given the target group (kids) that prefer touch and feel over internet, asserted Samir Virani, Founder, Its Our Studio.
Started with an aim to provide a platform for fun, quirky, lifestyle products and accessories from across the world which are used in our daily lifestyle under one roof, the studio has added brands of Disney, Rovio etc to its portfolio of Back to school offering.
How has been the stint of Its Our Studio with licensing?
I started Its Our Studio with an aim to provide a platform for fun, quirky, lifestyle products and accessories from across the world which are used in our daily lifestyle under one roof.
Its Our Studio is also involved in Brand Merchandising and Corporate Gifting. Till date we have worked for various brands like Fox Star Studios, Eros International, Pritish Nandy Communications, Exceed Entertainment, Jade, Maersk, BPW, OPC Asset Management, Lintas India and have done film Merchandising / Media Kits for movies like London Paris Netyork, Don 2, Jannat 2, Shaadi Ke Side Effects to name a few and are constantly working to bring a change in the Merchandising Industry of India.
We have been associated with quite a bit of brands now. We are trying to bring in more brands as and when things work out. We have got brands from UK like SUCK UK, Thingi, Fed, Yubz (Italian), Mufuvu (UK), goodies (Portuguese). We have got properties for Disney portfolio, Rovio, Ferrari, Candy Crush. We are trying to add Tom & Jerry and Mario to our portfolio, but apparently they will take some time.
How is BTS category performing in terms of licensing?
Talking about popularity of licensed products, I think India is just evolving, but the potential is huge. We have got properties like Frozen, Barbie and Chhota Bheem which are popular in terms of kids’ products. Kids relate to such products because they grow with those characters.
How vital is the role of physical stores while dealing in BTS range?
According to me, eCommerce is at back front while dealing in back to school category as it caters to the kids. Moreover, the touch & feel factor of buying is coming back to the market. Ecommerce is of course there to increase reach, but physical retail helps to understand consumer better. We also organize around 30 to 35 exhibitions per year in order to reach our TG.
Every licensed product has pros and cons. In case of characters, you can’t play much with the character and the colour codes. So it is very less you can do when it comes to marketing those products because finally what sells is the character irrespective of what background it is on. Another setback is that not everybody can afford a licensed product given the huge competition from Chinese market where similar product is priced at cost one third of the licensed one.
Do the parent companies support in marketing?
They do help us that a certain extent but at last it is the licensee who has to make sure that the sales and volumes reach the threshold for which they have got the license. In case licensee fails to attain the threshold, the brands withdraw the license. However, they help in promoting the product through different digital platforms, marketing collaterals etc.
How has the demand evolved in this category which is majorly seasonal?
Given the internet accessibility, kids are fortunate enough to understand who their superhero is. Not only child but parents have understood the penchant for a particular property. Limited edition collection is a major hit these days.
The kind of offerings we have at our portal, we are going to have demand throughout the year. We don’t bring things that parents buy only when schools open rather we cater to products required throughout the year like stationary.
What changes do you see in consumer behavior as compared to say five years ago?
Now the kids have got way too smart because of internet exposure and globalization. They exactly know what to use when to use. At the same time there are schools that defer students from bringing cartoon school bags or notebooks in order to bring uniformity.
Now people are more focused at durability of the product rather than looking at it as just stuff. Talking about trends, we have tried to understand the needs of the child, for instance, a Doraemon has gotten too old for this generation of kids, but Frozen never gets old. For me selling a Doraemon is difficult than selling a Princess or Frozen merchandise.
Of all homegrown characters, I think Chhota Bhhem is doing tremendously well in India, though you can’t compare it to the likes of Superman and Batman. India would take some time to reach to the sales and volumes of the global superheroes.
After the successful stint with Fan: The Game based on SHahrukh Khan starrer FAN, Udupi-based gaming studio 99Games is about to announce 'Sultan: The Game'. Touted as the official game for YRF's upcoming Eid release 'Sultan', starring Salman Khan, the game is action-centric where players fight a pro wrestler Sultan and will be available both on Android and iOS platforms.
The game developed at a cost of around Rs 1 crore will see its release on June 2, a month ahead of the silver screen version.
In March this year, 99Games and YRF had announced renewing of partnership by collaborating to create an exclusive mobile game for Sultan, which marks former's third collaboration after 'Dhoom: 3' and 'FAN'.
Anila Andrade, associate vice-president (operations), 99Games Online Pvt Ltd says that “Sultan: The Game' will be action-centric and the target audience is the casual user who loves some adrenaline rush. The studio expects the game to have 15 million downloads for this game and is confident that it will be engaging for players. We anticipate 10 million downloads in six months for Sultan."
99Games had also developed the virtual gratification game - Star Chef, whose app revenue has crossed $5 million on the Apple app store giving a glimpse of its popularity among players attempting at becoming a MasterChef in the virtual world! They have 17 games with a total of 31 million downloads and 14 awards under their belt. While 'Dhoom: 3' clocked 20 million downloads, 'Fan' had four 4 million.
99Games has published over 17 game titles since launch in 2009 and has clocked in 31 Million downloads globally till date. The game will be released worldwide with 60 action-packed levels. The game is targeted at male audience between 15-30 years of age. Pre-registration of the game is already live and lucky winners will get a chance to meet Salman Khan. The game will run in-game contests & lucky winners will also get a chance to meet their favourite super star.
Macmerise– an initiative started with the founder’s fascination towards Apple products and hunt for a nice decal - has now grown to become one of the biggest licensees in tech-accessory segment. Boasting a plethora of brands including the likes of Disney, Marvel, DC, designer Masaba Gupta available for decals and phone covers, Macmerise has aptly positioned itself as an alliance of fashion and tech, thus mesmerizing one’s Mac experience (as put by the brand).
In a candid conversation with Retailer, the super-excited COO of the brand Binal Shah divulged the benefits brand has churned out with the brand licensing alliances. Also, Shah reveals about Macmerise’s plans to seek fundings.
How has been your stint with brand licensing so far?
Started by Sahil Shah, Macmerise deals majorly into decals for Mac and mobile covers. Disney India was a turning point for us. What started with being Disney licensee has turned us to owning more than 10 brands under umbrella and we have around 23 properties in our portfolio.
When it comes to licensing in gadgets and tech accessories, I think we have the maximum number of licenses in India.
Our basic aim is to make gadget accessory a fashion. The trend is that with every gadget you buy, there are 5-6 accessories you buy along with your gadget. It is not just the phone anymore; but includes phone case, phone skin, flashcard etc.
These days, mobile cases are not just functional thing but reflect your personality along with being a style statement. There are people who change phone cases every few days. Our aim is to marry fashion with technology and that is why our tagline is also ‘do the thing differently’. Everyone is making phone covers and so are we, but we have the maximum number of licenses on board.
Macmerise is a brand grown out of licensing or licensing is just a tool to scale up?
I think it worked both ways. Ever since we started doing licensing in India, we got to know that there is something as ‘licensing’ that exists and you can’t just pick up an Iron-man from the internet and slap it on your product. There is a proper process that provides credibility and authentication to your product. We benefitted in termas that we got to associate with industry stalwarts like Disney and FCB, but at the same time what Macmerise has brought to these brands is that there is some brand that is into tech-accessories, understands the core of licensing and wants to do it in a legit way.
What is the story behind the name Macmerise?
Sahil, the founder, is a big Apple fan, so much so that we have a huge art of Steve Jobs in our office. The first product that Macmerise ever churned out was a MacBook decal. The though behind the product was to mesmerize one’s love for Mac. Since we were dealing with Mac, hence the name Macmerise!
What has been the growth rate so far?
Last year we were doing around 1,000 cases a month vs today when we churn out 300 to 350 cases a day taking it around 8,000 cases a month. This is just the number of cases going online; otherwise we also do several B2B orders. Growth rate has been more than 100 per cent year-on-year.
What are the retail points, Macmerise products are available at?
The kind of products we deal in, we have realized that online is the place. You and me won’t think of going to a mall to buy a phone case as it is very impulse purchase. It is more driven online, however having said that, offline has a humongous reach. So we showcase our products offline at stores like Crosswords, retail individual standalone stores in malls like Palladium in Mumbai and Entertainment store in Bengaluru. If you ask the percentage, 80 per cent of the market is online. The beauty is that our website attracts maximum number of orders followed by Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Shopclues etc.
Have you raised any funding so far?
Not as of now! So far we have been bootstrapping, but now when we have numbers in place, we will be moving ahead in that direction this year.
What makes licensing an ideal retail strategy for a brand like Macmerise?
We have to understand that though licensing has many challenges when you start with it, and the first step is difficult considering the fakes in market. But once you take that step, there are a lot of benefits you can churn out. It is strange that somebody like Macmerise is now being associated with brands like Disney, DC.
There is a lot of difference in product from design perspective that comes along with licensing, credits the limited access to global designs.
Today the youth understands the value of original products and don’t mind spending a little more to get the right product, given the credibility associated with licensing. We have fans who have been wanting to showcase their love for a property but don’t know which product to buy. Now we are bridging that gap up to some extent.
Going all out on expansion spree, Swedish retailer H&M has announced collaboration with KENZO as their 2016 designer collaboration. Prior to this alliance, the retailer has launched 13 designer collections since 2004 – including Karl Lagerfeld, Versace, Comme de Garcons, Alexander Wang and 2015’s Balmain (their most successful to date).
The collection including menswear and womenswear as well as accessories, is set to launch on 3 November.
“We can’t wait to share with everyone the world of KENZO x H&M, with all of its creativity, fun and love of fashion,” said H&M’s creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson.
Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are H&M’s 2016 designer collaborators. The collection will arrive in H&M stores around the world and online onNovember 3 following a mid-October show in an as-yet-undisclosed location.
Lim and Leon follow on the heels of H&M’s wildly successful partnership with Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing. As H&M’s head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson told to media, “Balmain was glamorous and sexy, and this is vibrant, young, and fun.”
The Kenzo designers have been reckoning collaboration for quite a while. Early they teamed up with Vans, and more recently they created a range of Jungle Book–themed merchandise.
Last year, H&M announced its guest designer collaboration with the Parisian fashion house Balmain, and long-term partnership with David Beckham to include a curated menswear collection for spring. Betting big on brand licensing, H&M is among the few fashion houses that have features Looney Tunes and other Warner Bros. classic animation characters including Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry.
The brand that has recently launched its 4000th store at the DLF Mall of India, Noida where its licensed merchandise including especially Guns & Roses T-shirts have been a big hit among customers.
With ever-evolving fashion and trends advancing at the speed of light, it isn’t enough for apparel brands to only keep up with design. Brands are coming up with innovative ways to keep their consumers engaged – and one of those ways is through the licensing of popular characters.
With popular cartoon and movie characters gaining more of fan following in India, licensed merchandise has emerged as a great means for kids’ centric apparel brands to not only connect with their audience, but also stay up to date with trends. Also, through fashion licensing, one can create a better engagement with the consumers; kids in this case reason being the better recall value of characters over labels and a wider platform offered in form of apparel (which is not there in case of any other category).
In words of Saugato Bhowmick, Viacom 18, “Licensing per say revolves around apparel as a core category. Given that the economic sentiment is reviving, the process of discovery of kids licensed apparel segment is being more easy.”
For a long time, this market was hugely dominated by the unorganized players. However, the recent years have witnessed designers and international luxury labels making roads into this category, creating miniature versions of their designs especially for kids.
“Apparel has always been and will always be the lead category in the licensing business. With over 300 million kids in India and apparels being a necessity product, obviously the demand for the same will be higher,” asserted Nitin Kalra, Director, AI Licensing India Pvt Ltd.
Recognizing this potential, luxury brands like Dolce and Gabbana, Armani and Versace have extended their collections to cater to the kids requirements in India. The growth rate has worked as an inspiration for several Indian designers including Gauri and Nainika, Ritu Kumar, and Masaba Gupta who have already forayed into this sector.
What works and what doesn't
There used to be a time, when licensing in kids apparels was synonymous to the global heroes like Donald Duck, Garfield, Mickey Mouse etc. Now the competetion is heating with the homegrown character ‘Chhota Bheem’ carving a niche for itself. Green Gold Animations, the parent company has inked pacts with Dollar industries for the apparel range of Chhota Bheem and Mighty Raju.
In words of Srinivas Chilakalapudi, Chief Strategy Officer, Green Gold Animation, “The licensing of Chhota Bheem has been extremely successful. We had so many enquiries that it was tough to chose whom to work with. Kids connect with their favorite character through what they wear and do.”
Also, initially the licensees simply imprinted the character on apparels. Taking a step further, now the retailers are introducing the apparels inspired with the look and feel of popular characters.
Striking a similar view point, Bhowmick explained, “The trick in licensing is not to just take a character and put it on the apparel. How you translate that character’s DNA and combine it with the latest trend in fashion and make it appealing even at very young age is important.”
While Disney leads the pack with Frozen, Disney Princess and Marvel characters, Cartoon Network, Viacom18, Green Gold, Pampered Girls closely follow.
While the industry has its own set of challenges like piracy, weak IP protection laws, picking up the right licensee is a major factor responsible for the success of that extended portfolio of brand.
Also, the contribution of eCommerce and emerge of exclusively-for-kids websites and the well established retailers as stepping in to promote licensed kids apparel, this segment is all set to flourish by leaps in bounds in coming years.
How have eCommerce portals helped you while marketing these products?
Ecommerce portals have been excited to have these products available. They have been supportive in advertising the products on their sites as well as through emails to customers. Additionally most portals have a dedicated Disney page as well where these products are linked for additional visibility.
What made you choose Disney Princess and Frozen only for cushions?
There were multiple reasons for tying up with Disney. The two main reasons were the diverse characters that Disney owns and licenses. These spread across both boys and girls as well as across all ages. While the Winnie the pooh is for smaller kids, Sofia is for a little older girls, Frozen & princesses are for girls across ages, Spiderman, Cars & Jake is for boys and Avengers is for young and old. The second reason is that Disney keeps releasing new movies which keep their characters very much in front of the audience and hence the recall value is high.What is the target group for these licensed products and how has been the market acceptance. Please share the data as well.
As shared above the target audience has been very wide. We have characters which attract both boys and girls across a wide age group. Characters like Winnie the Pooh start at infants and go up. Other characters like Frozen and Avengers go up to teens as well. The market acceptance has been very good. Not only online eCommerce portals, we are also working with some large format retails for these products as well to place in over 200+ stores across India.
What new brands are you planning to bring in to home segment?
As of now we are focused on our partnership with Disney and Viacom18. Apart from the characters with Disney we are also working with Viacom18 for the Motu Patlu characters and have products for these characters as well.
Was it easy to approach Disney for frozen or you'd face any challenges?
While it was easy to approach Disney, as with all large organizations, they have a stringent process for selecting and signing up new partners. Having said that, the Disney team was immensely supportive and helped us at each and every step. It took longer that we hoped for but in the end it was worthwhile.
How have you planned marketing around these products as they need special strategy?
Our marketing with these products has been in conjunction with websites to promote these products, thorough our social media presence as well as via exhibitions. Additionally we have partnered with Max Retail, part of the Landmark Group to have these products placed in their stores.
Over the years the number of licensing deals, especially pertaining to characters, has grown to meet the demands of young adults who are well travelled and well informed, which is evident in Disney launching Mickey Mouse inspired collection with Myntra’s in-house brand Kook n Keech and the enormous success of Salman Khan’s Being Human Clothing.
While Disney or Being Human didn’t set up unit for apparels, they simply licensed the properties to the brands to manufacture, distribute and market the branded products. Such strategies enable the parent company to mark its presence in non-core category, without actually getting into the category, thereby making profit at zero inventory cost.
Coca-Cola, the leader in beverages market is raking up strong growth by extending the brand into non-core categories, especially fashion, through licensing. To much surprise, a noticeable per cent of its sales driven through licensing, with apparel and related fashion accessories contributing to 65 per cent of its licensed sales.
Why fashion licensing is growing in India?
Pegged at $741 billion, the licensing and merchandising industry owes a majority of the revenue to fashion centric deals primarily apparel followed by footwear and accessories. Apparel as a licensed category is growing in India, reason being the increasing fan base and availability of international content. Moreover, apparel as a category starts at quite affordable ticket size thus promising great returns.
What makes fashion a profitable avenue for licensing is the fact that expenditure of Indian household on clothing and footwear contributes to around 3 trillion Indian rupees, making it 7.2 per cent of the total domestic consumption.
“Licensing in fashion apparel is very lucrative given that it gives the opportunity to marry two brand values to make a product that matches both its target consumers. What this allows is that the product becomes more accessible to the crowd carrying the aesthetics of both the brands,” asserted Manish Mandhana, MD, Mandhana Industries that is official apparel licensee for Being Human.
The international brands are also eyeing at fashion to mark their presence at retail shelves in India. Betting big on creating a lifestyle brand for Penthouse magazine, Kelly Holland, Managing Director, Penthouse Entertainment told “Penthouse Magazine, often considered an integral part for youngsters, has been a part of lifestyle. India has been a key focus in our expansion strategy for quite a while, given that the market is maturing and growing at a brisk pace. The key categories of interest include apparel, accessories where we are looking to work with premium brands.”
“Fashion licensing is a potential avenue for brands as it offers much more visibility coupled with affordable ticket-price as compared to any other category,” elucidated Chitra Johri, VP, Bradford License India. Apparel as a category contribute to 60 per cent of the fashion segment, while licensed apparel market accounts to 23.8 per cent of the revenues from licensed merchandise and 85 per cent of licensed fashion sales.
"Fashion Licensing is the 3rd biggest category of licensing globally and contributes almost 15% of the Licensing pie. A lot of factors have contributed to Fashion brands launching and growing this market in India as well. Through easy access to Technology, Internet, Social media more and more consumers in India have started following international/brands and are very well aware of the latest happenings and trends in the fashion space. This gives a big opportunity and market to fashion labels to target these consumers, adds Bhavik Vora, CEO & Founder, BlackWhiteOrange.
While apparel segment has emerged as an apt medium for characters and entertainment properties, designers labels have also found interest in fashion licensing, by extending rights to retailer or manufacturers for core as well as non-core range. As per designer Rocky S, founder, Rocky Star, “Fashion licensing helps us foray into multiple fields along with the core category. Though in India this trend is yet to catch up, up internationally, licensing is what has multiplied brand value and reach of designer labels as Elie Saab and Dolce & Gabbana.”
Adding to it, Akhilesh Sharma, GM - Rohit Bal Designs Pvt Ltd revealed, “Fashion, being a potential market, offers greater visibility to a brand. Moreover, since apparel is the largest category to be sold across markets, the expanse is much wider in this case, thus enabling a brand to churn out maximum profits.”
Disney India, which first brought its consumer products to India in 2005, is one of the major licensors in India. Working with local partners and organized retail giants such as Landmark, Amazon.in and Bestseller, Disney India has broadened its reach to over 2,00,000 outlets. Cartoon Network Entertainment, Yash Raj Films, Kolkata Knight Rider, Viacom18, Rovio, NBA are other prominent players.
Amongst domestic players, BCCL is one of the major players along with designer labels. Designer Rocky S has forayed into fashion accessories with Shoppers Stop, while Rohit Bal label is scouting for licensees for its prêt range.
Commenting on the emerging trend in fashion licensing, Pankaj Sikka, Chief Strategist, Invision Brands said, “While T-shirt is the first category any brand eyes at for brand extension, activewear is the emerging trend, with brands from Being Human to HRX launching activewear.”
The licensee pays the licensor either the minimum guarantee promised based on the projected sales, or a royalty fee for each item sold. The royalty fee varies for different categories.
Johri shared, “Minimum investment in this case is subjected to the brands and category. For a new IP, it can range from 15 to 20 lakhs while in case of popular properties say PepsiCo or Penthouse, the minimum guarantee reaches to some crores.” While the tenure of licensing agreements in this segment usually last three to five years, it can be shorter if it is a first-time partner.
As said, licensing acts as business strategy which can make or break the brand image, it is crucial for a brand to choose a licensee wisely. Briefing on ideal portfolio of licensee, Sandeep Dahiya, Director & business head – Brand Extension, BCCL Director & business head – Brand Extension, BCCL explained, “We look for three things - stability with partner, sustainability in business as getting a deal is easy, but sustaining it is a challenge; and capability to carry the brand.”
While brands swear by licensing as an effective retail strategy, the licensees find fashion licensing as less time consuming way to scale-up. “The brand does give you an entry point in the market because if you don’t have credibility in market, it is going to take you very long to get established in the market,” said Bhai Ajinder Singh, MD, M&B Footwear (licensee of Lee Cooper). Singh further adds that in all the large brands, there is 40:60 dependency on either apparel or footwear.
“What the brand wants from us a very good manufacturing facility so that they do not need to constantly check upon the quality of products that a licensee is selling off because a licensee not only sells the brand licensed products but also the brand,” asserted Amrit Sethia, COO of women’s brand SOIE that has licensing rights of wonder women and superman for innerwear.
Successful licensed programs require the perfect concoction of standout brands, high-quality licensees and retail support. Industry experts indicate that fashion licensing has immense potential in India given that modern retail is still evolving in the country, which is expected to have the highest working age population in the world by 2020.
The future aspects include capsule collections as done by JACK & JONES for Captian America. “Limited edition capsule collections have worked excellently for JACK & JONES and we hope to replicate the same success with the CIVIL WAR collection,” asserted Vineet Gautam, Country Head, JACK & JONES India while revealing details about the limited edition Captain America collection.
Moreover, India’s fast-growing eCommerce industry is also adding to the immense potential of fashion segment with a plethora of eCommerce players dealing in licensed apparel (Freecultr, Voxpop, Gabambo, Myntra, PlanetSuperheroes.com etc.)
Scavin - the flagship eyewear range of Scavin International holds the rights for Lee Cooper eyewear brands. Also, the brand has done promotional deal for Salman's movie Bajarangi Bhaijan in Delhi.
In India eyewear licensing has been for few years, but the main phase started four to five years ago. But because of few brands who make so big mess, they just wanted to earn money through licensing and didn’t focus at all on the quality. They had chosen their market for corporate gifting. For instance, when a pair of Reebok sunglasses was being sold at Rs 3,999 and after discount some players were offering it at Rs 399.
What were the challenges you faced and how did you address them?
The problem we faced was that the companies had very high numbers but practically in case of quality products, those numbers weren’t possible. The brands were looking at 3 to 5 lakh pieces a year. When we entered this industry, first we made very clear picture that eyewear market is very different from apparel and hence is not viable to replicate numbers in case of apparel brands.
We have distribution rights for Lee Cooper which are primarily apparel brands. Such brands have tendency to judge licensing part same as the apparel segment. First we had to wash off all these misconceptions. Then we went on with full range of eyewear for men, women and kids across ages. The challenge is to convince the brand about volumes, royalty.
What innovation have you brought into this segment?
Earlier the licensees were into selected styles like typical aviators and wayfarers with some colour option. I feel that is not the right way with eyewear licensing. We began with research on the trend and variety in the market, brand perception and then we planned the range and packaging. For instance, we made denim cases for Killer eyewear line. The key in eyewear licensing is that the packaging should gel with the brand’s persona rather than just making a box for eyewear.
Second is that we focused on the quality which was missing. Usually the products were rated as UV 400, UV 100 per cent. The lenses we make are exactly UV 400. Other ones that I see have stickers on them citing UV 360, UV 390 etc. which is not a quality parameter. Moreover, the lenses have to be UV-A and VU-B filtered as well. We came up with lenses adhering to these quality standards. We also focused on acetate products in our range.
How have you strategized pricing?
The main thing we focused on is pricing. Generally the brands are selling eyewear at Rs 2,499 and offer almost 40 per cent discount taking the price to around Rs 1,799. Our Lee Cooper range is priced between Rs 1,299 to Rs 3,299. We don’t offer discounts throughout the year other than during EOSS. In case of online marketplace, the players are putting from their own pockets.
We are also doing Lee Cooper Junior range wherein we didn’t prioritize much on frame quality as economic price range was our focus and we launch Rs 899 to 999 with UV-A and B filtered range packed in a car shaped case. We had gone on micro level to create a vast range in eyewear market.
How far do you agree that eyewear Licensing is the toughest of all categories?
I agree with that, but people are not following that. The market is very unorganized as the retailers are not following right abbreviations. They are using SRP rather than MRP. Many of the Indian brands as well as licensed brands are doing so which devalues the market as price of same product differs at two retail stores. My grandfather started this business in 1945 and this is the third generation. We are a lot into the technical aspect of manufacturing. Most of the people operating aim at short term goals rather than long term agreements.
Many fashion labels are themselves coming up with an extension. What is your take on the same?
Some brands are taking licenses back in order to control quality because generally people tend to slap the logo of brand in the name of license. Flying Machine has taken back eyewear category as of now.
Fuelling on the growing penchant of consumers for their favourite character or content, the brand licensing industry in India is witnessing altogether a new era of business opportunities. What was popularized by Disney’s property Avengers, was well carried by Shahrukh Khan’s Ra.One followed by Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The force Awakens and latest Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Taking level a notch higher is yet another property from Disney’s portfolio – Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War that has hit Indian screens earlier this month. With record number of merchandise deals, the movie has taken the Indian licensing and merchandising industry by storm.
As Marvel Superheroes assembled to take sides in the movie, Disney India’s Consumer Products business has brought as many as 70 brands under licensing agreement in categories including apparel, accessories, toys, home and more. Some of the brands include Amazon, Funskool, ICICI, Jack & Jones, Landmark stores, Axe and Audi.
Commenting on the alliances, Abhishek Maheshwari, VP and Head, Consumer Products, Disney India said, “Over the years, we have built a strong affinity with the Marvel Super Heroes amongst fans across age groups. For India market, we have a record number of 70 brands collaborating for Captain America: Civil War, which is a testament to its growing popularity. This is by far the highest for any Hollywood or Bollywood movie.”
With this movies, Disney India has clocked highest number of brand associations second only to to Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars – The Force Awakens, where it collaborated with as many as 50 brands respectively. Shah Rukh Khan's mega-budget project ‘Ra.One’, which was last promoted heavily with over 25 tie-ups across myriad categories.
In Bollywood movies, this is by far the highest number of brand associations any movie has achieved till date. Captain America: Winter Soldier, released in 2014, had about 16 brands.
Raking moolah through licensing
Though the movie collected Rs 75 crore in the opening weekend, the consumer product business has already earned almost double the collection via its merchandise deals. If market experts are to be believed, the entertainment mogul has raised more than Rs 150 crore from these deals that include product licensing deals as well as promotional deal with Audi, Coca-Cola, BookMyShow, Landmark etc.
Touted as the highest ever committed ATL and BTL spends by brands -- Axe, Lifebuoy, Dell, Nearbuy and Audi for Civil War -- for any Hollywood movie, the advertisements have churned out Rs 35 to 45 crores. Brands like Coverfox, BookMyShow, Coca-Cola, Snapdeal and Audi have released campaigns around the movie’s theme to target maximum consumers.
Bestsellers owned Jack & Jones has launched a range of Captain America branded apparel. “With JACK & JONES, we continue to offer products which align with the varied interests of our customers. Limited edition capsule collections have worked excellently for JACK & JONES and we hope to replicate the same success with the CIVIL WAR collection,” asserted Vineet Gautam, Country Head, JACK & JONES India while revealing details about the collection.
Online portal Amazon ran a full initiative around Civil War with homepage presence and innovations based on movie trivia, freebies etc. Similar initiatives were taken by the brand for Start Wars: the Force Awakens. Acknowledging the ardent fans of Disney movies, Samir Kumar, vice president, category management, Amazon.in commented, “In the past, we have experienced the excitement from fans who flock to the Amazon.in marketplace and love to shop for their favourite movie merchandise as the movie readies for release. Disney movies have ardent fans so we look forwards to making their shopping experience delightful this time too.”
"With the immensely strong affinity for Marvel Super Heroes, toy lines across key categories such as collectibles, role-play and construction will be the main drivers to get the excitement going," told R Jeswant, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Funskool. The brand has launched a wide range of Hasbro products including figurines and role-play sets, Lego construction sets, as well as board games catering to kids and young adults
Besides these alliances, ICICI Bank has come out with co-branded Civil War Expression debit cards; children’s publisher Scholastic has launched a range of story and colouring books, while US computer tech major Dell is the co-promotion partner for Marvel merchandise.
In FMCG segment, Lifebuoy has launched 46 lakhs packs inspired by Captain America: Civil War & Iron Man movie art, while Axe is their variants of Champion and Maverick with Captain America and Iron Man respectively with over 1.75 lakh units of twin packs available in the market with a Marvel sipper as a premium. Alongside, going high on promotional front, Landmark has indulged in massive in-store branding to highlight the Civil War brand.
Firefox Bikes, a bicycle manufacturer known for its leisure bikes is expanding its footprint across India and targets its products at high-income salaried groups, corporate professionals, kids and young parents. The brand aims to build a culture of cycling and aims to get 25 per cent growth from Swiss Military deal, which is the first deal after Hero Cycles acquired Firefox bikes, asserted Ajit Gandhi, Marketing Head for Firefox Bikes.
What market potential do you see for cycles as a segment of Retail?
Currently the market potential for urban bikes is increasing and we tap that category. Because of even-odd, pollution, health reasons etc, the culture of cycling is expanding day by day, but majorly in urban or premium segment. The basic models of cycle used for commuting is somehow stagnant. We feel 25-30 per cent growth is manageable and sellable in the times to come.
Tell us about the agreement with Swiss Military.
Swiss Military is a brand which is related to outdoor activities and same attitude is what we are projecting with Firefox Bikes. We’d be targeting adult category while introducing 4 models initially which will co-branded as the style guide and colour theme of Swiss Military joined with Firefox Bikes. Further, depending upon the response we receive, we will launch two more models.
We are also thinking about some accessories by Swiss Military that complementing our products. We are hoping for mutual benefits through this deal. The deal is royalty based.
This deal between Firefox Bikes and Swiss Military was initiated long ago, but has been finalized some time ago. What has been the reason of this delay?
The delay happened due to some internal changes as our company has been taken over by Hero Cycles, though there is no change in the mode of working and we continue to operate as a separate brand.
The only change is that with the resources of Hero cycles, we will have deeper pockets to spend up on marketing and will get additional support in drafting campaigns with their expertise. As of now we are looking it as a win-win situation. Firefox operates on franchise module for premium products and the dealer network for Hero cycles is entirely different.
What kind of benefit are you looking at from this deal?
With the recent agreement, we are looking at people who’d have a brand attraction towards Swiss Military and we are hoping for incremental sales of 20 to 25 per cent with this deal. Also we are open for a lot of cross promotions, brands licensing for more categories.
How has been your experience with licensing?
We have been a part of licensing industry from past 7 to 8 years. The initial brand we took was Popeye for kids’ category followed by MTV that is very popular brand among youth. And now we have been a licensee to Superman, Batman, Tweety, Tom & Jerry from Warner Brother’s portfolio.
I feel how brand licensing benefits this segment is that it is a re-imaginary or the recall that a brand creates. A kid may just walk into the store and choose a bike with Superman embossed on it, merely on basis of the brand recall value.
According to you, how can retailers benefit from licensing?
Usage of graphics and promotions are something that benefit a retailer. For instance, when we launched MTV bikes, Ranvijjay, Bani and all the VJs of MTV came and promoted the products. So there are a lot of benefits right from incremental sales to promotions, accessibility to quick brand recognition, along with marketing support that licensing deals come along with.
Swiss Military is already planning some outlets, which will offers as additional visibility. In nutshell, possibilities are endless, all it depend upon how actively the licensor plays the role.
Expanding their retail presence in all geographies, Toonz Retail, the homegrown retail chain catering to kids aged between 0 to 12 years, launches three new stores in Calicut, Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh and Ghaziabad.
Spread over an area of 1500 sq ft, all stores offer a premium experience to the customers. Along with flagship brands WOWMOM, SUPERYOUNG and SUPERYOUNG CELEBRATIONS, Toonz Retail’s store also offer a complete range of exciting kids’ products including Fashion, Baby Care, Nursery, Toys and School Supplies amongst others.
With the launch of these three stores, Toonz Retail is close to completing their 100 stores. Announcing the launches, Sharad Venkta, Managing Director and CEO - Toonz Retail India Pvt. Ltd said, “We are more than overwhelmed to have launched three stores all at once. Toonz has a strong presence in Northern and Southern parts of India and is rapidly speading its wings in the West and the East. We are expanding aggressively and will soon complete our target of 100 stores.”
Toonz Retail is exploring its business interests in India along with other countries like Fiji, PNG, Mauritus, G.C.C., Nepal etc. Toonz is successfully managing more than 95 stores across 15 states in 50 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur amongst others.
Toy giant Lego has opened the doors of its largest retail store in the world at the Shanghai Disney Resort.
The Danish brand popular foe its plastic brick has been revitalised in recent years partly through the success of The Lego Movie. Founded in 1932, its brightly coloured plastic bricks have made the Kristiansen family one of Denmark's richest.
Moreover, the company is expecting its factory in Jiaxing of China, 100km from Shanghai, to be up and running in 2017 which would add another milestone to its global expansion plans. The company already has factories in Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic and Mexico.
Jacob Kragh, the general manager of Lego China who used to be the president of Lego Education, said entering the Chinese market was crucial.
"We want to make sure that we put a good, playful learning experience into the hands and the minds of children wherever they are in the world. But when you have that objective, you can think of no other country that offers that opportunity to a greater extent than China," he said.
The company now has 250 designers and launched 350 products last year.
It is not just the cricket ground; Red Chillies Entertainment wants to rule with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchisee, but is looking to further strengthen the brand’s presence, primarily through brand licensing.
Taking its expansion spree a notch higher, Shahrukh Khan owned KKR has launched Kolkata Knight Riders Expressions debit cards with ICICI bank. The deal has been mediated by their exclusive agency, Invision Brand Consulting.
The brand has been investing and prioritising their licensing and merchandising program for years, and with the current season the program is the largest ever.
Commenting on the deal, Venky Mysore, CEO of Kolkata Knight Riders said, “We are extremely pleased to have achieved yet another record year in licensing and merchandising, which has been largely driven by the strength of our brand. This licensing arrangement allows our fans to make the Knights a part of their day throughout the year.”
“This exciting launch of a range of Kolkata Knight Riders themed cards is part of our planned forays into providing innovative and disruptive touch points for the KKR fan. We believe sports, and specially cricketing league fans are continually looking for innovative merchandise, and this licensing arrangement is to offer KKR fans – wherever they may be globally, the opportunity to profess their allegiance for the Knight Riders during this exciting cricketing season,” said Pankaj Sikka, Chief Visionary, Invision Brand Consulting that manages licensing operations of the brand.
The penchant for bank cards is not new to Indian scenario, with ICICI leading the chart. ICICI has successfully partnered with Disney India for its mascot Mickey Mouse along with Captain America: Civil Wars, Star Wars, Jungle Book along with IPL teams KKR and Gujarat Lions.
Another bank, Citibank has inked pact with Viacom 18 for co-branded MTV credit cards. Also, in an exclusive alliance, globally praised Arsenal Football Club has launched co-branded bank cards with Indonesia based Muamalat Bank.
KKR expansion spree
Aiming to strengthen the brand’s presence, KKR is also looking at acquisitions across other sporting events, thus to create an umbrella brand of Knight Riders. According to Mysore, acquisitions can be explored in related games in similar leagues or across other sports – both in India and overseas.
In 2014, KKR has acquired the Trinidad and Tobago franchise of The Caribbean Premiere League (CPL T20) – the IPL equivalent in the West Indies – and had then re-named it Trinbago Knight Riders, thereby, extending the ‘Knight Riders’ brand.
The company has partnered with Lux Cozi and plans to take its team's apparel to the masses. Also, it has created a brand store on eCommerce portal Amazon. The company also plans to come up with exclusive brand stores.
In a nation as diverse and emotive as India, sports certainly unifies us – and then divides us into ‘segments’ (based on the teams we support) in a way that suits brands to make big return / run high resonance brand campaigns.
The fan market is very lucrative – the sport and team popularity, the related media attention, the tie ups between celebrities and the various leagues – all translate into significant consumer interest and product sales.
There has been a phenomenal uptake in this genre of licensing – a lot of money is being poured into the space and despite controversies coming and going – Sport remains as it should – a source of entertainment and pure play like none other.
In terms of consumption patterns in this space, we have moved away from the sports = sneakers mindset. Changing lifestyles, penchant for fitness, the uptake of Marathons and Tennis Leagues etc. have opened up huge niche segments across Activewear and League merchandise right from T-shirts, bags, stationary, tech accessories etc. Sporting figures are seeing big money and a there is an increasing trend of tieups between Sports figures and fashion brands to capitalize in on this opportunity.
More than just cricket
The sports ecosystem is changing visibly now for the better, not only as a society has there been a shift from ‘cricket’ but also in terms of the options available for consumption and integration into a fan’s viewership and lifestyle spend – the hosting / televising of events– people can follow / watch matches on their smartphones wherever they are, a stream of additional media properties, newer dedicated Sports Channels - all help in cumulative traction across the various new leagues being formed by the day across different sport categories.
For sports brands to get into licensing, it’s important that they choose the right partner, a partner who shall not only help in creating the right licensing program but also work closely with the brand team to indentify and launch the licensed merchandise.
Licensed merchandise across the sports leagues / teams / brands is a small but growing revenue earner. The fans today love to dress up as their favorite teams / players and thus we see the maximum traction coming across the fashion and fashion accessories space. Ofcource considering that fans come across all the spectrum of the society, mass price points are always doing well specially in the fashion category.
The growing of retail points through e-retail has opened an avenue of higher price points as well as niche category but high defined quality products.
Emerging categories for licensing
The imagination is the limit for possibilities here – besides the low hanging fruit such as fashion, footwear etc there is a need for the consumer to be able to showcase their allegiance to his/her favorite team across a variety of categories – Invision Brands has always focused on categories beyond the ordinary, infact we have just launched co-branded debit cards.
Needless to say there is a lot more to be done in licensing. Franchise owners need to do more to exploit the full potential for their leagues and see licensing as a program to be vested in for long term to ensure there are fan connect options across various consumer touch points.
Counterfeit merchandise is a problem that envelopes the category – getting merchandise across all price points to beat the bootlegger market and achieve volumes across multiple price points is the key. Also, effectively implement loyalty programs, which will play a part in curbing fakes.
This article has been written by Pankaj Sikka, Founder, Chief Visionary and Brand Strategist, Invision Brand Consulting.
Diversifying its presence, Mattel has partnered with American publisher Papercutz to create Barbie franchise inspired graphic novel series.
As per the deal, Papercutz will develop a range of titles based on the Barbie media properties and toy franchise. While these titles will increase engagement of children with the character, these will also focus on the diversity Mattel has brought to the brand.
The first three titles will include an eponymous Barbie series and individual novels based on the Barbie Starlight and Barbie Puppy Adventure movies. The first titles–Barbie and Barbie: Puppy Party–will launch this September while Barbie Starlight will be released in October.
Additional Barbie graphic novels will be released in the first half of 2017, with new installments and series set to launch each season.
"There’s never been a more exciting time to be a Barbie fan, and we can’t wait to be a part of her new adventures. As Mattel guides the character in to new situations and life experiences, these new graphic novels will play a pivotal role in telling her story. Together, we’re going to create a series of publications that will delight and thrill a whole new generation of Barbie fans,” said Terry Nantier, publisher, Papercutz.
Papercutz is popular for family-friendly comic books and graphic novels, mostly based on licensed properties such as Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Lego Ninjago.
The Indian eyewear market is rapidly growing given the young population and growing awareness of branded eyewear. Growing at a rate of 10 per cent per annum for the last five years, the eyewear industry has witnessed entry of a majority of high end brands under licensing agreement. Major brands as Raulph lauren, Dior, Elle Saab etc. have licensed their names for eyewear category. in Vineet Sharma, MD, Aureole Inspecs shares insight about the eyewear licensing industry.
How is Indian retail responding towards eyewear licensing?
As far as retail scenario is concerned, it is divided in a big way. When we talk about certain luxury brand, in order to attract the consumers, every retailer wants brands that the consumers could relate to either in an aspiration value or possibly the name the consumers can recall the most.
Of course the retailers are putting this as a page and obviously the brands have their own attraction. So one – it is aspirational value for the consumers and second – from the knowledge perspective (what they know) and the third is the curiosity of the international brands which they don’t know when they are exposed in market.
How is the competition from global brands?
The brands do attract in a major way and the consumers have a great resonance to it. So, obviously one can conclude that licensing is really working well. But don’t forget that we still have too many licensees in the market which are coming in eyewear predominantly through trading route. There is not so much of direct licensing happening. We have global players which are companies getting licensing, manufacturing, and owning the distribution and if you look at their India operations, they are not doing deals directly.
When we talk about licensing in eyewear, many companies in India are the effect of their parent companies holding licenses and they are purely doing trading in India. There are few companies like us who have been practicing licensing in the country because generally the licensor in here are at a very nascent stage lacking international experience or exposure within licensing.
How has been your experience with brand licensing for eyewear as this genre is not very common in India?
Licensing is at a very nascent stage so people handling licensing don’t understand it. Consumers have responded in a great way, but is industry truly doing eyewear licensing. There are brands, and sub-licensing happening as well (some of the distributors are producing on behalf of the brand) but as far as local licensing is concerned, I don’t think a lot has happened. The question is - are the Indian brands licensors’ ready; do they understand the businesses and brands that work better?
What are the challenges that licensors face and how should they address those challenges?
One of the largest challenge for licensors is ‘quality’ which is proportional to choosing the right partner for short term gain or long term establishing values such as quality, right pricing and comradery between the partner because actually the licensee is the one who actually does invest, not just in stock, but the designs, R&D and is the one firing all the guns. The licensee is not going to be understood or heard.
Talking in Indian front, the Indian brands need to understand licensing better, work with partners who are not just dangling a cheque in front of them but truly becoming partners.
What has been the most popular segment in eyewear?
From an aspirational level, not each customer who aspires, buys but luxury brands have surely been the crowd pullers. I think sports brands are still struggling to make it in a big way, but lifestyle brands are the largest in terms of volumes and perhaps even value.
What are your future plans from licensing per say?
We have signed up with Pepe Jeans just now and have also brought in Hackkit. We have already put it in EBOs. We are also going to bring in Ted Baker, Converse and we have another 4 designer labels from japan & US lined up.
My experience with Indian brands so far has been not very good. Right now I would prefer to deal with international brands because the Indian brands are very nascent and looking for short terms gains rather than investments.
According to you, why is brand Licensing an effective retail strategy?
From retailer’s perspective, it is always good to have brands which are recognized. All these brands are trying to create relationship with audiences. They are reckoning upon current consumers, possible consumers and future consumers.
Also licensing gives good sales mix to the retailer where he can have certain degree of licensed products being sold and contributing a lot to his margin.
Given the soaring brand consciousness among the consumers and exposure to global brands, the market for eyewear is on a roller coaster ride with a growth rate of 10 per cent per annum. Sensing the enormous potential in this highly unorganized market -- where opticians used to decide brand -- a bevy of international players including the likes of Safilo S.p.A, Luxottica, Essilor International have set base in India.
While the market potential is exciting the retailers, the parallel markets and counterfeits presents a big market challenge. As per a report by Technavio, on average, manufacturers lose between 15 and 20 per cent of their market revenues annually due to fake products.
In a bid to curb the online counterfeit market, Luxottica owned Ray-Ban has converted its India website into an ecommerce platform, which previously functioned only as a reference point.
The online platform of Ray-Ban will be managed by Bengaluru-based firm Ace Turtle that also manages eCommerce websites for fashion and lifestyle brands of Puma, Flying Machine and French Connection, among others.
Commenting on the counterfeit market, Akash Goyle, country manager for Luxottica India said, “Luxottica is fully committed against counterfeiting, and this is demonstrated by the implementation of numerous activities: from the constant monitoring of the main counterfeit product suppliers to the partnership with local law enforcement and custom operations to seize the products, and ultimately the activation of legal actions against perpetrators."
Ray-Ban has been hit badly because of the proliferation of fake products on online platforms. Last year, Luxottica Group, the parent organisation of Ray-Ban, dragged ShopClues.com to the Delhi High Court, accusing the ecommerce site of hosting counterfeit products and misleading customers by offering heavy discounts.
While Sunglasses and contact lenses are the most affected product categories by counterfeiting in the eyewear market, brand like Ray-ban, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Versace are some of the brands most affected by counterfeiting.
Again in January, Luxottica filed cases against a number of eRetailers including CraftsVilla and Sytlemyway for allegedly marketing fake Ray-Ban products, according to the Delhi High Court website.
Luxottica last month received order from court to ban a local firm from allegedly copying Oakley eyewear products that (worn and endorsed by cricketers Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh).
Since November, India allows global single brand retailers companies that sell items under one label to offer their products through company-owned ecommerce portals. Ray-Ban is the latest among a host of global firms including Puma and Adidas that launched their own ecommerce platforms in India, at a time when online retailing is growing at a fast clip in the country.
Post venturing into apparel segment in India (with Madura Garments), Oxford Limited has signed Brandsdistribution.com as the European apparel partner for the University of Oxford.
This exclusive deal, valid for a tenure of five year, will see the Italian company produce and distribute a University of Oxford branded clothing line. The first collection is slated to launch for Autumn/Winter 2016.
Commenting on the announcement, Chris Evans, MD of Oxford Limited said, “We are thrilled to be entering a license agreement with such a dynamic and exciting apparel partner.”
“Brandsdistribution.com has turned the traditional fashion industry on its head and we are looking forward to working with such an innovative and successful partner to deliver branded Oxford University apparel across Europe,” he added.
From September 2016, registered buyers of Brandsdistribution.com will be able to purchase Oxford University branded T-shirts, polo shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, sweater, cardigans and jackets through the online portal.
As per Angelo Muratore, Brandsdistribution.com president, “The agreement for the production and the exclusive distribution of Oxford University’s products qualifies Brandsdistribution.com as the strongest player in the market.”
Of late, Oxford Limited has set the plans rolling for expansion of University of Oxford through brand licensing agreements. While last Vegas Show witnessed foray of the brand into wallpaper segment, this years the brand is considering home furnishing segment along with others for Indian sub-continent after successful stints with apparel and back-to-school categories.
Post conquering the world of football, fashion and even the whisky industry, now David Beckham has turned his attention to beauty. The 41-year-old is making his debut into the skincare industry with his first grooming line with French brand Biotherm Homme.
The multiyear partnership was put together by the L’Oreal-owned company and Seven Global, which will see Beckham create and develop his own line, which is set for release during 2017.
Beckham has also been named the global ambassador for the company, and will be the face for the brand’s campaign of its gel moisturiser Aquapower, which will hit shelves in 2017.
“I’m excited to be working with Biotherm Homme,” said Beckham.
“I’ve been thinking about developing a skincare range for a long time and it wasn’t until I started speaking with Biotherm that it all came together. They are as ambitious as I am, and we look forward to showing everyone the fruits of our labour very soon.”
The partnership between Biotherm Homme and David Beckham is set to shift the boundaries in the men's skincare category and reinforce our brand's leadership," added: David Fridlevski, Biotherm's General Manager.
"It's the first time a male celebrity of this stature has developed a skincare collection. We're proud to be David Beckham's partner of choice to develop his vision of skincare, and we're delighted to welcome him as a new brand ambassador," Fridlevski added.
David is not the only member of the Beckham clan to be making waves in the world of beauty. His wife and fashion designer Victoria Beckham caused a frenzy amongst her fans earlier this year when she revealed that she is launching a make-up collection
The style icon has teamed up with cosmetics giant Estée Lauder to create a limited edition range set to launch in autumn, sharing the exciting news with her Instagram followers.
Videogame creator Nintendo has partnered with footwear manufacturer Vans to deliver a new line of sneakers inspired by retro games and iconic characters.
The collection, which is said to be launching next month, includes low-top and high-top Vans sneakers and slip-ons decorated with classic Nintendo iconography. The footwear line boasts 8-bit sprites from The Legend of Zelda, Mario, and Donkey Kong. The must-have pair has to be that pair of camo Duck Hunt sneakers, though. On top of those, there’s a pair decorated with NES controllers, a slew of characters from Mario games, and a pink shoe dedicated to Princess Peach.
Other classic images from Nintendo will also feature, include graphics of the NES controller and the Nintendo logo. The Vans x Nintendo collection is due to be released this June.
Vans, the California based manufacturer of shoes, has been licensee to Disney for Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Donald Duck and recently Star Wars Triology along with Beatles,
Taken by the burgeoning global smartphone market, Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover has plans set to unveil branded smartphones and accessories by early 2017.
The British automotive brand has inked licensing pact with consumer electronics company Bullitt Group to develop a bespoke smartphone and range of accessories.
Commenting on the alliance, Lindsay Weaver, director of licensing and branded goods at Jaguar Land Rover said, "Incorporating iconic Land Rover design and innovative technology into the mobile phone sector with Bullitt Group presents an exciting challenge and fantastic opportunity to take the brand into a new dimension."
Further, briefing about the product designs, Weaver added that an engineering and design team from Jaguar Land Rover special operations will be assigned to the partnership and subsequently deliver a number of bespoke applications tailored to Land Rover brand and product values.
“The range will be designed to be an active lifestyle partner, aimed at people who like to take on new challenges and go 'above and beyond' the ordinary," said the official statement.
Slated to be launched in early 2017, the portfolio will embody the core values of the Land Rover brand, featuring some truly innovative capabilities and technology.
"We are confident the new range of products will perfectly encapsulate everything that Land Rover represents, appealing to those who already love the brand and providing an introduction to those who are yet to discover it," noted Peter Stephens, CEO of Bullitt Group.
According to Bullitt Group, the firm will partner with the car maker to define and develop a groundbreaking portfolio of mobile devices and peripherals which will take the brand into a new and exciting commercial terrain.
Smartphones and accessories have of late been fancied by many of the global brands including the popular beverage manufacturer Pepsi Co and Polaroid – the brand best known for its Polaroid instant film and cameras. While PepsiCo has already launched its smartphones in China, Polaroid is scouting to foray into this segment in India.
Bioworld Merchandising, Inc., a US based licensee known for design and distribution of licensed and private label merchandise has acquired VoxPop.com – an online destination for licensed products.
With assimilated synergies, the deal aims to strengthen the product portfolio for apparel, accessories and footwear with over 100 brands across the entertainment industry along with ensuring a wider and deeper market penetration.
This combined expertise and extended reach, will provide customers with access to the largest collection of iconic and emerging pop culture merchandise. VoxPop will be the destination brand for all things pop culture across India.
Established in 1999, Bioworld has its presence in Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, London, Toronto and Delhi. Founded in 2013 and led by ex-business head for Walt Disney, Siddharth Taparia, VoxPop has licenses of brands such as Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, DC Comics and Warner Brothers in its portfolio.
Speaking on the acquisition, Raj Malik, Founder and CEO, Bioworld Merchandising said, “This acquisition is a part of the firm’s overall growth strategy. We will work together and play to our strengths to deliver a better value proposition for our customers.”
“Through this partnership, Bioworld will have direct access to the customer and foster a stronger bond with thegrowingpop culture community in India,” Malik added.
Adding to this, Siddharth Taparia, Founder and CEO, VoxPop commented, “This acquisition is the coming together of two major players in the licensed merchandise space. While VoxPop continues to be independent in the way it operates, we believe our combined strengths will unlock the opportunity to accelerate growth in the category.”
VoxPop offers a collection of t-shirt, accessories and footwear by collaborating with designers, artists and brands alike across categories including sports, music, movies, TV shows, cult games and consumer brands categories.
The company raised seed funding of $3.5 million from Blume Ventures and other angels, followed by another $1 million round from Blume in November 2014. Also, this online T-shirt retailer signed an exclusive deal with Threadless - a global design community that lets artists share and markets their designs, to use their designs on its T-shirts.
According to reports, VoxPop was planning to raise $7 million as a part of its Series A funding during August 2015 and was witnessing close to 15,000 monthly transactions with about Rs 2 crore in sales per month.
Iconic character and the ultimate diva Betty Boop is bringing a dash of glamour and oomph to the fitness fashion category with a new apparel launch across the style capital, Italy.
In a partnership between King Features, and the Italian retailer Athletes World AW-Lab, the new urban sport line will launch in 100 stores across the region.
The apparel range follows the launch of a collection of Betty Boop fitness accessories and will include hoodies, sweatshirts, tank tops, graphic tees, bras, leggings, sports bags and drawstring bags.
“It has been really exciting working with this collection, “ said Grazia Bussandri of Premium.
“Betty Boop brings that glamour connection that women like to evoke even when they are working out. The collection has been conceived and created for the self-confident, trendsetting young woman who likes to express her sense of style in all aspects of her life, including fitness training.”
Forevermark India has partnered with designer Bibhu Mohapatra to debut an Artemis collection that is exclusive to India. The New York-based designer, who grew up in Rourkela has secretly been working on the collaboration for the new Artemis collection for the past two years.
With three key motifs seen in earrings, rings, bracelets, pendants and brooches, the Artemis™ collection is inspired by the sun, moon and stars. A central Forevermark diamond emerges as the definitive element in each design.
The collection is for the evolved woman who appreciates fine jewellery and believes these pieces represent a state of life together.
On the occasion Bibhu Mohapatra said, “I’ve combined the surreal forms of the sun, moon and stars to create sensual, romantic jewellery. The central thought behind the Artemis™ collection was inner balance and outer strength, making it a very special collaboration for me.”
Indirectly, First Lady Michelle Obama gets credits for this deal as executives of Forevermark first contacted the designer after Michelle wore one of his sleeveless printed dresses on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ in August 2012.
Commenting on the partnership, Sachin Jain, President, Forevermark India said, “We are pleased to collaborate with Bibhu Mohapatra who seamlessly blends the sensibilities of the East and the West in his fashion, as he has done so once again in our new Artemis™ Collection. These elegant pieces go beyond traditional Indian jewellery and yet retain an heirloom value.”
The Artemis™ collection is made of 22 pieces and is exclusively available at selected stores in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Baroda and Chennai.
Estée Lauder has teamed up with pop star-turned-designer Victoria Beckham as part of the company's latest make-up collaboration. The partnership will see the designer unveil a limited edition line dubbed as ‘Victoria Beckham Estée Lauder’ that is set for launch later this year.
The new line is Beckham’s first makeup collection, though she did previously partner with Nails Inc on a nail polish duo. She launched her high-end fashion label, Victoria Beckham, in 2008 which was more than welcomed by the couture cognoscenti.
While this partnership has paved way for Beckham imbue the new line with instant credibility among makeup connoisseurs, at the same time the iconic beauty behemoth is sure to gain from the designer’s edge.
"Victoria is an entrepreneur in the true spirit of our founder, Estee Lauder, with a real understanding of what women want, and a commitment to making women look and feel their most beautiful," said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, the president of Estee Lauder group.
The collection will launch in September 2016 at select retailers around the world, Victoria Beckham stores and on esteelauder.com and victoriabeckham.com.
Of late, Estée Lauder has been attempting to reach out to younger consumers with brands like millennial-focused Estée Edit.
The record label Universal Music India (UMI) has announced the launch of their brand new music merchandise collection across lifestyle, retail and eCommerce platforms.
Made available under its global music merchandise label Bravado, the product range launched includes apparel like t-shirts, hoodies, fleeces, home accessories like coasters, cushion covers, mugs and magnets. Tech aficionados can avail of MacBook and iPad sleeves, laptop skins and mobile covers while those who like their music and art can have a wide choice of posters and canvas prints. Soon to be launched product ranges include caps, belts, eye wear, boxers and flip flops.
The above products will span across a wide range of artists and bands including contemporary superstars like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Eminem, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Imagine Dragons, Lil Wayne, Swedish House Mafia, Axwell to some of the greatest `classic’ artists / bands like The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Bob Marley, Queen, Guns N Roses, Mark Knopfler, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, John Coltrane, Green Day to name a few.
Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director and CEO, Universal Music Group, South Asia says “We at Universal Music India believe that our music audiences are ready to consume music beyond just its audible format. However, the lack of legit and quality International music merchandise in India has deprived music aficionados for a long while now. Thus, through Bravado – the world’s leading music merchandising company, now owned by UMG - we are proud to introduce an exclusive music merchandise range of some of the world’s biggest International artists and bands."
"There’s something for every `music’ fan out there across apparel, fashion and digital accessories! All this super attractively priced and at great quality,” added Sanyal.
Notably UMI is the only record label in India to launch its own Official International music merchandising line. This is in keeping with the label’s vision of becoming a full `Entertainment’ company with interests that range from festivals (EVC) and the `live’ businesses to the branded content business.
All the above consumer merchandise products are now available across key lifestyle, retail and eCommerce platforms.
Condé Nast, the premier media company renowned for its affluent portfolio of the most iconic titles: Vogue, GQ, The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler etc. has partnered with Dorya, a furniture designer and manufacturer, to create a Vogue Living furniture line.
The 30-piece Vogue Living collection will be based on the fashion magazine’s aesthetic. The collection will include statement pieces and upholstered products for residential and commercial use in bedrooms, living and dining rooms.
“The launch of Vogue Living allows the Vogue brand to extend its fashion authority and style expertise into the home,” expalined Cathy Glosser, Senior Vice President, licensing, Condé Nast. “The collection will bring the pages of the magazine to life–taking inspiration from fashion to identify new interior design trends while also adding the Vogue touch to classic interior design.”
Condé Nast’s partnership with Dorya is the first partnership to kick-off the Vogue Living lifestyle brand.
“This Vogue Living partnership gives us a unique opportunity to tap into a vast array of design understanding,” says F. Doruk Yorgancioglu, president and chief executive officer, Dorya. “Coupled with Dorya’s vision and expertise, we will create an amalgam of style that is non-existent in furniture.
The new collection will debut to the trade industry later this year.
Mobile games based on movie properties have been mushrooming every now and then since smartphones became a basic necessity of lives. Though most of the times, these games are seen as a mere extension of studio’s product into another vertical -- creating a chase-for-survival kind of ambience – a plethora of studios are making their presence felt in this category, ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ being the latest.
As I remember, last player to step in mobile gaming was Disney that with uppoert from its digital arm Disney Interactive launched mobile app on its most awaited movie - Jungle Book preceded by Frozen. In Bollywood space, Yash Raj Films, the pioneer in entertainment licensing, announced mobile games on Shahrukh Khan’s movie FAN, followed by Sultan slated to release this id.
By now, I think we all have recalled the all-they-tend-to-tell-same-story mobile games of Ra.One, Dhoom 3, Krissh, Chennai Express which launched few weeks ahead of release and went away with the movies.
The fillip to licensing in gaming industry
The strengths of this genre in licensing lie in cross-platform, mainly iOS and android based games, increasing exposure to internet and zero dependence on channels like theatricals or TV properties. Once the popularity spreads and fans get hands on, the addiction traverse to buying licensed merchandise including stationary, accessories, collectibles etc. while apparel being the hot-selling products.
Further, the popularity spreading fast at digital platform also adds to the value of IP. There is a dedicated digital audience at hand, who the property owners can communicate with in no time, about new products, promotions and also gain marketing insights from directly.
Gaming as extension
While consumer is high on a good dose of bollywood movies and entertainment licensing dominates the licensing industry in India, mobiles games adapted from bollywood movies have not been as successful as those in west.
While West exploits the industry as extension tool, in India, gaming industry is seen more as a promotional strategy before release of movies.
Abhinav Chokhavatia, Founder & CEO, Zatun says, “Normally what happens is that when a lot of movies come out, games also come in market around those movies, which help promote the movie as well. But most of the times, games are released just an addition and not much thought is given into it. While in west, when a movie is released – for instance ‘Lord of the rings’, the game is given equal treatment as the movie is. So, the licensing deal for gaming takes place almost at the time when movie production begins.”
A prominent reason for movie-based games not being successful in India is the availability of games limited to Smartphone only and not across platforms. Another factors is the Rs. 50 plus transaction-point which does not attract many consumers.
With rising smartphone and tablet penetration, the mobile gaming industry in India is expected to touch Rs 2,620 crore by 2019, with a year-on-year growth of 20 per cent, according to a recent report by FICCI-KPMG.
However, the sector must do its bit to stay on top as it requires constant innovations and additions to not just grow the market share, but to keep the fans engaged, it needs marketing innovations to stay top of mind in the ever-changing digital world and from a licensing perspective needs a strong programme and strategy.
One needs also needs to drive awareness across retailers, both brick and mortar as well as online, because they may not be in tune with the latest property making waves among consumers – that last mile awareness becomes critical for making digital properties available to fans yearning for them.”
Started 20 years ago as an export firm exporting footwear to the markets of Russia and Europe, M&B Footwear went ahead of time to detangle the nitty-gritty of brand properties being transferred and thus Lee Cooper footwear landed in Indian soil, at same time as Lee Cooper apparel.
The tag of Export Company made M&B an obvious choice for the international fashion brand to mark its foray, which was also M&B’s entry into full fledged retail. In words of Bhai Ajinder Singh, MD of M&B Footwear, “Because we were anyway Export Company, when we approached Lee Cooper they found our products in accordance with their standards. It was quick meeting of minds and we agreed on strategy and way forward, thereby we ended up being home-grown manufacturer.”
Elucidating on understanding the core of a denim brand and replicating it for footwear, Singh explained, “A brand of jeans is known for durability, versatility and fashion – standard three things. We tried to understand if we could make footwear design on same sidelines it would gel with the quality of brand.”
“We understood that brand aspirations can be shifted from one category to other, which is now being followed by everyone. We were ahead of the curve in sense that we recognized that and that’s how we started,” he added.
In words of Singh, the brand is all about value so the trust between a licensor and licensee needs to be very high that latter will manage the brand and add to the brand value. He even cited example of Sketchers that came to country many times in past because the initial licensee failed to understand the brand and now Sketches is getting it right the fourth time.
Licensing as an effective retail strategy
“It actually gave us a leg in Indian market because we were not present in here and there were not too many entry points,” said Singh while adding that the brand does give you an entry point in the market because if you don’t have credibility in market, it is going to take you very long to get established in the market.
Brand licensing is a strategy that cuts on the time taken to establish and position a brand in market. The only time taken is to introduce new product category. Licensing is basically a quick start as a company.
While the players are getting into the wild goose chase of adding more and more brands to their portfolio, M&B Footwear has shrugged off a couple of brands and the current portfolio includes Lee Cooper, Provogue and iD only.
“We do get a lot of options for brands. In fact we had historically 2-3 other brand that we have given up right now because we feel that Lee Cooper has tremendous potential in the market, so rather than creating too many brands, we are creating sub brands within Lee Cooper,” explains Singh.
Instead of getting newer brands, the footwear manufacturer is creating sub-brands and intends to have a group of products depending on the customer and channel.
The brand has created four sub-lines in Lee Cooper – Originals, Core, Lifestyle and RDLC. On retail side, M&B Footwear is looking to grow on franchise model. The brand is getting a lot of inquiries from trade for conversion of their shops into shop-in-shop or mini-stores.
Online vs. offline
At the moment brand’s traditional offline remain ahead. Singh says that the online strategy in today’s time is not good for brands in the sense that the primary benefit they are offering is discounting that too from their low pocket. What that does is to create confusion in customer’s mind about brand’s price-points and credibility.
American fashion magazine Vogue has unveiled its first-ever coloring book, Vogue Colors A to Z: A Fashion Coloring Book.
A coloring book for grown-ups and kids alike— the colouring book has been edited by Vogue Culture Editor Valerie Steiker and designed by Deputy Design Director Alberto Orta.
The coloring book includes 26 archival magazine covers from 1912-1936 by 10 American and French illustrators and features Art Deco patterns and drawings of women dressed for the task at hand, whether its steering a gondola, driving their car or riding a zebra.
The 64-page book will also include the archival covers in their original colors, as well as a six-page, collectible gatefold of 21 dresses.
Additionally, the new book falls in line with the ongoing popularity of adult coloring books and joins other publishers in the category, including its counterpart in the U.K.
Vogue Colors A to Z: A Fashion Coloring Book was edited by Valerie Steiker and designed by Alberto Orta and is available for purchase now on Amazon.
Marvel Entertainment partnered with Pizza Hut to for a Captain America: Civil War-themed promotional deal.
As part of the promotional partnership, Pizza Hut and Marvel have developed a Captain America-themed digital hub at PizzaHut.com/CaptainAmerica. The hub gives Marvel fans and pizza lovers access to exclusive Captain America: Civil War content, including never-before-scene clips and stills from the latest Marvel film. The site also features a quiz allowing users to pick which side they should root for – Captain America or Iron Man – for the chance to win epic prizes, including a trip to a future Marvel movie premiere, behind-the-scenes access to a Marvel prop house and more.
The hub will serve as a housing agent for content that can exclusively be experienced at www.PizzaHut.com/CaptainAmerica. This is the first entertainment from Pizza Hut designed to provide consumers with material to stay engaged while awaiting their order.
"Being able to provide our customers with unique content exclusively through our channels is one of the many exciting ways we are bringing this effort to life," said Jared Drinkwater, Vice President of Marketing, Pizza Hut.
In addition to the digital hub, Pizza Hut will launch a fully integrated marketing campaign for adults, including a new television spot featuring Captain America: Civil War footage, two new Captain America: Civil War-themed boxes – one highlighting Captain America, the other featuring Iron Man – and more.
Additionally, Pizza Hut will launch a marketing campaign including a new TV spot, themed pizza boxes and more.