This is why brand licensing is the latest sweet spot for established brands

Brand licensing not only helps the manufacturers of the licensees' position themselves in the market, it also enable them to address the issue of credibility.
Brand Licensing

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.

Marketing support
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.”

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