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.