Withit Licensing is planning to launch its ‘Joey and Joy’ character in India, shortly. In a candid conversation with Indian Retailer, Bradley Caines, Creative Director, Withit Licensing, talks about their plans for the country.
Please take us through the properties you license globally. Which ones are you planning to introduce in India?
Withit has an extremely well selected portfolio of characters such as Glamour Puss, Cheeky Monkey and Cool Penguin. Internationally, we have diversified into producing different merchandise like footwear, toiletries, fashion and apparel, among others.
In India, we are launching ‘Joey and Joy’ in the initial phase. As the market evolves, we have plans to introduce other characters too. AI Licensing is our exclusive agency here.
Who is your target audience?
Our various characters cater to all age groups. However, for ‘Joey and Joy’, the target customers are kids, teenage girls and women.
What’s going to be your retailing and pricing strategy for India?
India is one of the most complicated markets and the strategy changes at every level. Internationally, there is a huge demand for our brands which have premium positioning. However, our pricing here will be competitive.
We are focussing on direct-to-retail deals and are in talks with some of the leading retail chains. Besides, we have few licensees on signing phase.
How do you view the broader licensing market in India? What according to you are the challenges faced by international brands here?
India is a growing market, which has immense potential. And, the players here have shown a very keen interest in ‘Joey and Joy’ range of merchandise.
The biggest challenge with any licensing character here is to have an online or television presence. Hence, we are developing the animated series for our characters too.
What is your main criterion for selecting licensees?
As we are a design-based company, our licensees should believe in the power of design-based characters. We are looking at licensees who are ready to experiment and can grow with our brand. We believe in long-term associations.
What has been your experience in neighbouring countries for similar licensing deals?
It’s been a great start of the year for ‘Joey and Joy’. We have signed our first deal on stationery and bags with Dubai Public Library, followed by another in France with the creative team at Kidabord. These tie-ups, on top of the huge launch at the Hong Kong International Licensing Fair, are showing the instant appeal of this brand.
Your future plans here?
In progress are a few animation programmes linked to product licensing and merchandise, and we will soon be on air.