The Fifa 2014 World Cup mascot visits Brand Licensing Europe 2012.
Brazilians will name the mascot through a nationwide poll in November 2012.
We’ve just completed this year’s campaign for Brand Licensing 2012 which has been the biggest ever licensing event of its kind anywhere in the world outside of the US. The world’s biggest brands were there in force at Olympia from the media, entertainment, sports and lifestyle sectors, with over 280 brand owners showcasing over 2,200 brands, characters and images available for license. Attendees totalled nearly 7,000 people, up 25% year-on-year.
So, why the growth in licensing? Well, our take is that it is a sector that is demonstrating a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit in all types of businesses, from global and world-famous names to the digital newcomers and one-person start-ups. Licensing represents new revenue streams for business under pressure from established business models as well as powerful opportunities to brand-build and there are clear trends which indicate further positive growth and focus on licensing for brand owners.
Here’s five trends that we’ve identified from this year’s show.
1. Licensing is increasing in importance as a revenue stream for global media, entertainment, sports and lifestyle businesses. As established revenue streams, such as DVD sales, TV advertising and paid-media are challenged, licensing offers up an exciting new way to bring in revenue from fans. The world’s biggest brands – World Cups, blockbuster films, hit TV shows, major sports teams and more – are investing in the development of powerful licensing campaigns to extend the reach and value of their brands. For example, FIFA set out its planned strategy for World Cup 2014 in Brazil and how licensing will play pivotal role in building the FIFA brand. FIFA’s revenue splits into two thirds TV and one third sponsorship. So licensing is not about revenue at all. It is all about brand building and how licensed products can develop the brand and fuel fan excitement for teams, players and the event itself on a global basis.
2. Licensing can turbo-charge the profile of new brands for entrepreneurs. One example is City of Friends – uniquely based on the adventures of real-life Norway state police officer Carl Christian Hamre. Hamre created bedtime stories for his young son based on his day job as a police officer and within four years, established CreaCon Group, one of Norway’s largest independent children’s entertainment production companies with businesses spanning television production, licensing, live events, music and digital operations. There are also new business models developing and being applied to the sector. Take, for example, a new launch at this year’s show (and a Braben client) – Shopping4fans which is the world’s first Internet Shopping Club for official products.
3. Licensing is at the heart of how new brands are hyped and extended to as broad a fan base as possible. Examples include Caroline Mickler Ltd showcasing lingerie, sleepwear, apparel, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewellery and adult products for Fifty Shades of Grey.
4. Licensing works brilliantly with archive content from much-loved brands, tapping into retro and releasing new revenue. There were multiple classic brands returning this year: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back as a highlight at this year’s show, on the back of a new TV series and celebrating over 25 years since the characters’ first appeared. They were joined by Roobarb & Custard, Batfink, Garfield, Where’s Wally (celebrating its 25th anniversary), Purple Ronnie (celebrating its 25th anniversary), My Little Pony, Transformers, Monopoly, Power Rangers (another 25th anniversary), R Whites lemonade and Rainbow which is 40 years old this year.
5. There is an exciting future for licensing in mobile gaming. People are interacting with gaming content in a different way on smartphones or tablets. With the forthcoming release of the Kindle Family Fire, this Christmas will see more tablets in UK households than ever before. For example, Disney Mobile boasts award-winning studios that consistently develop chart-topping, critically-acclaimed apps. Meanwhile, new gaming community Taymai is developing a business model where gamers can actually lobby for merchandise to be created and sold for their favourite mobile games.
We’re strong believers in the power of licensing. Our experiences at this year’s Brand Licensing Europe have served to reinforce the exciting possibilities the discipline offers to owners of any brand with fans who want more.