Brandgenuity Europe’s Teri Niadna on the exciting times ahead for the ambitious agency.
Founded in 2003 by four industry execs, Brandgenuity now represents a wide range of clients, including CPG and corporate trademarks, entertainment properties and passion, authority and lifestyle brands. In 2015, the US-based company expanded into Europe to provide a global solution for its clients.
The partners approached Teri Niadna, whom the partners had known for more than 15 years, to launch Brandgenuity Europe. For two decades, Teri has worked in licensing, both as an agent and a client, and most recently, she led the much-revered NFL international licensing effort.
Initially, Brandgenuity Europe took on the brands from its US counterpart including Hawaiian Tropic, Viacom and Gas Monkey Garage. More recently, the agency began with the NFL Players Association.
And now, in what will definitely be a seminal moment for the company, Brandgenuity has announced that it will expand and manage the global licensing programme for the BMW Group.
The BMW Group already has a worldwide consumer products programme that offers high-quality products to its consumers across many categories from apparel and collectibles to video games, watches and fashion accessories. Puma is the flagship global apparel partner while retail licensee Ports is responsible for the BMW Group mono-branded stores in China.
“We intend to create a consistent approach across all categories for BMW,” explains Teri. “We are interested in creating a true lifestyle brand and are keen to expand the apparel and accessories sector, potentially through co-branding opportunities. BMW has the characteristics of a lifestyle brand. After all, when you think about the brand it immediately conjures up strong positive emotions and that’s the first criterion that you need.”
She continues: “If you look at the fragrance category there are lots of good examples of how automotive brands have had success, and I know that there are plenty of opportunities such as in eyewear, electronics, sports equipment (playing to the performance angle) and even building a fast-fashion programme around the heritage marks with mainstream retailers.”
Teri anticipates that with the exception of fast-fashion, product will hit the market in late 2018 to early 2019.
Brandgenuity plans to grow BMW’s licensing activity in Europe, North America, Korea, Japan and the Middle East. In addition to lifestyle and accessories, the company also intends to expand with additional mono-branded experience stores and co-branded products.
Aiding the growth, Brandgenuity added offices in Munich and Hong Kong to further accelerate and expand the programme across the world, and will also be responsible for managing and extending the existing programme in toys, die-cast and collectibles for the BMW and Mini brands.
“Every great brand is about a promise and a relationship,” believes Teri. “We look forward to combining this with beautiful, purposeful design and innovation for an inspired, wide range of great products.”
Hawaiian Tropic is another brand that is performing strongly for Brandgenuity in Europe, with an initial rollout of fragrance mists in Superdrug (which reached the finals of the B&LLAs) to be expanded to Boots and other retailers for the coming year.
Likewise, Gas Monkey Garage has also seen significant growth. The company has recently signed a DTR with EMP for a range of apparel including woven shirts and jackets.
“The core fan base is ‘petrol head’ men, but interestingly the brand has taken on a life of its own,” comments Teri. “Because the style guide is cool and authentic, some consumers are buying the products without knowledge of the television programme, based purely on the look.”
Meanwhile, thanks to the growth trajectory of American Football in Europe, NFL Players is another stalwart brand for the company. NFL Players is the only company that offers exclusive group licensing rights to more than 2,000 active NFL players, and provides manufacturers and retailers access to player names, numbers, signatures, likenesses, voice and a newly launched NFLPA-owned catalogue of player emojis.
“The growth of the sport is astonishing,” enthuses Teri. “There will be four regular season NFL games played in London again this year – all routinely selling out at Wembley and Twickenham. The sport is also receiving good broadcast support on Sky and the BBC and in Europe in the last year it has been free to air. This has made a huge difference and it’s been a complete game changer in some territories such as Germany.”
Teri sees huge opportunities for products such as toys, apparel, personal accessories and experiences.
Another major recent announcement is that Brandgenuity is also excited to work with Anheuser-Busch InBev to help launch global licensing programmes for its marquis brands – Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona – and expand the licensing programme for its strong regional brands in Europe, Asia and Canada.
Looking ahead, Brandgenuity is seeking to expand its roster of properties to create a strong mix of brands which will include entertainment properties.
“We have two new clients that we are about to sign and there are certainly some very exciting times ahead,” hints Teri. “We’ve just opened an office in Asia and hired our first person there and we now have a presence in Munich too so we are growing our capability around the world.”