B&LIS European launch event attracts 250+ delegates

Planning is now continuing for the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit North America which will take place in New York on 27-28 October 2021.

Organisers are now prepping a strong line-up of speakers and content for Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit North America – which will take place in New York on 27-28 October 2021 – following a successful European launch earlier this month.

More than 250 delegates attended the inaugural European summit, including decision-makers from Unilever, Natural History Museum, Mattel, Simba Dickie Group, Asda, Truffle Shuffle, Tesco, HTI Toys, Formula 1, Acamar Films, Jazwares, Cartamundi, Clementoni Spa, Hasbro, Forbidden Planet and Marks & Spencer.

B&LIS Europe ran as an online event over three days, focusing on Trends & Retail, Sustainability & CSR and Content & Digital Transformations, with speakers from IKEA Group, The LEGO Group, FatFace, The Entertainer, Liverpool Football Club, George at Asda, Microsoft XBOX, BBC Studios, Smurfs, Kids Industries, Penguin Random House and more. On demand tickets are still available to purchase at just £195 with content available to view until 30 June.

“We created the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summits in response to industry demand for forward-looking content that promised to be both game-changing and challenging, and we were delighted to deliver exactly that to over 250 highly-engaged decision makers,” said Anna Knight, vp licensing, Informa Markets.

“Planning is well underway for our second summit, B&LIS North America taking place in-person in New York from 27-28 October. Delegate registration will open soon – watch this space for keynote announcements.”

Key trends and takeaways from B&LIS Europe included:

  • Customer really is king as IKEA Group chairman Lars-Johan Jarnheimer pointed out when talking about IKEA’s policy for every employee to experience customer-facing roles
  • Children aged 4-14 control billions of dollars of spend through pocket money, allowances or overly indulgent parents
  • 25% of brand preferences made in childhood stay with them into adulthood
  • The industry needs to look again at speed of delivery to market if it is to maximise commercial opportunities around fandom. Consumers want to consume immediately. Brands and licensors need to be agile in response to this.
  • We will continue to see an increase in DTR.
  • The high street is going to change hugely with blended working, with more big brands tempted to local high streets
  • Experiential retail will remain key to the in-store offering as it takes advantage of its USP over online: the engagement of all five senses to create a unique and memorable experience
  • All retailers must have a digital strategy for reaching consumers, which focuses on all touch points where content is being consumed
  • The pandemic has forced consumers to rethink their shopping habits – we are cost conscious and have instigated a dramatic shift towards e-commerce
  • We are more likely to shop locally from small businesses and shop more consciously and sustainably – there was a 90% increase in purchase of vegan products during lockdown
  • Thinking and acting sustainably will be critical for the success of your future business, from engaging the consumer, to proving yourself a credible business partner and, of course, saving the planet
  • Thinking about the end game – i.e., how to minimise/eliminate waste – is as critical as improving the sustainability of your sourcing and manufacturing
  • The UK has become the first country to enshrine its climate targets into law – to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 (compared to 1990 levels)
  • Brands must have purpose to engage customers, especially Gen Z and youngers: 50% of that generation is willing to spend more on sustainable products
  • Brands are now expecting licensees to show sustainable and ethical behaviour and that they are ensuring their factories are compliant
  • Video game, toy, games, puzzles, building sets and garden toy equipment sales all benefited from Covid
  • People still to experience watching a movie in theatres, but they also have new habits, and although everything seems to go back to normal, things have changed. Now we have virtual cinema, VOD, AVOD, Pay for TV, gaming, physical vide0
  • 54% of social media users are now using it as a tool to research products and are actively shopping on social media
  • NFTs can be used as a bridge between the real and virtual worlds.

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