“I sense people are acting in a more focused way”

Start Licensing’s Ian Downes on being selective and using social media and digital marketing to engage with consumers.

Last year showed that licensing is an industry which can move at speed, adapt and still keep delivering amazing products and programmes.

Against this backdrop, LicensingSource.net asks some key licensors and licensing agents for what they think will be some of the biggest opportunities for the industry in 2021.

Today: Ian Downes, md, Start Licensing.

“I think one thing that has emerged from our current situation is the fact that licensees, agents and licensors have had to reflect a bit more about the business of licensing.

Specifically, when I first started working in licensing (over 25 years ago…) we always talked about the audience, the fans and consumers. I think over the years the industry has lost sight of the consumer and also has forgotten that there has to be a demand for licensed products. I think often properties are brought to market that aren’t mature enough and don’t really have a consumer demand.

I sense people are being a little bit more selective now and acting in a more focused way. Connected to this I think companies are getting better at using social media and digital marketing to engage with consumers. This has created new opportunities and momentum.

That said, brand owners and agents need to do their bit to better understand their audiences and to create platforms to communicate with them.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2021 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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