“Licensing is an industry that is creative, full of new ideas, always evolving”

Harris McQueen is sales and marketing director EME at Outerstuff. He is a panellist at Licensing for Retail Day, which takes place 19 April at Convene in London. Harris will be talking about how ‘Licensing chose me’ alongside The Point.1888’s Will Stewart, Blues Clothing’s Ruth Golightly and Gemma Dunn, Director, Brand Partnerships and Licensing (McDonald’s Happy Meal), tms.

150 retailers will be in attendance and there are still a handful of non-retailer networking passes available from £85.

What was your job prior to working in licensing?

My job prior to licensing was at the Guardian Newspaper after Uni working in advertising sales. I worked with advertising agencies and was focused within the team on new business, it included cold calling, positioning the strengths of the Guardian to win new business. I loved the newspaper; the environment was great with lots of graduates that gave it a real social environment. The role itself was very sales focused, which The Guardian supported with lots of training and that gave me a great foundation for the future, however I was after a more creative role than selling a 4x10cm job advert in a paper.

How did you make the transition?

Looking for a more creative business role, my sister had a friend, Libby Grant, who just started her own licensing agency off the back of securing the rights for Hello Kitty in the UK. Libby needed a brand executive to support her as deals were starting to come in thick and fast and I got a great experience of all aspects of a licensing agency and to see the beginning of a brand’s growth within licensing.

Why do you think you’re a good fit for licensing, and it for you?

It’s an industry that is creative, full of new ideas, always evolving and balances creativity and business/sales. I really thrive in being part of creativity, new ideas and seeing the process complete with selling into retail and seeing brands build. Building your network is also very key, although it’s a big industry, it’s also a very small world industry and you don’t want to burn any bridges. Having long lasting trusted relationships where you can pick up the phone or even send a What’s App for advice, help, a favour or to discuss an idea or deal is invaluable.

Why do you love it? Why would you recommend it to others?

I love seeing people approach licensing with new mindsets, trying to break the norm and move the industry forwards. It’s incredibly social and a tight knitted industry, people are happy to praise individual/competitors’ achievements. On the other side, the industry looks after individuals when support is needed. It’s a great industry strength and I would recommend it to anyone.

Why are you looking forward to attending Licensing for Retail?

It’s great to share experiences, hear other speakers’ backgrounds and take a moment out of busy schedules to hear different perspectives. Meeting new people at different stages of their licensing careers is also one of the great take outs.

Licensing for Retail Day will take place on Wednesday 19 April at Convene in London. For full details on the event, simply click here.

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