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Occasion, Occasion, Occasion… it’s this week’s Licensing Lookout

Start Licensing’s Ian Downes looks at some examples of products being in the right place at the right time.

With a nod to Phil and Kirsty, this week’s Lookout centres on Location, Location, Location and Occasion, Occasion, Occasion.

Thinking of these in retail and selling terms.

LL2Following on from last week’s Lookout column that highlighted licensing activity in the heritage sector, it was interesting to see a great example of licensing at the IWM London shop. In fact, the IWM London has several shops including a book shop which is a great go to for military and social history.

Licensing wise, the IWM has its own range of licensed products which it blends into non-licensed products and more traditional souvenir style products. I also noticed that it was selling a range of Top Gun: Maverick merchandise that included apparel and model kits from Airfix and Cobi. I thought this was a smart move by the IWM and a well timed one. It is also a good example of the right products being in the right place at the right time.

I am sure this kind of approach to tapping into subject appropriate licensed ranges is one other museums and IP owners can take.

LL3I also recently highlighted how Poundland has teamed up with TV personality Kim Woodburn to create a range of cleaning products. I actually saw the range in-store this week. Poundland is promoting it well in an end-cap location alongside other cleaning products. It is, of course, well sited and has strong in-store presence.

It is certainly a good example of a retailer really backing a licensed product range and giving it a real chance of succeeding.

LL4It was also interesting to see how the drinks brand WKD has linked with Love Island.

WKD has created a limited edition WKD Pink bottle promoted under the banner Summer Lovin’. A product launch timed to maximise the benefits of the partnership and to capitalise on the momentum behind Love Island. I spotted the product in a trade advert with retailers being encouraged to ‘stock up for huge summer sales’.

I think this product may have been in the market before alongside a previous Love Island series so has a track record of success. It is interesting to see how a brand and media owner can work together in such a coordinated way.


Another good example of a licensed product being in the right place this week was Corgi’s James Bond Aston Martin DB5 model car. I saw it being promoted in the Daily Mail via a Direct Response advertisement. I imagine that Corgi has a very good handle of which media outlets deliver the best returns for it and this advertisement has been placed with a certain audience in mind.

It is also good to see a company like Corgi looking at activity like this to motivate and recruit new or returning consumers. I am sure it is something the company integrates with other sales channels and, of course, in general terms it is a great showcase for Corgi, die-cast and Bond.

A further example of right product right place this week was the fact that I saw a range of RSPB branded and approved bird seed mixes in Pets At Home. May seem obvious, but a key to licensing success is getting your product into the right outlets but also making sure that they are making an impact in those outlets, particularly in a competitive product category. The RSPB range was visible, well displayed and strongly branded.

LL6It was also encouraging to see some licensed activity around the occasion of Pride.

I noticed that Carlton Cards has developed a number of Pride cards in conjunction with its Disney licence. It is good to see licensing and licensed characters being used in this way and that Disney has used an iconic character like Mickey Mouse as part of this range.

Beyond it being a good thing to see happening in terms of Pride itself, it is also good to see licensing being aware of different occasions where it can play a role. I think we all have to be aware of new ways and opportunities for licensing to be used.

LL7Similarly I was very pleased to receive an update from Jewel Branding this week about one of our clients Kendra Dandy and her brand Bouffants and Brokenhearts.

We represent Kendra in the UK for Jewel. Jewel updated us that Target in the US has launched a range of products featuring Kendra’s distinctive designs and illustrations. The range has been developed by licensee Cloth & Co. It is part of an initiative called the Artist Series by Jewel which sets out to showcase and celebrate artists and illustrators. The idea being that the artist features more prominently in-store and alongside the range. This initiative is also designed to celebrate diversity and offer new opportunities to artists from diverse backgrounds.

I think this is a great campaign and one that seems to be working. I really like the way that the product range celebrates the artist and their work.

LL1Finally I think I may have found a winner for the ‘Best Platinum Jubilee Product’. I was in the charming Prince of Wales pub in Kennington’s Cleaver Square this week: definitely a great location for any occasion.

I spotted a Pale Ale called God Save The Queen. It was a double take moment but I think it is a clear winner.

Ian Downes runs Start Licensing, an independent brand licensing agency. His Twitter handle is @startlicensing – he would welcome your suggestions for what to look out for.

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