World in motion: “2020 forced us to re-evaluate”

Herschend Entertainment Studios’ Natalie Setton discusses re-introducing the Chuggington preschool brand across the globe during the pandemic.

LicensingSource.net chats to a selection of licensors and agents based outside of the UK to find out their takeaways from 2020, what the biggest challenges and opportunities are for licensing moving forward, their main aims for 2021 and what word they would use to describe business in both last year and this year.

Today, we head to the US to get the views of Natalie Setton, vp commercial, content distribution and licensing, Herschend Entertainment Studios.

“2020 was everything from adapting production needs, shifting key timelines, editing and advancing priorities or even non-priorities. It forced us to re-evaluate and look at all aspects and functions of our business and fortunately, overall, we feel we ended the year in a good place.

We’ve polished our planning and have been able to build on our previous relationships and cultivate new relationships where we may have not looked in the past. This all gave us a more powerful pathway to our franchise future and is leading us into a very strong year of planning and commitments in 2021, particularly for the start of the year as Chuggington continues its roll out around the globe.

It is always challenging introducing or re-introducing new preschool brands to audiences and retail in a highly competitive market environment. That said, in times of uncertainty, there is value in proven, feel-good and evergreen properties. Being a previously proven brand which delivers positivity and nostalgia warmth, I feel, gives us an edge and an exciting opportunity.

While the destructive nature of 2020 has been damaging and heavy, forcing us to tear things down, it’s also an energy that has pushed us to have great strength and fury in reinventing and breaking glass ceilings and walls. For 2021, destructiveness lays the beginnings of a new foundation built off the balance of great loss and great strength.”

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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