Licensing Expo

Image: A crowd at Licensing Expo 2017.

Amazon VP to Deliver Keynote at Licensing Expo 2018

Nicholas Denissen, vice president, Amazon to discuss the evolving retail landscape

and customer expectations.

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Licensing Expo, the world's largest and most influential brand licensing industry event, today announced that Nicholas Denissen, vice president, Amazon, will lead the opening keynote at Licensing Expo 2018. Denissen will take the stage on Tuesday, May 22, from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. PT with other industry leaders in a panel session titled, "Great Expectations: Pace, Selection, Convenience and the Customer." The panel discussion will center on how brands can grow their business online and what Merch by Amazon is doing to enable them.


Longevity is a goal for which most companies strive, but has proven to be very elusive for the majority of companies. The companies that achieve longevity need long-term vision, lots of hard work, a little luck and a mindset of continual reinvention to stay relevant to the changing times. Wise Foods Inc. is no different. Read more about the 97-year-old company here and see their products below.

Doodles Wise NNCheez Doodles Extra Cheesy

FN PlatformThe latest trends include plaid patterns, and more casual shoes and heels with a twist. By Bianca Herron

Global leaders in footwear convened at FN Platform/WWDMAGIC Feb. 12-14 in Las Vegas to shape the industry, network and shop for shoes. The international showcase is the pillar of branded footwear featuring men’s, women’s, juniors’ and children’s brands from more than 30 countries. Offering six merchandised environments from luxury to lifestyle, FN Platform provided buyers with a convenient and efficient way to shop the most comprehensive selection of international footwear.

UBM President of Footwear Leslie Gallin says the premier footwear event had a “very good show.” “Buyers attending were focused and serious about buying,” Gallin notes. “They were looking for the next new trend. We found at the show that mules and causal shoes for women and men’s footwear are seeing a burst of energy.

“This new energy includes more casual shoes and heels with a twist, including unusual heel treatment, textures and construction,” Gallin continues. “In men’s, we are seeing a robust attention to the product category from both sides of the aisle. Men’s footwear today is about a more constructed upper-dressy more bespoke shoe with an active sole.”

She adds that consumers are telling the brands and retailers what they want. “This tells us the story behind the brand, and provides us with a reason to want to buy a particular brand or trend,” Gallin explains.

In addition, WWDMAGIC was a success as well, according to Kelly Helfman, vice president of WWDMAGIC. “The launch of our new beauty area GLAM was a hit,” she says. “Buyers found some affordable beauty brands to add to their store line up while also enjoying the cash-and-carry element. Attendees felt GLAM was a well-curated section that was easy to shop. Major beauty influencer and makeup artist Vlada Haggerty’s panel in our social house was super insightful and inspiring while really educating our retailers on the importance of adding beauty to their traditional store product offerings.”

At WWDMAGIC, some of the key trend takeaways included checks and plaids. “We saw a ton of these prints, whether it was on a blazer, skirt, handbag or sunglasses,” Helfman explains. “At the next show, I think pastels will be bigger than ever – lavender and millennial pink especially.”  

The next FN Platform/WWDMAGIC show will be held Aug. 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Gallin expects both shows to have busy aisles and happy customers. “Nothing feels better than when you know you are a surrogate providing a prosperous environment where people are growing their businesses,” she concludes.

M&M’s Retail is taking the candy world by storm and bringing incredible offerings to its customers every day. From its delicious chocolate candy to fun, well-known characters, M&M’S® has something for everyone. For more than 75 years, the brand has brought colorful chocolate fun to M&M’S® fans around the world and M&M’s Retail is helping to further that ambition. See the company’s products below.


MM Character Case NNM&M’S® Character Case

Choose from Red, Yellow or Blue Characters, including 1.83oz of M&M’S® FUN SIZE Milk Chocolate Candies in these fun, fully sculpted candy containers. Open the door on the back of the character to load M&M’S® candies.

Tins Mars NN6pk Gift Tins with Candy

This gift tin assortment is perfect for someone special, or can be split up and given as individual gifts! Includes 2.12oz of Twix® Minis, 1.83oz of M&M’S® FUN SIZE Milk Chocolate Candies, 2.12oz of SKITTLES® FUN SIZE Candies, 2.12oz of STARBURST® FUN SIZE Candies, 2.86oz of SNICKERS® Minis, and 2.54oz of M&M’S® FUN SIZE Peanut Chocolate Candies. 


Calendar Mars NNHoliday Candy Countdown Calendar

This holiday countdown calendar is filled with all of your MARS favorites! Open one window each day while counting down to Christmas.

MMs Party Pack NNM&M’S® Party Pack

Your Favorite M&M‘S® Brand Chocolate flavored lip balm — perfect for collecting and sharing! Moisturize and soften lips with lip smackin’® flavor and shine. Includes eight lip balms. 

Skittles Lip Smacker Mars NNSKITTLES® Trio – Taste the Rainbow®

Taste the Rainbow with Lip Smacker SKITTLES® lip balms! Its three flavors include: Lemon, Strawberry and Green Apple.






MMs Lintel Dispenser NNM&M’S® Lentil Dispenser

Choose from Red, Yellow or Blue M&M’S® lentil shaped dispensers, including 1.83oz of M&M’S® FUN SIZE Milk Chocolate Candies. Open the door on the back to load M&M’S® candies and then press the “M” logo on the front to dispense.

3 Pack Tins Mars NN 3-pk Gift Tins with Candy

This holiday gift tin assortment includes 1.83oz of M&M’S® FUN SIZE Milk Chocolate Candies, 2.12oz of SKITTLES® FUN SIZE Candies, and 2.54oz of M&M’S® FUN SIZE Peanut Chocolate Candies.

See more New & Notable products here. 

Licensing 1Social media influencers are carving out their own lane in the licensing industry. By Bianca Herron

The use of licensing as a marketing and brand extension tool has increased rapidly over the last 30 years. This includes new media over the past decade, which has sent shock waves through traditional media, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

According to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), licensed merchandise sales grew more than 4 percent last year to $262.9 billion. Licensable properties come from a variety of sources, including fashion, sports, music, celebrity, corporate/brand, and entertainment and characters, which is the largest segment of licensing.

Entertainment and character licensing, which includes primarily films, television shows, videogames and online entertainment, accounted for 45 percent of licensing sales, or $ 118 million, in 2016, according to LIMA.

Feeling Success

What makes all licensing successful, however, is the brand’s ability to tap into consumers’ emotions, says LIMA’s Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and Information Marty Brochstein. “Licensing is only effective if it plays upon an emotion that’s generated in a target audience,” he explains. “For example, it might be a really cool celebrity, a favorite sports team, trusted brand, or a cute character.”

This is why nontraditional licensing brands stemming from new media, especially today’s social media influencers – a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach – are “products of their time,” Brochstein notes. “Ten years ago we didn’t know what a social media influencer was, an app, or a streaming service,” Brochstein explains. “It’s logical that an increasing number of properties are coming from places we consider to be non-traditional. In 20 years, something coming from a streaming service or a social media influencer will be considered old school.”

He cites YouTube sensation Jake Paul as an example. Paul rose to significant fame on the now-defunct video application Vine. He began posting videos in 2013 on the platform and by the time Vine was shut down, Paul had 5.3 million followers and 2 billion video plays. He was later cast on the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark. “Paul has turned himself into a brand by doing wacky things in his daily video blog on Vine and then Youtube,” Brochstein says. “So these quote unquote unconventional sources for licenses are unconventional for the moment, until they become mainstream.”

Pug Love

You don’t get more than a billion YouTube views and over 9 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter without having something special. And that’s exactly what Doug the Pug has, as the small canine has charmed his way into the hearts of people worldwide.

Doug’s owner, Leslie Mosier, saw this when she adopted him as an eight-week-old puppy. “Not only does Doug have a large dedicated following, but he is an adorable pug,” Mosier says. “Pugs are an incredibly popular breed across the world that continue to gain attention and popularity. Making products that not only showcase Doug’s cute face, but also his relatable and funny brand, makes for a very merchandisable figure.”

Remarkable Brands Inc. is the worldwide licensing company for Doug the Pug. Founder Stacey Reiner notes that when the New York City-based company first began presenting Doug the Pug, the world of social media influencers were just starting to come to the forefront. “It took time for people to understand the power of Doug,” Reiner recalls. “However, once they heard Doug the Pug has over 11 million social media fans, over 1 billion Facebook video views, a best-selling New York Times book, a list of celebrity friends and continuous shares and likes across his social media channels, companies began to see Doug the Pug as a brand, not just an adorable dog.”

Remarkable Brands was able to commercialize Doug the Pug via licensing because of his “extremely loyal” fans. “We always wanted to ensure that the merchandise certainly captured Doug’s fun-loving personality,” Reiner explains. “Therefore, we look to develop partnerships with best-in-class licensee’s as well as retailers that capture his likeness, his impressive wardrobe and his love of food. We currently have a host of Doug The Pug items that can be found across several retailer accounts.”  

Mosier notes that nontraditional licensing, especially in regards to social media influencers, has become a hit in today’s society because celebrities “are made on the Internet.” “The Internet is the newest and most effective form of advertising, and influencers are able to reach millions of people with the click of a button,” she says. “While an influencer can certainly have their own merchandise line of T-shirt’s on a web store, to be able to direct their fans to a brick-and-mortar store is not only effective, but more beneficial for the licensor since you are now reaching both your typical foot traffic and the entire internet.”

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