With the profusion of videos and photos of cats, dogs and exotic pets on the Internet, one would think the market for cute animal photos would be saturated. But photos in which the animal is clearly happy and the product designed around that image is innovative – combined with the latest technology such as virtual reality and 3-D designs – are more rare.
Photographer Myrna Huijing, owner of Studio Pets by Myrna – a five-person photo, design and licensing firm in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands – sensed she was onto something five years ago when reaction to her first project, a line of pet greeting cards, was very positive.
Read more: Studio Pets by Myrna
There is no denying the power of the brands in the Mars Retail Group (MRG) portfolio. Having gone through a major transformation several years ago and becoming responsible for managing the licensing division of Mars Inc., MRG has continued to break new ground as it strives to build on already existing consumer demand for its products.
“We’ve been fortunate to have such highly recognizable brands and characters that consumers of all ages connect with,” says John Capizzi, general manager of licensing for MRG.
Read more: Mars Retail Group
Although the first SeaWorld theme park was established more than 50 years ago and the company has always branded itself on merchandise sold within the parks, the consumer licensing efforts of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have begun to swell only in the past three years. Now with approximately 300 products from 30 licensees, the wave of the company’s future licensing efforts is likely to become a tsunami of branding.
Read more: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment
In the burgeoning weight-loss industry, diet and exercise fads frequently disappear before the pounds they were supposed to remove do. But among the leading diet and exercise brands, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” is in it for the long haul. The series, which is a production of Shine America, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions, begins its 15th season on Oct. 8.
“Suffice it to say, we’re not a fad,” declares Kim Niemi, senior vice president of NBCUniversal Television’s consumer products group. “We’re not going to jump onto the next bandwagon that’s coming in. Our philosophy hasn’t changed in 15 seasons, almost nine years. It’s consistent, and it’s tried and true. It takes dedication and commitment for people to stick to it, like anything in life. We have stayed very true to what we believe is the philosophy of this show with every partnership we’ve had. We’ve turned down licensees who didn’t meet our standards.”
Read more: The Biggest Loser
Launched in California in 1997, Rocket Dog Brands has grown into one of the leading footwear brands for girls. The company’s roots stretch to the beach with its EVA and sport products, but it has evolved its collections and introduced full product lines in everything from casual, sandals, flats, dress and boots, and strives to deliver fashion trend relevant styling each season for this consumer.
“Our brand is very California and playful, and we have been a leader for young girls and teens 15 to 17 with a broad appeal and crossover in the 19 to 25 range, as well,” CEO Cathy Taylor says. “We want to be true to our California roots and the DNA of our brand in casual and relaxed styling. We know our customer and we give her fashion and fun.”
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Founded in 1982, ABS By Allen Schwartz brings the collection to the market every month. ABS By Allen Schwartz is known for its quick response and speed to market, while its namesake has become a well-known designer whose creations have an aesthetic appeal that could translate everywhere for consumers – from street chic to the red carpet. “There is nothing we haven’t done or made,” Schwartz explains. “We offer a complete fashion lifestyle.”
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The U.S. Army’s brand licensing program is about more than just commerce. “The licensing program leverages the importance of pride, performance and personal development to build brand awareness and create multiple touch points for Americans to show support to the U.S. Army,” says Paul Jensen, Director of U.S. Army Trademark Licensing.
Since 2006, the Army has strategically extended its brand to more than 50 categories including apparel, footwear, jewelry, consumer electronics, gift and novelties, collectibles, sporting knives, and camping equipment, among others. New York City-based Beanstalk is the Army’s licensing agency.
Read more: U.S. Army
Many businesses are cyclical, and in the case of Thermos L.L.C., each year it’s back to the drawing board for its licensing department after they prepare many products months in advance for the six- to eight-week back-to-school season. The majority of that licensed business is lunch kits, hydration and food storage. The best licenses for this seasonal business are popular summer movies combined with the right mix of hot, new licenses and evergreen properties.
Read more: Thermos L.L.C.
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