This HarperCollins book series captured the imagination of millions of young girls and will continue to delight fans with a collection of consumer products inspired by more magical adventures and a unique style. The Joester Loria Group was appointed as the global licensing agent for Pinkalicious, the hugely successful children’s book series illustrated by Victoria Kann, in October 2009 as pent up demand for licensed product was becoming apparent, according to Debra Joester, president of Joester Loria.

“The buzz around the property and early interest amongst key retailers presented a terrific opportunity to launch the property in fall 2010. However, we had an enormous amount to accomplish to meet that goal,” said Joester. “In a few short months, we have a great group of licensees, developed Pinkatastic product, and secured retail buy-in to insure that Pinkalicious arrives in style.”

Moving fast

Pinkalicious, published in May 2006 by HarperCollins, was the title that launched the franchise. Early sales lead the publisher to identify the series as a “priority franchise”, and with good reason: Pinkalicious, Purplicious, and Goldilicious spent 33 weeks on the New York Times’ Best Sellers List and have sold more than 1.2 million copies. HarperCollins will be publishing six new Pinkalicious titles through 2011 including a new picture book, Silverlicious. 

Pinkalicious: the Musical, now in its third year on stage in New York City, was what Joester called another example of “enthusiasm for all things Pinkalicious” amongst a growing number of fans. The musical will debut in Toronto in July.  

In March, millions of fans headed to Burger King for its Pinkalicious Kids Meal promotion, which included four collectible toys: a Pinkalicious figurine, princess tiara, light up wand, and hair accessories. The television-advertised promotion included 7,700 Burger King restaurants in the US and Canada and was supported with in-store signage, point-of-purchase displays, on ClubBK.com, and featured in 4 million BK newsletters.

A fresh collection of Pinkalicious products, including dolls, dress-up, apparel, HBA, home textiles, bikes, games, puzzles, and more will be available at leading retailers for the fall and holiday season this year. After a successful launch by specialty partners Madame Alexander dolls, Books to Bed sleepwear from Barnes & Noble, Saks, Nordstrom, FAO, and other high-end retailers, distribution will expand to national chains including Walmart, Toys R Us, JC Penney, and Sears. The Walmart toy launch will include a four-foot section of dolls and dress up from JAKKS Pacific.

Joester said her team’s close working relationship with creator Victoria Kann enabled it to capture her artistic style, which defines the property, and resulted in a great style guide for use by licensees that in return generated “truly pinkalicious products” for all the fans.

“We galvanized our creative, retail, and sales teams to get all aspects of the program ready for launch. Fortunately, translating the essence of Pinkalicious to products and promotions was surprisingly easy thanks to the strong, visual nature of Kann’s art and the powerful emotional connection little girls have with the character,” Joester said.

Creative experience

But Pinkalicious was also a great fit for Joester and her partner, Joanne Loria, the firm’s executive VP and COO, who are credited with the success of a number of creative properties including American Greeting’s Care Bears and Comedy Central’s South Park. Joester credits much of the firm’s success to its close working relationship with licensees in both product execution and retail development and in its commitment to treat licensees as true partners.

“A number of our most successful properties were fuelled by organic growth. There is nothing more potent than a target consumer that already loves a brand and its characters and a licensee that understands how to meet the expectations of those consumers,” she said.

She added that one of the first steps in launching the Pinkalicious program was to develop a style guide complete with color palate, slogans, vector art, and packaging specification that would accelerate the development of on-brand Pinkalicious product. 

The style guide is also crucial in the development and ongoing enhancement of the Pinkalicious website, which features dynamic games and educational curriculum for girls between four and eight years of age.

“We believe Pinkalicious will successfully translate to a number of mediums, as already demonstrated by the success of the books, the musical, and the first collection of consumer products,” Joester said. 

Driving awareness amongst girls and their mothers is another priority for Joester Loria. One highly successful marketing platform for Pinkalicious has been mommy bloggers. According to Joester, there are more than 32 million moms online who can provide valuable insight on trends and consumer interest, and about 82% of them are using social media, making them a great resource to reach consumers on a personal level.

The democratization of the marketplace by mommy bloggers and social media more generally is a relatively new medium, but Joester Loria has embraced the change, sending samples to bloggers across the country to get their unbiased evaluation and be a part of the conversation.

“Our primary focus is delivering great products along and supporting retail development, but marketing to consumers is also a priority. For a property like Pinkalicious, there is no better target audience then moms who are engaged and seeking quality brands and product for their children,” Joester said.

Joester Loria develops programs for long-term success and is confident Pinkalicious offers long-term potential. Joester dismissed the typical two-year licensing plan that is developed for many children’s properties, highlighting the importance of engaging all the stakeholders in the vision for long-term success. 

“We have been representing Pinkalicious for six months and at this juncture are delighted with the progress we have made. We are confident this is just the beginning and are very excited about the possibilities ahead”.