Designplus1For Design Plus, there’s more to successfully licensing a brand than simply placing a recognizable name on a product and going to market.

“We have always stayed close to the consumer and what the consumer wants, because at the end of the day, that’s who we serve,” says Meyer Janet, the president of the Atlanta-based licensing boutique, which he co-owns with his wife, Carol, Design Plus’ CEO. “We are successful because we’ve stayed relevant to consumers while maintaining relationships with brand owners.”

Comuto1“The world is becoming more global,” is not just an ironic phrase; it’s a truth that has changed consumer behavior. Apple isn’t exclusive to the United States and Toyota isn’t a Japanese secret. It might not seem like it on the news, but from country to country, people are becoming more alike than not – or at least when it comes to the products they buy. If a product is on-trend and set at a great value, it can appeal to customers in the Middle East just as much as it appeals to a New Yorker. That mindset is a guiding principle for international fashion guru Vince Camuto.

Bzb1The biggest challenge small entrepreneurs face when introducing new products to the market is acceptance, according to Barrie Stefel, president and founder of Shark Skinzz. “It’s never easy being a pioneer,” he notes. “You don’t have millions to spend on brand recognition and marketing.”

So, five years ago, when Stefel came up with a concept for portable, foldable containers that would be an alternative to rigid liquid containers, he knew he had to persevere and push to make the market take notice. Stefel also made sure he had a unique product. “When we started making our pouches, nobody was doing it,” he says. “We spent a lot of time on research of the materials, making sure they’re food-grade safe, ensuring all the components fit properly so the customer wouldn’t have any issues and adding four layers of film to the liner of the pouches. The fourth layer is a UV-blocking film that extends the life of the beverages.  Then we backed it all up with certification.”

Brand1In less than two years since its formation, The Brand Liaison has established itself as a premier provider of boutique licensing, brand extension and brand management services. “In a very short period, we’ve started to cast a very big shadow by assembling a strong collection of clients and reputable brands,” says founder and President Steven W. Heller.

A veteran of licensing and brand development with 20 years of licensing experience, Heller started the New York – Miami-based company with several “liaisons” who also have extensive experience in licensing projects. He notes that the team’s collective experience includes work with leading apparel brands such as Van Heusen and Gloria Vanderbilt, as well as work with Disney, the NFL, Converse and many other brands.

Aspca1Cause marketing is a powerful retail incentive, and it is one that the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the first animal welfare organization in North America, expertly utilizes to support its mission. Recently, the organization has started working on a number of fronts to support its mission of protecting the welfare of animals through a variety of national programs including anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services.

Michael1People who live in large urban areas often take for granted the seemingly endless retail options near their homes or jobs. If they can’t find an item of clothing or type of electronics or unit of furniture at one place, they can easily find another establishment to cater to their needs. Residents of smaller towns, however, do not have as many options, but they are still important consumers. With less competition, some small-town retailers might focus less on service and price – what is the consumer going to do? – but that is not the case with Michael Rossy Ltd.

Kc1The family ownership at the helm of K.C. Confectionery Ltd. has led its candy business through the last 90 years with a combination of innovative technologies and old-school sensibilities. Ashmeer Mohamed praises his family’s dedication to bringing the latest technological advances into the company’s facility in Trinidad and Tobago while maintaining handshake agreements with distributors who have worked with K.C. Confectionery for decades.

Church1Not many firms could say that they are stronger than ever after nearly 170 years of business, but Church & Dwight Co. Inc. certainly can. The Ewing, N.J.-based company not only is a consumer packaged goods leader in the United States, but it also manufactures household and personal care items used in 115 other countries.

Director of Licensing Tammy Talerico says Church & Dwight has several “power brands” that keep it growing strong. These include OxiClean laundry additives, Trojan condoms, Spinbrush battery-powered toothbrushes, Nair hair-removal products, First Response pregnancy kits, XTRA value laundry detergents and Orajel oral pain relief products.

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