Rasta1Not many people say they have fun at work, but Robert Berman, the president and CEO of Rasta Imposta, does. “I think every day is fun, even if faced with challenges – I love coming to work and my job,” he says.

That is not surprising, considering Rasta Imposta’s business. Based in Runnemede, N.J., the company manufactures costumes for adults and children. “We put the happy in Halloween,” Berman says.

Rasta Imposta’s roots go back 20 years, when Berman created the company’s signature product: a hat with sewn-in fake dreadlocks made out of felted wool. Since then, the company has grown to offer 1,200 items that were born from Berman’s imagination and licensed properties such as Kool-Aid, Tootsie Roll candy, Tetris and Campbell’s Soup.

Additionally, the company sells costumes based on such hit films as “Ted,” “The Hangover,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Caddyshack.” Berman’s sister, COO Jodi Berman, credits Rasta Imposta’s success to its creativity.

Pga1For almost 50 years, the PGA TOUR has represented the highest level of competition in golf, pitting the game’s legends against each other and producing some of the most memorable moments in its long history. The PGA TOUR also represents the highest level of excellence in the retail licensing arena, as well, forming partnerships with top-line licensees to create products that bring the thrill and excitement of the TOUR to fans’ homes. According to Senior Vice President of Retail Licensing Tim Hawes, the PGA TOUR knows that to be successful, it has to work on its long game of global planning as well as the short game of developing new products that strike a chord with the individual fan. 

Penthouse1Penthouse Magazine has been an international brand from its inception, when Italian-American founder Bob Guccione started what would become one of the world’s most popular men’s magazines in the United Kingdom in 1965. The U.S. edition was launched four years later, and today Penthouse is one of the world’s leading names in adult entertainment, with distribution of its U.S. publication in 45 countries, 11 distinct broadcast channels, more than a dozen premium entertainment clubs and licensed products sold around the world. Managing Director Kelly Holland says developing Penthouse into a global brand was a major focus for Guccione, and continues to define the company’s strategy today. 

Loudmouth1If you’re standing in a place where a small, hard, white sphere could accidentally be hit at you at high velocity, you want to make sure that you can be seen. Perhaps that is how the custom of wearing loud pants while golfing was established. Approaching their zenith in the 1970s, wild and colorful golf fashions had to wait another 40 years for Loudmouth Golf to enter the sartorial fairway.

The company started with one pair of golf pants that founder and graphic designer Scott “Woody” Woodworth made for himself to wear in a local tournament. Now, with a seemingly endless supply of wild, loud, retro or logo-encrusted clothing, Loudmouth’s dressing of the Norwegian curling team at the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, turned up the volume on loud clothing to deafening levels. Spectators who thought curling was boring only had to look at the patterns and colors of the outfits worn by the Norwegian team to be jolted with the force of a double shot of espresso.

Got1Many perceive milk as an old-fashioned product, but it is also a universal and essential one, California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) Executive Director Stephen James asserts. “We’re talking about a product that is a staple,” he says. “It’s in everybody’s lives.”

For more than two decades, the California Milk Processor Board, which James manages, has promoted the benefits of milk through the famous got milk? brand. With more than 90 percent awareness nationally, “got milk? is known [all] over the English-speaking world,” he says. “It’s one of the most recognizable and recallable trademarks in advertising history.”

got milk?’s history goes back to 1993, when the fluid milk processors in California joined together to form CMPB.

Electrolux1No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that an appliance from The Electrolux Group is your kitchen. The Stockholm, Sweden-based company sells more than 50 million appliance products to customers in 150 countries every year.

But each of those brands needs someone to oversee their licensing opportunities, and that’s where Electrolux Global Brand Licensing comes in. The business unit, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and Charlotte N.C., develops the licensing opportunities for the company’s product lines including Frigidaire, Eureka, AEG, Zanussi, Kelvinator and Philco.

“There are 46 active brands in the Electrolux Group,” Vice President and Head of Global Brand Licensing Ciarán Coyle says. “Across all those brands is circa $2.8 billion in retail value. That would make the Electrolux Group one of the top-20 licensors in the world.

Dog1When professional dog trainer Gila Kurtz wanted something to wear that was stylish and expressed her intense love of dogs, she couldn’t find anything that met both criteria. So she and her husband, Jon Kurtz, decided to start Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Dog is Good. According to her, “We had the idea in 2006 and decided to be the one’s to fill that void for appealing design and messaging.”

In a marketplace lacking sophisticate or appealing products for dog lovers, the impactful Dog is Good offerings were a quick success. The dog lifestyle company now delivers gifts, apparel and home décor products via wholesale and retail. It is also active in the licensing market.

Aspca1Images of cute cats and dogs are always welcomed distractions; entire blogs are dedicated to that well-known fact. But when it comes to selling products based on the adorableness and wonder of the animal world, those products have to resonate a little deeper to win over consumers’ dollars. A balance of emotional connection and useful and/or on-trend products can be difficult to master, but once done, it can be wildly successful. The effectiveness of that strategy is probably no better displayed than in a recent April Fools’ joke turned actual opportunity.

“Just before April Fools’ Day, American Eagle Outfitters created a line called American Beagle, and it was supposed to be an April Fools’ promotion,” says Helene Gordon, senior director of licensing and retail development for the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). “For every transaction made during that week up to April 1, we got $1.”

The charitable cause-shopping event was promoted as a pre-celebration for a line of pet clothes that American Eagle would “launch.” Once April 1 rolled around and the light prank was revealed, American Eagle had not only raised $100,000 for ASPCA, but also raised considerable interest in the faux fashion line. 

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