Brandgenuity1 ThumbA smart team and a slow-and-steady mindset have helped this dynamic licensing company reach the top and are fueling its plans to grow its international presence. In the last five years, some big changes have come to Global Icons, the global licensing firm Jeff Lotman founded 14 years ago. The company, which has an annual growth average hovering around 25%, completed a major acquisition of another licensing firm in 2005 that brought in a few significant clients, specifically Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Brandgenuity1 ThumbBy taking a business development approach to licensing that focuses on the strengths of each brand and understanding consumer desires, this licensing agency has seen a lot of success in just seven years. When senior-level, experienced people in any industry have a vision and an action plan, good things often result. At Brandgenuity, a licensing agency founded in 2003, its four founders had a vision of creating a turnkey licensing agency that intimately understood all of the pillars of licensing. Judging by its client list and success stories, those founders not only dreamt big, they executed their plan. 

Kings1 ThumbWith many of the biggest names from the comic pages in its portfolio, this licensing company is prospering. They are the faces we’ve seen on the comics page for the better part of a century: Popeye, Hagar the Horrible, Blondie, and Betty Boop. And for the past 40 years, Ita Golzman has overseen a licensing department that has seen those familiar faces, among others, prosper around the globe.

Paws1 ThumbTo support one of the most widely recognizable characters in the world, this licensor emphasizes customer service. In the 1970s, when Jim Davis launched licensing company Paws, Inc. to support his comic strip Garfield, one of the most widely syndicated and recognizable strips in the world, the licensing industry in the US was limited to a few big players. To compete, he knew this small team and its big character would need an edge.

Img1 ThumbWith a strong resource pool and an experienced team, the licensing division at this global sports, entertainment, and media agency remains strong despite a down economy. What does it take to become an industry leader? Access to a large resource pool and a strong international network sure doesn’t hurt, but it’s certainly not enough to guarantee long-term success. Capital-intensive IT investments can create significant efficiencies, but even the flashiest technology will fall flat if not properly used. And industry connections may get you the door, but your performance will dictate business relations from that point forward.

Sanrio1 ThumbThanks to a host of popular characters, including the global icon Hello Kitty, this consumer lifestyle brand continues to grow. Sanrio has the kind of relationship with its customers that is the envy of consumer brands everywhere. With its motto of “small gift, big smile,” the company is celebrating its 50th year of marketing gifts, stationery, fashion accessories, and lifestyle products featuring a host of internationally popular characters, including Hello Kitty.

Disney2 ThumbEven though it is one of the most recognized brand names in the world, this consumer products company doesn’t skimp on quality. With name recognition second to none, it could be easy for Disney Consumer Products to rest on that name when it comes to marketing toys associated with the Disney brand. But that is far from how the company runs its business, according to Vince Klaseus, senior vice president of global toys.

Cbs1 ThumbFor the consumer products division of CBS, tailoring programs to fit each property has been the key to success. It doesn’t take long to understand the basic reason CBS Consumer Products has been thriving since its creation three years ago. It represents some of the most well known properties in entertainment history. But the people working in the division know it takes more than a popular title to make a successful merchandising program.  

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