Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know that my company can benefit from licensing?
Licensing is not an exact science but your chances for success are better if you can answer the following questions “Yes.”
- Has a retailer, consultant, or manufacturer ever contacted you asking you if you have ever considered licensing?
- Does your trademark, character, logo, etc. (your property) have consumer respect, recognition and can it tell your story?
- Is there a strong basis for your property? That is, is your core product (book, video, comic strip, greeting cards, etc.) a leader in its field? Is there a strong story behind the property?
- Is the property promoted and is there an effective marketing and advertising program for your core product?
- Are you willing to commit resources, time, and expertise to running or outsourcing a licensing program?
- Will your company's distribution support licensed product?
- Has a retailer, consultant, or Licensor ever contacted you to see if you would be interested in taking on a license?
- Can your design department (or freelance designers) produce quality licensed goods from a style guide or book art or whatever else a Licensor may provide?
- Are you a leading producer/manufacturer in your field?
- Have you determined that the extra expense and time involved in acquiring a license will give you enough sales to offset the price you will pay in royalties?
If you are unsure of how the process works or whether you would be a good candidate for licensing consider attending some of the educational seminars that the LIMA organization provides. See their website at www.licensing.org
A Few More Questions
I don't know if my company name (or property) carries the clout to be licensed?
You might want to try and think about it like this. Picture your character, logo, etc. on a licensed product at retail next to your major competitor and a “generic” item. Does your item have a unique look or function compared to the competition? Would an average consumer (or enough consumers) recognize the character, logo, etc. and would they choose it over your competition? Also, would a consumer be likely to choose your licensed product over a less expensive item that is a store brand or basic item? You may want to simply ask a few retailers and manufacturers what they honestly think of the idea.
We had a small program in the past but we didn't see much from it. Why should I try again?
There may be a number of reasons as to why your initial program did not meet your expectations. Perhaps the timing wasn't right (we have all seen the rise and fall of interest in categories such as movies/entertainment, art, and brands), and the trick is getting on board – and getting out – at the right time. Also, there could have been inherent issues in the product. Did it have the right distribution? Did you work with the right manufacturers or property owners and retailers? Was the property promoted or left to succeed on its own merits? Simply because a licensing program did not work in the past does not mean it is always doomed to failure. A realistic appraisal from a reputable Licensing Agency or Agent should help you determine if it is time to try again. (Hey, we're a reputable agency...)
You will be more knowledgeable about how to proceed once you have read the “Intro to Licensing” section at www.licensing.org.
Now that you know a bit more, give me a call at 201.828.9050 or tell me a bit about your company in the form below and we'll give you our thoughts.