Mattel adds new regional consumer products head

Lisa Weger takes on new role, joining from Turner Kids in New York.

Mattel has appointed a new regional head of consumer products for Europe.

Lisa Weger (pictured) will be based in the UK and joins Mattel with a wealth of experience in the consumer products business.

Over the past 14 years, Lisa has worked at Turner Broadcasting in New York where she led franchise management, visual branding and licensing for Turner Kids.

Before joining Turner, Lisa led the licensing business of Mattel for Canada and Latin America.

Sanjay Luthra, md Europe at Mattel, said: “Lisa will infuse tremendous energy, strategic expertise and a challenger mindset into our consumer products business, we are delighted to be welcoming her to the team.”

source: www.licensingsource.net

Making heads turn! Ace jewelry designer Mrinalini Chandra

Following your heart in a world of conformities is inarguably an audacious act. That is exactly what Mrinalini Chandra is doing and making it large! Her debut collection called PLEASE HAVE A SEAT showcased in Lakme Fashion Week 2014 took the fashion fraternity by storm. It was a hit and marks a humongous breakthrough in her journey. 

With an urge to take handcrafted finesse to a new high, inspired by the the rich culture & poetic verses of India, trained in Fashion Luxury at the Creative Academy, Milan & NIFT, New Delhi, Mrinalini Chandra worked at Tanishq (New Delhi) and Montblanc (Germany) before launching her own label in India. She was also listed as one of Asia’s top jewelry designers by WGSN – the global trendspotting agency.

In 2017, Mrinalini collaborated with global iconic brand Candy Crush to launch an exclusive range of jewelry for women and men.

We are going to talk about all of this and more with her, a warm welcome to Mrinalini Chandra!

If you would like to listen to the interview instead of reading, scroll to the bottom and hit play!

ILP: You’ve been very busy with the Shaadi of the year – how did it feel like designing jewelry for your favorite muse Sonam Kapoor?

MC: It’s always an incredible experience to make anything for Sonam. She is the warmest person to work with and everything you make for her, she brings it to life. It is nice to see someone do justice to creativity. It was really nice to make the Kaleeras for her. She was the most resplendent bride ever; so real and traditional. In a world, where everyone is trying to be too modern and different, she stuck to the most traditional way of dressing as an Indian bride and she did all her ceremonies as they were meant to be in her Punjabi culture which was the part that I loved most about the wedding. It wasn’t about breaking any norms but doing something that she really believed in and doing it with utmost honesty. Kudos to her. 

ILP: Bollywood plays by a different set of rules. How does a girl from Lucknow with no “godfather” get a foothold in the industry?

MC: That’s a very tough question to answer. I feel that I am still figuring things out in my journey and when I look back, I feel I have come a long way. I have never aimed to be in this part of the industry. I have always thought of creating a better product every time I work on a project. From the very first product that I designed to the Candy Crush project, it was always about creating something better than the last time. So, for me, this has been a very exciting journey and I am lucky to have people in the industry, who see the beauty in it and have supported me as well. Of course, the journey has its ups and downs, but it sure has been a rollercoaster ride. I am blessed with a great support system: my family, my team and my incredibly gifted karigars. The high is that if you can create the visions you have in your mind with people who have not seen it but are willing to give the chance, I think that is the most satisfying feeling of being in this field. There is no substitute to hardwork. 

ILP: What does the brand Mrinalini Chandra stand for?

MC: I would like the brand to evolve into something stronger but I also want it to retain the qualities it has always had. The brand is all about evoking a sense of wonder. Every time I create something, I want people to be a little surprised by it. I want the brand to evolve into something classic – like a Dior or Chanel which becomes a part of your trousseau. If you buy earrings from me, even though they are not precious jewelry, but it is precious enough for you to relate to it, tell your story, keep your secret and pass it on to your next generation.

ILP: Since ILP is primarily about licensing, tell us about how artists, like yourself, view collaborations with global brands to reach different segments of the market or reach a completely new audience?

MC: I think it is a great way of giving an opportunity to new and upcoming talent. It helps you generate a visibility which is otherwise beyond your reach. I feel that is what luxury is all about. Someone sitting in Antwerp can place an order of something made with filigree. The best thing about collaborations is that brands from different horizons feel that there is compatibility and the result is always exciting. It brings together two cultures and people are up for newness.

ILP: Tell us about your experience partnering with global sensation Candy Crush. Jiggy George, Head, LIMA India & Founder & CEO – Dream Theatre called you one of the “most talented yet down to earth designers to work with”. What was your experience like?

MC: It was most exciting and fun experience working with on a collaboration with Candy Crush. It was not just about the collaboration but about the whole team and how it came together with everyone contributing to it in terms of not just putting in ideas but also putting their heart and spirit in it. That made it really very special to me. Since this collaboration has happened at an initial phase of my career, it has definitely been a milestone for me. I am very thankful for the faith that Mr. Jiggy George had put in me when I first met him and for him to think that this is worth investing in a young label like ours. My work is very craft oriented so for someone to see this possibility was truly visionary. I also think that the product that we made and the kind of responses that we have had, made a huge difference in the way that our label is now seen. 

 

ILP: Any particular collaboration on the global stage that piqued your curiosity?

MC: There have been a lot of collaborations that have caught my eye in the past. I like that major international sensations of brands collaborate with artists. I find this very fascinating. Of course, a lot of brands collaborate with models and singers but not much with artists as they have very strong opinions of certain things and brands have very strong ideologies which results in a bit of a clash. However, I like that because eventually both compromise and that, for me, is a collaboration in its true sense. I really like Louis Vuitton, which is a brand known to have very commercial products, collaborating with Jeff Koons which is a very different brand altogether.

Among Indian brands, the Manish Arora collaboration with MAC was really exciting. MAC is a brand known for its classic colors and not known for its fun and spunky nature whereas Manish is known for his out-of-box thinking. I loved the packaging in this collaboration.

ILP: We interviewed art aficionado Jasmine Shah Verma sometime back and she talked about her passion for taking art out of the galleries and to the masses via everyday objects like cutlery, lampshades etc. Do you think branded jewelry also holds the same potential?

MC: I think it definitely does. Also, because branded jewelery is wearable, and the potential of wearing it, the usage is much more. In fact the Hindu called my jewelry a “wearable installation” – which I really relate to. I like it more than being called a haute couture designer because of the high utility factor. I have clients who are known for their quirkiness. Its like they say it takes one to know one.

ILP: Tell us a little bit more about your product mix and distribution platforms.

MC: I started with basically every-day jewellery category moving towards the customized wedding range with not just the massive Kaleeras and but also wedding gift products. Customization is really becoming a hallmark for me because people want something different and I am more than happy to create it for them.

ILP: Do you face the problem of piracy of your designs?

MC: Yes, I do. India has very poor laws with copyright infringement. Labels, both established and younger ones, go this route and it breaks your heart. You do not know if you should take this as a compliment because you have put your heart and soul in creating something new. I feel with some new social media pages coming up, it is easier to shout out and point out piracy and it has noticed that people are in support of anti-piracy. That is very helpful and encouraging to us. I believe the consumer is not so unaware anymore, is more educated and smarter and because of social media exposure their knowledge is better. You cannot fool anyone so easily anymore.

ILP: Although the overall consumption of gold dipped last year vs the average over the past decade, India is still the 2nd highest consumer of gold behind China according to the World Gold Council. Are you looking at other precious or semi-precious metals to de-risk?

MC: Since I have started working, we have most commonly dealt with 24-karat, 22-karat and diamonds in 18-karat. Now what we see is, something very typical to Dubai, an offering from a 9-karat to a 14-karat which is becoming very prominent in India. In fact, I am myself working on a line like that. Silver jewelry has always been there. Precious stones are not so popular in India unless they are combined with white or yellow gold. Because platinum jewelry has a higher price point, I don’t see it working so much for women as much as wedding bands for men which would work. I do not see gold disappearing from an Indian market point of view. The younger women now still prefer gold but with a modern outlook. In a pret way, I see gold in 9 – 14 karat continuing to grow.

ILP: How do you balance art & commerce?

MC: That is the hardest thing I have ever had to do because when I am creating something I don’t want to think about how to monetize it. But sadly, I have to. Aditya, my husband, has taught me the importance of commerce and how to balance it with art.

ILP: Which designers do you draw inspiration from?

MC: In India, it would be Anamika Khanna. I have been a big fan of her since I was in college. I happened to interact with her just after my first show. She just stopped by to buy the products in the stall area. She said my products really caught her eye and commended me on it. That moment meant a lot to me. All her clothes are like an artwork which does not follow a regular pattern making process. I think she does draping on a mannequin and it comes off as an original. I don’t think she is a person who would compromise on the amount of work she wants to put in her designs which I really like and follow in my line of work as well. I would not like to compromise on my products. Sometimes the product gives minimal profit, but at the end of the day it is the client satisfaction that really matters.

On the international scene, I love many jewelry designers and follow their work. One of them if Jacqueline Ryan who takes her inspiration from Greens – its 3D jewelry. I’m not very clued into their personal lives, but I love their work and continue to follow them.

 

Amazon Merch collab

AMAZON: ‘THE LICENSING INDUSTRY CAN GROW TO $1 TRILLION IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS’

On 22nd May, Licensing Expo opened its doors with a keynote panel, entitled “Great Expectations: Pace, Selection, Convenience and the Customer,” which explored the landscape of commerce and how customer expectations are rapidly changing.

In addition, Amazon unveiled a new platform that will allow licensors to develop and launch products faster than ever before.

“I’m excited to announce that Amazon is accepting applications for Merch Collab,” says Nicholas Denissen, vice president, Amazon. “Merch Collab is a new licensing program where brands can work with vetted designers and manufactures to help create the largest selection of unique branded merchandise.”

So how does Merch Collab work?

Within the portal, licensors big and small can establish brand do’s and don’ts as well as creative guidelines for their brands. Once a licensor’s guidelines are posted, the brand owner will start to receive product submissions from qualified designers. Once a submission is received, brand owners can ask for revisions, reject submissions or approve submissions in under 30 seconds, according to Denissen.

Furthermore, licensors will have complete control over what product goes live and may choose to take a live product down at any time. Once approved, the design will populate the brand’s Amazon store, where brand owners can also analyze data and see what sells.

“Merch Collab was designed to make licensing as easy as one click, buy it now,” says Denissen, who also noted that the program will help entrepreneurs, designers and small businesses reach Amazon’s 300 million customers while also driving awareness and increasing speed to market.

The program will initially be open to a limited number of brands, but Amazon will be accepting more invitations throughout the year as the company “works to get it right.” Those interested in applying for Merch Collab can visit MerchCollab.Amazon.com.

So, what does Merch Collab really mean for the licensing industry?

“Based on what we’ve learned [at Amazon], we believe that the licensing industry can grow to $1 trillion in the next years,” says Nicholas Denissen, vice president, Amazon. “That’s four times the current growth rate, 15 percent year-over-year. We’re on the cusp of a huge revolution in customer behavior, and we believe this is achievable and we want to be part of making this happen.”

What will it take to reach $1 trillion in 10 years? According to Denissen, more brands, more licensees, more manufactures, more designers, more selection and a much faster turnaround time, which the company aims to achieve with its new Merch Collab program.

 

SOurce: www.licenseglobal.com

Walmart to steer clear of food-only retailing for now

NEW DELHI: Even after acquiring India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart, Walmart will stay away from applying to invest in a food-only retailing venture in the immediate future that will allow the US giant to stock and sell groceries directly to consumers through the online platform.

Walmart would rather have a presence in the food products market through third-party retailers on Flipkart and escape the scrutiny and riders associated with foreign direct investment of up to 100% in food-only retailing ventures, according to sources.

“It doesn’t make sense to sell only food either through brick-and-mortar or through online,” said a person familiar with Walmart’s plans. “With all those riders, it is even harder to do it.” Walmart’s strategy is in contrast to arch-rival Amazon, which received government approval last year for a fully owned food retailing subsidiary that the Seattle-based ecommerce behemoth is yet to start. Amazon’s plans hit a hurdle after the government asked it to keep separate equipment, machinery and warehouses for the food products business and not to mix or share anything with its flagship marketplace business Amazon.in.

Walmart has always maintained that a food-only brick-and-mortar venture doesn’t make business sense because of the wafer-thin margins.

“Walmart would rather handle the back-end of the food and grocery and that will help it escape the scrutiny and riders associated with food FDI retailing,” the source said.

A spokesperson for Walmart declined to comment.

A company like Walmart is not in a rush because it is in India for the long term, according to Devangshu Dutta, chief executive officer of retail consultant Third Eyesight.

“They are looking at India as a longterm game — if it may not happen now, it will happen two years down the line when the regulations become friendly,” he said. “If you are in for the long haul, you are not in a rush as the window of opportunity is not closing.”

India created the food-retailing segment in 2016, allowing full ownership by overseas companies in ventures that could sell locally produced and packaged food items through offline and online channels. However, it set riders for applicants such as keeping logistics, manpower, accounting and offices, among others, at arm’s length from their existing ecommerce marketplaces. India also permits 100% foreign capital in online marketplaces, which can only be offered as platforms for other vendors and retailers to do business.

The government had banked on global retail giants such as Walmart and Tesco to lap up the new investment opportunity in food retailing, especially after the 2012 policy allowing 51% FDI in multibrand retailing remained a virtual nonstarter due to stiff riders.

While most global bigwigs shied away from investing in the high-profile food only retail ventures, Amazon appeared as a saviour in February last year, when it applied to invest $500 million through this route.

Amazon has now sought a clarification from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on whether it can share some of its warehouse staff, entry and exit doors at warehouses, barcode machines, trollies, pallets and other logistical paraphernalia for its food-only venture with the existing infrastructure of Amazon.in, ET reported in April.

It has also asked the department if it can maintain the segregation “virtually.”

A top foreign retail consultant said Walmart would rather wait until India allows such ventures to sell non-food items like soaps, toothpastes and personal care items to make the business viable for store operators.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Maura Regan_LIMA - final

FASHION LICENSING DRIVING GROWTH GLOBALLY AND IN INDIA

This year, in a first, IFF brought an eminent panel of international and domestic luminaries drawn from licensing, fashion and retail, to share their views and insights on key trends, synergies and how licensing can enhance the fashion business. Insight Partner- The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA)

Opening Statement 

Maura Regan_LIMA - final
Maura Regan – Executive Vice President, LIMA

Maura Regan, Executive Vice President, LIMA, in her opening statement said, “I am particularly excited about the industry because as I see it as an industry particularly to drive growth locally in the countries as well as on a global brand. There has been a lot of discussion how to drive growth and how to engage the consumers and alternatively how to drive revenue for all our business partners. When you are thinking on these lines it’s very important to realize the value of ‘Brand Licensing’ as a business model. There is not a less risky way to get into differentiating your product category to the consumer with brand licensing. Here you are investing into something at a very low risk level at somebody who has spent many years in developing a brand. So it’s less risky for one to enter through brand licensing way. You must know that most companies’ market capitalization is driven by brand recognition. Fashion in particular takes a lot of advantage of brand licensing. You have examples of fashion major likes Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klien etc which was the early adapters in the brand licensing industry. All of these companies are using smart licensing and delivering good revenue to their companies’ bottom lines. Some of the other trends which were seen across the board in licensing were particularly the consumer buying patterns from online to offline where it is largely driven by the recognition of brand licensing. Another big trend which was also seen is what I call is “follow the thread”; this means we want you to look good, feel good and do good. This means that the consumers wants to know what they are wearing; where it is produced, how it is produced, is it sustainable as they are conscious of what they are. Fashion is an expression of lifestyle with a drive and hope that you belong to. Fast Fashion in particular is more of a trend than the way of life these days. What we are particularly seeing that the consumer is looking for an experience with engagement at the retail level, a quality product and something which they can feel good about. And the way to get there is through smart brand licensing.”

 

Panel Discussion

Moderator:

 

 

 

 

 

Jiggy George, Head, LIMA India and Founder & CEO, Dream Theatre

 

Panelists

 

 

 

 

 

Nicolas Loufrani, CEO, Smiley Company    

 

 

 

 

 

Sanjeet Mehta, Executive Director & Head – Disney Consumer Products – The Walt Disney Company

 

 

 

 

 

Vivek Bali, COO, Sephora India at Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd

 

 

 

 

 

Girish Kumar, Trading Head, Shoppers Stop

 

 

 

 

 

Rajesh Narkar, Brand Director/VP, Myntra

 

 

 

 

 

Shweta Pandey, Director Counsel, Head Legal & Member, Board of Directors 

Excerpts from the panel discussion:

Kicking off the session, Jiggy George said, “We have had a very interesting phase in licensing in India. Three things which are very important for this industry to grow exponentially. Out of these two things which work in India phenomenally well is that we have a large consuming class and our niches are very large and second is that people have an understanding of the brands. The third element which is really not intersecting is retail. Our organized retail is exceptionally small. There has been a great disruption from the perspective of e-commerce which has increased the consumption ratio. The offline retail is growing but not at the pace where we in the world of licensing would like to see. But it’s just a matter of time where we started from a small base and it would grow and take off.”

 

Moderator to Sanjeet Mehta: We are great viewers of Disney’s content. Why is the No.1 entertainment company in the world so obsessed with fashion?

 

Sanjeet Mehta: Fashion is one of the biggest categories not in India but globally. If I look at the success factor of Disney with fashion segment it boils to 2 major factors. Fashion has been moving from just being centered to product design to storytelling where Disney fits in so wonderfully. The other aspect is product design which resonates and goes very well with every product category in fashion. We have fashion across all age categories right from Mickey which has different art styles for different age groups i.e. infant, kids, youth and adult.

 

Moderator : When it comes to storytelling it resembles well with a brand like Smiley which is seen everywhere from your mobile to a newspaper. So is Smiley a character or a fashion brand. Secondly, how have you been so successful around the world from fashion perspective?

 

 Nicolas Loufrani: Smiley is a fashion brand and is still not recognized as a character. It was my decision to make it a fashion brand as it is huge canvas. I have a fashion background with my studio in London where we think on creative lines of fashion for Smiley. Licensing is not and buy and sell model. Licensing is a partnership between the licensor and the licensee. Each side is bringing something to the table. As a licensor we bring along the history, brand value, and knowledge of our brand and it’s copyright. And on the other hand the licensee is bringing the product developers, manufacturing, the retailers and logistics etc.

 

Moderator: What is the value proposition which is really required for a License to work?

Vivek Bali: On behalf of Arvind I would say firstly it is the strengths of the brands and then the strength of Arvind to take this further into distribution and build the brand. So the brand proposition has to be very strong and how successful they have been globally. How they have marketed the brand. What type of customers they have targeted around which segments. And finally what are the markets spends which these brands might do while we would spend to create assets for them and localize it. I think Arvind has the strength in terms of specialty manufacturing, the economies of scale to deliver a price and distribute the brand across the length and breadth of this country.

 

Moderator: When it comes to brand and characters which amplify by way of entertainment. How does it validate as pure fashion play in retail? Does it work or not?

 

Rajesh Narkar: We being in e-commerce, we reach far more customers than traditional retail. We clearly figure out quickly if there any white spaces available in the first go. Everything that we do in fashion space with our private labels and brand licensing, we look at the proposition and who are the consumers. Putting consumers in the center, we figure out if there are likely brands in this space itself and whether they are in India or global. Post this we figure out a partnership model. The final part which we look at is the scale. Myntra today has 30 million customers on the site every month. Within this you have certain amount of retail properties or visible site when the consumers download the app. We look at how a new brand is filling this gap. If all these propositions align in our list then we look at a final go ahead at taking up the brand.

 

Moderator: Online retail works on data, what about the advantages in offline retail? How does one evaluate physical retailing?

 

Girish Kumar: The biggest advantage of offline retail is its straightforward wherein we are talking to the customer directly and we are not talking to a screen. This way, you can engage with the customers directly and get to know exactly what are their dreams, their aspirations and their needs. Shoppers Stop has been partnering with multiple licensors across various levels from a private brand to a company like Disney to celebrity brands.

 

Moderator: Everything you do is based on law and legal contacts? What’s your take when you look at international brands and licensing them in India, the challenges which you face?

 

Shweta Pandey: We are living in an omnichannel retail era where the consumers are very aware and know exactly what is that they are looking for and the associations they want to make when they are picking up a product. There is lot of pressure on retailers today to continuously keep innovating and putting the best in front of the customers in their respective segments. What Licensing helps you do at that basic level is help with that innovation and being able to put that value in front of your customer at a very low risk. So the License does stand to benefit here as some of the initial investments and stake in the goodwill is not something which is upon him. What it means that from the licensor’s perspective it is very important is that when you are looking at licensing your brand which you have built with lot of effort over the years, you enlist matching your philosophy with that of the licensor.

India as country is very difficult country to work in when it comes to trademark protection, copyright etc. So my advice is you should be careful in choosing your partners and laying down everything which is required from a commercial perspective into writing.

 

Moderator There is a great urge within Licensees to build their own brand vs. Licensing brands?

 

Sanjeet Mehta: If you just look at the character licensing space in India there are broadly two approaches which are available. We all in fashion there is huge move towards private labels. The two options which are available with retailers are that he can create Disney as a separate line and brand it Disney or this proposition can fit in their private label. The crux of the licensing is that anything you license out at the local level has to be in some conversation around that brand of that subject. I don’t think one should reinvent wherein this is where lot of people go wrong.

Winners of the 2018 LIMA International Licensing Awards announced at Las Vegas

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

The winners of the 2018 LIMA International Licensing Awards were unveiled this evening on the opening night of Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.

“This was an outstanding year for the LIMA Licensing Awards program. Not only did we receive a record 700 submissions, but 42% of the nominees originated from outside the US,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “Tonight’s winners truly exemplify the very best of our global industry. They are definitive leaders in their respective categories and across the entire licensing landscape.”

Winners were selected across 21 categories from a total of 132 nominees. The ceremony also honored the lifetime achievements of Hall of Fame inductees Elias Fasja-Cohen, CEO and Founder of Tycoon Enterprises, and Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO of Hasbro. In addition, 10 licensing up-and-comers received Rising Star awards – these young industry professionals were recognized for their early contributions to shaping the future of our industry.

ART / DESIGN PROGRAM
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The World of Eric Carle
Eric Carle Studio, LLC
The Joester Loria Group
CELEBRITY / FASHION PROGRAM
Dear Drew
Barrymore Brands
CAA-GBG
CHARACTER / TOY BRAND PROGRAM
L.O.L. Surprise!
MGA Entertainment
CORPORATE BRAND PROGRAM
Pantone
Pantone / Brand Central
DIGITAL PROGRAM
emoji – the iconic brand
the emoji company
Global Merchandising
Services, Inc.
FILM / TELEVISION / ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
– ANIMATED
Rick and Morty
Adult Swim & Cartoon
Network Enterprises
FILM / TELEVISION / ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
–  LIVE ACTION
Jojo Siwa
Nickelodeon
FOOD & BEVERAGE / RESTAURANT PROGRAM
Guinness
Diageo / Beanstalk
SPORTS PROGRAM
WWE
LICENSED PROMOTION
Masters of the Universe and Dirty Dancing
Mattel and Lionsgate Born Licensing
LOCATION-BASED OR EXPERIENTIAL INITIATIVE
National Geographic Encounter
National Geographic
RETAILER PROGRAM
Spirit Halloween
Stranger Things
APPAREL / FOOTWEAR / ACCESSORIES LICENSEE
Vans
Peanuts footwear,
apparel & accessories
APPLIANCES / AUTOMOTIVE / ELECTRONICS /
HARDWARE / HOUSEWARES / PAINT LICENSEE
Broil Chef
Star Wars TIE Fighter
Gas Grill
DIGITAL LICENSEE – APPS, SOFTWARE, VIDEO
Amazon
Sesame Street Alexa Skill
FOOD / BEVERAGE LICENSEE
Brand & Vision
Sesamstrasse
organic food range
HEALTH & BEAUTY AIDS LICENSEE
Sally Hansen
Crayola Insta-Dry
nail color collection
HOME DÉCOR
domestics, furniture, giftware, textiles
Jay Franco and Sons
Minecraft home collection
PUBLISHING / SOCIAL EXPRESSION /
BACK-TO-SCHOOL LICENSEE
Lovepop
Beatles pop-up card
collection
TOYS / GAMES / NOVELTIES /
ROLE-PLAY:  0 – 12
Cra-Z-Art
Nickelodeon Slime kits
TOYS / GAMES / NOVELTIES /
ROLE-PLAY:  13 plus
The LEGO Group
LEGO Star Wars
BB-8 – 75187
Sally Hansen
The Crayola Insta-Dry
nail color collection
LIMA is proud to honor two outstanding leaders in our industry.
Welcome, Elias Fasja-Cohen and Brian Goldner to
the 2018 LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame!

Elias Fasja-Cohen
Tycoon Enterprises

Brian Goldner
Hasbro, Inc.
The Rising Stars Award recognizes the next generation of
leaders in the licensing business.
Mandy Bardisbanian
Buyer Cosmetics,
Hot Topic
Peter Cross
Brand Manager,
Broad Street Licensing
Group
Leon Maratchi
Senior Manager of Retail,
Cartoon Network
Mimi Nicosia
Senior Manager,
CPG, Nickelodeon
Sally Russell
Associate Licensing
Manager, Frank Lloyd
Wright Foundation
Fernanda Coutinho
Associate Director, Brand Management at Beanstalk
Nick Manzo
Account Director, Seltzer Licensing
Meghan Mernin
Director, Licensing,
Epic Rights
Mariana Orvañanos
Head of Marketing,
La Panadería Licensing
& Marketing
Danielle Tanton
Global Live Events &
Attractions Manager,
DHX Brands
Source: Licensing.org

Pamela Kaufman Named President, Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products

Kaufman to Head Global Consumer Products for all Viacom Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment Brands Worldwide, Including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Paramount Pictures

 

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Viacom, Inc., (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) has named Pamela Kaufman to the new role of President, Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products, with global oversight of the consumer products business across Viacom Media Networks and Paramount Pictures. Kaufman will lead worldwide licensing and merchandising and provide strategic focus on maximizing Viacom’s portfolio of brands and iconic franchise properties, including Nickelodeon’s PAW PatrolTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants, MTV’s Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, Comedy Central’s South Park, Paramount Pictures’ The Godfather and Grease, among others. She will report to Cyma Zarghami, President of Nickelodeon, and David Lynn, President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks.

Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, said, “Expanding and diversifying our consumer products businesses around the world is a key strategic initiative that will help drive Viacom’s future growth. The exceptional leadership and vision Pam has demonstrated at Nickelodeon make her a natural fit for this exciting new position, and her appointment will accelerate our efforts in building this important global business.”

A Nickelodeon veteran, Kaufman previously served as President of Consumer Products and Chief Marketing Officer for Nickelodeon, overseeing both business and franchise strategy for Nick’s multi-billion-dollar global consumer products business. The force behind some of Nickelodeon’s most iconic, long-lasting franchises including SpongeBob SquarePantsTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and PAW Patrol, her vision and commitment to brand-building has led to ground-breaking partnerships and a winning consumer products portfolio across all retail aisles and classes of trade.

Under her leadership, Kaufman’s teams have delivered exciting and innovative products and designs for all demos and aisles in every market. Kaufman has also forged deep partnerships with top worldwide retailers and leading licensing partners across all lines of business, in addition to the development of cutting-edge collaborations with some of the biggest names in fashion, sports and social media, including Jeremy Scott, Carmelo Anthony, Vans, New York lifestyle brand KITH, (RED) and teen sensation JoJo Siwa.

Kaufman has received numerous industry accolades, including Advertising Age’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year, Brandweek’s Grand Marketer of the Year, License Global’s list of Influentials, and Multichannel News’ roster of Wonder Women. A passionate advocate for women and families, Kaufman is also a board member of Bottomless Closet, a not-for-profit that prepares women for workplace success, and of the Pace Women’s Justice Center.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated kids’ basic cable network for 22 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

About Viacom

Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling entertainment content – including television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, games, consumer products, podcasts, live events and social media experiences – for audiences in 183 countries. Viacom’s media networks, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Logo, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina), Colors (India) and Paramount Channel, reach approximately 4.3 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Paramount Television develops, finances and produces original programming for television and digital platforms.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom’s blog at blog.viacom.com and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/viacom.

How Brands are Making Real Money Selling Virtual Goods

Presented in partnership with (2)

At first glance, it can seem almost too good to be true. Products that offer infinite scalability with minimal overhead, that can move from concept to market in a matter of days without the hassle of manufacturing or distribution.

And yet this is exactly the kind of real-world, money-making opportunity available to brands willing to enter the bold new arena of virtual merchandise.

An Untapped Market for Brands

Over the last decade, the sale of virtual goods has exploded alongside the exponential growth of social media and gaming. The result is a multi-billion-dollar marketplace for products that, technically speaking, aren’t real. The money, however, is very real, with recent estimates putting the annual revenue of virtual products at more than $15 billion. Virtual goods can be anything from digital stickers for use in messaging apps to outfits for your avatar to extra lives in a digital game.

This entirely new product category has come about as part of the move to a “freemium economy” where consumers expect to get the services they want – everything from news to a mobile game – for free. Companies still have to pay the bills though, and so they’ve gotten creative in terms of monetization. The traditional approach has relied on advertising, but for many digital companies, in-app purchases of virtual goods offer a new way to keep the lights on while actually enhancing the user experience.

CS GO Skins copyAnd people are very willing to spend their real-world money on these digital upgrades, sometimes a lot of it. The first-person shooter game “CS: GO” is notorious for its high-end virtual goods market, which sells a vast range of decorative virtual weapons (called “skins”) for upwards of $50,000. And that’s not even close to the biggest purchase ever recorded. In 2010, someone shelled out $635,000 for a virtual nightclub called Neverdie in the game “Entropia Universe.”

Of course, these kinds of big-ticket sales are rare, just as they are in the real world and most virtual goods price in under the $10 mark.

Activision Blizzard’s “Candy Crush Saga” continues to be the No. 1 top-grossing mobile game in the world five years after its initial release, thanks in large part to in-app purchases of its much more reasonably priced virtual goods. That doesn’t mean there isn’t money being made though – consumers spent $250 million on “Candy Crush” extra moves, color bombs and lollipop hammers in the third quarter of 2017 alone.

Now think about this – most of the products for sale in “Candy Crush” are native to the game, meaning they aren’t associated with any outside brand. But why couldn’t the lollipop hammer be made from a Chupa Chups or the color bombs be inspired by Crayola hues?

“People spend their money where they spend their time, and more and more people are spending their time in digital ecosystems, but brands aren’t fully capitalizing on this yet,” said David Uy, co-founder and CEO Candy Crush Store copyof BLMP Licensing Marketplace, a new platform that helps facilitate licensing partnerships between brands and digital publishers. “The digital platform, let’s say a video game, is generating revenue from its users by creating these really cool add-ons that people want to buy, but at the same time, they’re guessing what their users want. The opportunity here for brands is, right away you can give users relatable content that they already enjoy in real life.”

David’s company, BLMP Licensing Marketplace, aims to make it easier for brands and digital platforms to connect and tap into this opportunity. BLMP Licensing Marketplace not only allows participating brands and platforms to strike deals for virtual goods, but it also allows brands to easily follow their IP through the process from product creation to sale and even resale. (Yes, there’s a whole market out there for peer-to-peer trading and selling of “second hand” virtual goods, although we won’t get into that here.)

To understand how tremendously profitable branded virtual products can be, one need look no further than modern media maven Kim Kardashian. Her mobile game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars since its 2014 launch, according to the game’s developer Glu Mobile. And since the game is free-to-play, that money is coming almost exclusively from the sale of virtual luxury goods within the app, things like private planes and high-end clothing and accessories.

“The Kim Kardashian game made close to $75 million in its first year alone selling virtual goods to teenagers who KK Hollywood copywanted to emulate Kim’s celebrity lifestyle,” said David. “It got to the point that the teenagers were so engaged, that the luxury brands themselves were actually creating custom pieces for her game.”

Among the real-world luxury brands who signed on to create exclusive virtual merchandise for the game are Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing.

But Why?

For some, the idea of spending real money on products that don’t technically exist can be a bit difficult to understand, but according to David it makes perfect sense.

“People buy things online for the same reason they buy things offline–status, differentiation, identity, membership,” he says.

And this is why the virtual goods space offers so much opportunity to brands. If someone is a loyal consumer of your brand in the real world, there’s no reason that loyalty won’t extend into the digital world as well.

Take a Marvel fan for example. He’s already willing to spend money on clothes, toys and other products featuring his favorite superhero, so it’s not such a stretch to imagine that he would also buy an Iron Man-themed car to drive in his favorite racing app. His motivations for the digital purchase won’t be that different from his reasons for buying a t-shirt or action figure in the real world.

This is especially true in multi-player universes like “CS:GO” or “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” where players interact and build relationships with other people–just like in any other social setting, status and identity, often expressed through things like clothing, are crucial to these interactions.

The Brand Advantage

It will come as no surprise that, as with most new trends, younger consumers are driving the growth of virtual goods sales. Additionally, the market is much more mature in other regions of the world than it is in North America at the moment, particularly in Asia.

“In North America it’s not as common yet for people to buy stuff in games, but in Asia it’s very normal, it’s like buying Starbucks,” says David.

Entering the virtual goods marketplace provides a new avenue for brands to reach these two highly desirable demographics and can also present a relatively low-risk way to test out new markets.

And the fact that the products don’t actually exist is an advantage in and of itself. This merchandise isn’t restricted by the physical limitations of the real world. Gone are the time and financial constraints of product development and supply chain concerns. In many cases the platform or developer will do the work of creating the virtual good themselves, all the brand has to do is approve.

That’s because, for these digital platforms, virtual goods have become an essential way to not only make money, but to introduce new content that maintains engagement among users.

“These digital ecosystems, they rise and fall,” explains David. “There was MySpace, and then it goes obsolete, now there’s Facebook, Instagram, etcetera. You might have the hottest game of the year right now, but there will be another one next year. These companies have to spend a tremendous amount of time keeping their users, because those users are extremely valuable to them. They also need to find ways to monetize. Branded virtual content creates excitement among users and has the added bonus of generating revenue for both the platform and the brand.”

In fact, virtual goods can become a viable alternative to traditional digital advertising for many brands. “It’s not just about the sales of the virtual goods. The virtual good is advertising in and of itself. Just the fact that it’s in the store of a platform is a kind of advertising,” said David.

Connecting the Dots

One problem with the virtual goods marketplace that has been a barrier to entry for many brands has been the mechanics of the deal itself.

To illustrate the problem, David recounts a conversation with his mentor Henk Rogers, the creator of “Tetris,” who now serves as a BLMP Licensing Marketplace advisor.

“When Henk got into the gaming business, you sold disks or cartridges, those were physical goods, easy to track,” said David. “Then it evolved into downloads, so okay, we track the downloads. But now, based on the freemium economy that is driving everything across social networks and gaming, everyone is playing for free, and you have to track all these micro-transactions within each game. How do you even know that your records are right? It requires a lot of effort and trust. What I told him is, we can solve this problem using blockchain.”

Blockchain is the decentralized accounting technology that was originally developed for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This technology has now come into its own and is being recognized for its many other potential applications. This includes the safe, reliable and secure tracking of digital transactions, and it is BLMP Licensing Marketplace’s secret weapon.

“Blockchain is fully transparent, and in using it to develop our network, we create trust in a trustless system,” he says. “So now all of a sudden if Henk is making a deal in a country overseas, he can actually see all the micro-transactions as they happen, and it’s all secured cryptographically. There’s no way to go back and fraudulently change the data, so consumer transactions involving your intellectual property can be tracked and traced without any fear of tampering. That’s revolutionary, that’s never been done before.”

 

Want to find out more about how you can securely extend your brand into virtual goods_

Originally posted on www.licensing.org
lima-india-at-cbme-2018

LICENSED TO THRILL!

LIMA joined hands with CBME India to showcase the Indian licensing industry at the 6th edition of CBME, Mumbai

Day 2 of the 6th edition of CBME India saw some of India’s leading luminaries from the licensing industry take the stage to discuss and share their experiences on how Licensing can help grow the businesses of business owners in different markets.

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Jiggy George, Head LIMA India & Founder & CEO of Dream Theatre kicked off the session with a quick introduction to each of the panelists before passing the baton on to Nitin Kalra – Director AI Interactive licensing to conduct the panel discussion – Leveraging Licensing to Grow your Market. The session covered top trends in licensing in the kids’ category, how brand owners and manufacturers can benefit from adding licensing to their portfolio supported by the growth in Indian retail and its impact on licensing, and upcoming opportunities in new licensing genres. Panelists included luminaries from the licensing space like Permendra Singh – Head, Consumer Products, Mattel India, Manish Rajoria Purple Turtle (Aadarsh), Muslim Kapasi – CEO, Excel Group, Sweta Agnihotri – CEO – Content Syndication at Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt Ltd and Mona Singh – Vice President, Sesame schoolhouse.

Nitin opened the panel discussion by asking all panelists to share their experiences of doing business in India which then led to a discussion about e-commerce and how that was playing a role in breaking down earlier norms of the business as far as pricing of products was concerned, the importance of marketing and promotion to drive sales etc. Many hot-button issues came to the fore and all panelists weighed in with their inputs.

In case you missed the session, here are some audio excerpts.

Muslim Kapasi sharing dynamics of distributors and licensees in industry:

Mona Singh talking about Sesame Street in India:

Panel Discussion:

The panel discussion was followed by a masterclass on licensing by Sushmita Singhdeo – General Manager, Dream Theatre who has spent over 2 decades in the licensing business.

popeye-logo

POPEYE SAILS INTO 90TH ANNIVERSARY

King Features has unveiled a score of new partnerships ahead of the 90th anniversary celebration of its animated property “Popeye.”

Fans of the spinach-loving sailor can look foward to t-shirts and sweaters in Canada from Vision/Eleven Apparel; apparel, accessories and novelties from American Features Co. in Japan; adult and children’s apparel from Saborn and Manifatture in Benelux and Italy, respectively; t-shirts, hoodies and pajamas  from Oaktarget Garments in the U.K. and Ireland; performance swimwear and accessories from Taymory across multiple territories; and adult tees from Chocoolate in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada and the U.K.

Additional new product lines coming down the road in 2018 and 2019 include a footwear collaboration with Sperry, launching in spring 2019; toys from partners like Funko, available now in U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand; a limited edition figurine from Mezco Toys, available worldwide at the end of the year; magazine promotions for Olive Oyl and Brutus with Magazine House Co.. in Japan; hand-painted figurines and additional gift items from Arguydal in France; adult costumes from Rubie’s in the British Isles and Ireland; apparel and novelties from Trektor in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; and slippers and sandals featuring Popeye and Olive Oyl from PT Siantar Madju in Indonesia.

King Features is also focused on maintaining Popeye’s popularity within the streetwear world through new collaborations with H3 and apparel from A Bathing Ape, which will launch in the U.S. later this year.

“Over the last two years, we have worked to extend Popeye’s reach to new and younger demographics while enhancing engagement amongst our existing fans. As we head into his anniversary year we are continuing towards this goal with a strong focus on growing Popeye’s social platforms, creating new content for his anniversary and fostering creative collaborations with high-end partners across the globe,” says Carla Silva, vice president and general manager, global head, licensing for King Features. “Now, 2019 is primed to be Popeye’s biggest year ever with dozens of partners on board to help celebrate the pop-culture icon with exciting product lines, events, and content.”