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LIMA to Induct Michael Stone and Pam Lifford into Licensing Hall of Fame

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) today announced that Michael Stone, Chairman and Co-founder of Beanstalk, and Pam Lifford, President of Warner Bros. Global Brands & Experiences, are the 2019 inductees to the LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame. This year’s Hall of Fame Induction will take place on June 4, at the LIMA Licensing Awards Ceremony during Licensing Expo 2019 in Las Vegas.

“LIMA is proud to celebrate these two widely respected licensing veterans who have dedicated their careers to driving the success of licensing among the broader business community,” said LIMA President, Maura Regan. “Michael has been instrumental in the evolution of brand extension licensing as a highly effective corporate strategy and Pam is responsible for the domestic and international licensing of some of the most highly regarded entertainment franchises in the world. Their recognition in the Licensing Hall of Fame is well-deserved.”

Headshot ColorMichael Stone

Michael Stone is the chairman and co-founder of Beanstalk, an Omnicom-owned, global brand extension licensing agency and consultancy. Beanstalk is the recipient of 23 LIMA Awards and is responsible for some of the most successful licensing programs of all time, including programs for Procter & Gamble, Stanley Black & Decker, Harley-Davidson, The Coca-Cola Company, HGTV, Diageo, and Mary-Kate and Ashley, among others. In addition to teaching the first graduate course in the country specifically on trademark licensing as an adjunct professor for Baruch University, as well as an undergraduate course at Long Island University Post, Stone is an authority on licensing and frequently contributes to Advertising Age, Adweek, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other media outlets. Michael has recently authored his first book “The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity”.

Untitled design (1) copyPam Lifford

Pam Lifford is president of Warner Bros. Global Brands & Experiences where she leads the alignment of large-scale brand and franchise strategies across the studio’s world-class characters and brands as well as overseeing Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC, Themed Entertainment and a new Global Franchise team. Lifford’s vision for next-level development of fan-engagement drives the creation of business opportunities designed to reshape how Warner Bros. delivers fan-focused activities. Working in partnership with all divisions of the Studio, Lifford’s team ensures that every touchpoint for cross-company collaboration is maximized. Lifford joined Warner Bros. in 2016 as president of its Consumer Products division where she refocused the Division’s priorities and put strategies in place that increased the business by 47 percent in her first year alone. Prior to Warner Bros., Lifford held an executive leadership position at Disney and Quicksilver, Inc. as well as key roles at Road Runner Sports and Nike.

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The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity

Author : Michael StoneChairman at Beanstalk – Brand Licensing Agency

There are many new paths for delivering a brand message to consumers, engaging and connecting with them, and motivating them to make a purchase.  Brand owners are experimenting, and often struggling, to determine the best paths for their particular brand.  Brand messaging today is a stew of consumer experiences and reaching consumers where, when and how they shop has created a “shopping battlefield”.

Brand licensing fits perfectly into this new messaging, communications and retail landscape.  Licensing provides a vehicle for brand owners to achieve their communication goals and engage with consumers.  It should be viewed in the context of all of the varying ways that brand owners can now communicate their brand message and brand promise to consumers. Considering it in this manner reveals how important licensing can be as a tool to engage the consumer: create, redefine or strengthen brand connection; and navigate the consumer’s connected shopping journey.

That’s the overriding premise of The Power of Licensing:  Harnessing Brand Equity, by Michael Stone, Chairman/Co-Founder of Beanstalk.  Following is the introduction to Chapter 4, “A Strategy, Not a Tactic”. For the full chapter and Table of Contents,click here.

The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity is available on Amazon and www.shopaba.org.


A Strategy, Not a Tactic

You would be surprised to learn how many companies fail to think strategically about licensing opportunities. It’s surprising on many levels, not the least of which is that licensing is about allowing a third party to use a company’s most valuable asset—its brand. When licensing is reactive and tactical, it’s implemented in a vacuum—objectives haven’t been determined,product categories haven’t been vetted, and management is not in place to oversee the process, among other shortcomings.

Would an iconic brand launch a new product without well- thought-out goals and a strategy to achieve them? Probably not. Organizations will fail to take advantage of licensing’s marketing power if they treat it as a tactic, as an opportunity to which they can react. Being proactive, strategic, creative, and managerial (i.e., operationally ready) are requirements for any licensing program. To meet these requirements, best practices and processes must be used to develop an executable strategy. Those as well as illustrative examples will be discussed next.

Every company has its variables that need to be addressed in a licensing plan, but certain elements are critical to establishing and then executing any plan,including:

  • Licensing Goals and Objectives
  • Description of Brand Equities
  • Licensing Positioning Statement
  • Target Consumers
  • Distribution Channel Strategy
  • Market Dynamics and Trends
  • Product Categories and Competitive Landscape
  • Design Guidelines
  • Financial Forecasting
  • Program Management and Support (addressed in the next chapter)

The majority of these elements involve a comprehensive evaluation of the brand—the identification of the brand’s equities and the brand’s marketing and licensing goals. Without a clear understanding of the brand’s equities and what the brand wants to accomplish through licensing, a company is essentially licensing in the dark.Following a comprehensive analysis of equities, goals, and objectives with which licensing must be aligned, the brand needs to evaluate appropriate product categories through a variety of filters—for example, distribution channel strategy and market dynamics—before finalizing the plan and moving forward. And to ensure that licensed products meet the quality expectations of the brand, the company must be operationally ready to handle oversight of product design, development, and production.

Several brands will be used as examples in this chapter— mostly Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and content provider HGTV, although other examples will be sprinkled throughout.

The Power of Licensing:  Harnessing Brand Equity, Copyright © 2018 Michael Stone

Source: https://www.licensing.org/blog/from-michael-stone-the-power-of-licensing-harnessing-brand-equity/