Brand Licensing Europe 2018 report

Grumpy Cat

I spent a day at the Brand Licensing Europe 2018 in London. Here are my impressions:

1) Brand licensing has a global revenue of just under 300 B EUR with almost half of that in USA. UK, Germany, and Japan are following but with minor stakes. Italy, China, and Australia are developing. Almost half of brand licensing focuses on entertainment brands, dominantly children’s content.

2) Brand licensing for most brands is only a marketing project. By licensing, brands achieve bigger presence in the market with non-core products which then improves sales of their core products and promotes their brands.

3) Most agents are not trained in how brands and content actually work. Because of this it might be difficult to create unique and more competitive projects through licensing. Most agents are interested in non-digital consumer products, such as food, drinks, clothing.

4) Dominant metric is short term revenue. Even that metric is used vaguely while agents switch between licensing royalties and actual product revenue. Overall, it is hard to understand actual numbers and progress of the business.

5) Most surprising brands available for licensing were Grumpy Cat and Pussy Riot. Grumpy Cat is one of the bigger internet memes with a royalties revenue of more than 5 MM USD annually. Pussy Riot is a Russian activist group, represented by Live Nation merchandise.

6) I had an interesting discussion with Nominet who are offering branded top level domain names, such as .bbc or .nike. The price is approx. 200 K EUR, but might drop in next years.

All businesses can use brand licensing methods in their growth. Brand licensing is essentially a form of outsourcing, which allows any company to focus on growing their brand.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 12 Oct 2018