Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks once said, “The most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart.” Everyone would admit that brand building is a lengthy and time taking process with a plethora of risks involved, and brand licensing cuts down that time period substantially. With global brands ready to try out their fortune in Indian retail landscape and Indian brands trying to come out of their shell, licensing has been a different ballgame all together for Indian markets. “9th Brand Licensing Congress”, themed ‘#OpportunityIndia’ brought some of the top industry experts together on one platform discussing different arena of the Indian licensing and merchandising industry that has come of ages in past few years. “Brand building is a time taking process and that is where licensing helps, especially for private brands in FMCG and CDIT sectors,” shared Atulit Saxena, COO of Future Brands. His thoughts were echoed by Samir Jain, COO of Green Gold Animations who shared how licensing helped Chhota Bheem scale up on the global landscape. Not only acceptance of brand licensing as an effective retail strategy was an important aspect of discussion at the congress, but experts like Anand Singh, Director – South Asia, Turner shared some strategies to increase the effectiveness of the licensing program. Noticeably Turner’s licensing arm Cartoon Network Enterprise is re-launching its iconic properties Ben10 and Powerpuff Girls. “Constant innovation is very important for licensing program, shared Singh. Talking about the creative aspect of licensing program, Job Van Dijk, COO of Tempting Brands for Route 66 added that licensing is beyond slapping of logos on the product. Hence we ensure that we add various elements of the brands to our style guide so as to familiarize the licensee with DNA of the brand. Sharing his view on the brand recognition and challenges in retail, Alok Kamat, Executive Director of Alkam opined, “During initial days when we launched Barbie Shampoo, we faced a different set of hurdles related to brand recognition and product acceptance. All it took was awareness and education among the retail partners to excel on the revenue front. The conference which took place on 15th October 2016 at Pragati Maidan New Delhi had a might of recognition and accolades on the evening of 16th October. Attended by more than 100 representatives from licensing fraternity including licensors, licensees, brand custodians, manufacturers and retailers, the conference boasted of some of the untold aspects of brand licensing in India and ways to address the bottlenecks.
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