For a brand that has clocked in almost three decades in the industry, to keep up with the trends, brand licensing has been one of the most exciting in terms of consumer receptiveness and brand recall. It isn’t enough for brands to just keep up with designs. In order to keep their consumers engaged, brands have been innovating themselves in several ways and character licensing has been a popular approach. Pegged at $741 billion, the licensing and merchandising industry owes a majority of the revenue to fashion-centric deals primarily apparel, followed by footwear and accessories. Apparel as a licensed category has been growing in India, reason being the increasing fan base and accessibility of international content exposure. What makes fashion a profitable avenue for licensing is expenditure of an Indian household on clothing and footwear contributes to around 3 trillion Indian rupees, making it 7.2 per cent of the total domestic consumption. Various brands like Peanuts, Garfield, Jungle Book have an enormous recall factor among the consumers, which makes it very easy for brands to market the product to the consumers. In simpler words, brand licensing gives contingency to marry two aspects, to make a product for its targeted consumers and the acceptance for a brand licensed product in retail especially in India has shown growth prospects. We have associated with various brands like Marvel, Ben 10, Peanuts, WWE, Motu-Patlu, DC Comics and Jungle Book and it has established the connect to evolve the brand recall especially in kids segment. Kids are in love with these characters and would want the product without even thinking twice. Once the consumers are aware of a brand that sells products based on their favourite cartoon or superhero characters, it creates instant brand recognition, which further helps to build a beneficial relationship with the consumers. Honestly, there is a market for different things. You can never be very accurate on what works and what doesn’t. We have had some surprising hits and some misses. In our segment, it is very important for the product to be on air, it is a bonus if it is dubbed into the 3 major languages. We have had movie licenses which are very large properties which did not take off till their cartoons were on air. This article has been authored by Lubeina Shahpurwala, Partner, Mustang Socks.
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