Consumers these days have access to troves of information about anything, which in theory eliminates the need to rely on brand name to guide them as to what to buy. The catch here is that the volume of product information available is so vast, it can be overwhelming. Understanding this perspective gives smart brands the power to rise above the information and engage in the right kind of marketing play. With an expectant rise in online trends and influence-based strategies it is important for brands to identify the need profile of potential target audience when looking to expand. This helps in identifying multiple target markets to foray into as well as product development. It further helps with strengthening the bond with the existing consumer base by allowing them to shift to other desired product categories offered by the brand. With this backdrop, the landscape is such that brand licensing can serve as a highly effective tool for brand building and strategic marketing. It is one of the most effective ways to communicate brand equities and engage their consumer base. An obstruction on the way to making a brand exemplary is that brand managers view licensing as a mere marketing strategy or completely neglect licensing entirely. It is of utmost importance for them to understand that it’s not just a play for royalties but can project brand values that cut through the digital and advertising information overload. They can develop programs that deliver big on marketing and brand positioning objectives. Among the many strategic benefits of licensing – these three go beyond royalties and logo decoration:
- Extending into complementary product categories: For example, Marie Clair, a prominent magazine, started out with apparel and then expanded to include jewellery, sunglasses, salons and watches. They cultivated their brand into being the ultimate ‘go to’ brand for all.
- Target new consumer segments: Coca-Cola has been an active licensor for ages now. They have fostered their product portfolio in accordance with user demands over the years, which have led them to various hits in multiple segments. Their recent collaboration with H and M is one such example.
- Strengthen brand values: National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional league in North America. They have one of the most elaborate portfolios in sports licensing in the world. Their dive into the domain of basketball shoes resulted in impelling their values to their consumers.
In each of the examples above, the brand used licensing in communicating their message, increase consumer touch-points and strengthen their consumer base. The bond between consumers and brands is ever evolving; their acceptance of new media has led to the dawn of digital age wherein these brands have the opportunity to connect with the consumers on a different level altogether. It is required for the brands to develop multiple messaging strategies and be best equipped to navigate the complexities of the digital world to stay put in today’s marketing and retail ecosystem.