IMC’s Proven Deal Process

Emily Wickerham Randles

August 19, 2020

Wading into the licensing pool can be pretty intimidating. On one hand, you think you should understand every aspect, but on the other hand you’d rather just snap your fingers and have it all be magically complete. 

I get it. But as with most things, the mystery of the process is what makes it intimidating so let’s break down what goes on behind the curtain and demystify how we do licensing deals. 

One teeny-weeny caveat before we get going. Just because I peel back the curtain, does not mean it’s a simple process. A licensing deal has many aspects, each of which builds on one another to ensure all parties get what they want while covering their backsides. For IMC, we came up with a proven, repeatable process to ensure we don’t miss an important detail. Even then, every deal is unique and we pride ourselves on our ability to bend and flex along with the needs of our clients.  

Alright, let’s start breaking down the IMC deal process

Strategy 

What’s that old adage? Measure twice, cut once? That’s how we look at our Strategy phase. Taking the time upfront to put a comprehensive plan together saves countless hours later in the process. Many clients come to us with an inspiring vision, but a vision isn’t actionable until we turn it into a strategy. 

For most clients, our Strategy phase breaks down into three steps: 

  1. Deep-dive into the brand’s consumer information and data. 
  1. Understand the retail channels and sales. 
  1. Dig into the brand’s current marketing initiatives and effectiveness.  

Once we have a good grasp on where the brand is, we work on identifying potential licensing categories, and then we create an execution plan for solicitation and deal execution. 

Solicitation 

Most clients are anxious to get to the outreach, but that’s not where we start. No, first we like to create a little buzz and make sure we have our sales items and any other materials ready to go. This usually means sending out a press release to announce the partnership opportunities plus making sure everything is in order so we are not scrambling when the calls do roll in. 

We also recommend to clients they create a brand style guide we can share with potential licensees. This can be a useful tool in the solicitation process, and it will be used by licensees to execute creative and branding effectively. This leads to faster approvals, product on shelf more quickly, which results in sales and royalty revenue.  

During these six to twelve months, we are attending trade shows, proactively sending out emails, making calls, and following up. We want to ensure we have viable prospects before we move into the next phase where we will iron out the details.  

Proposal & Contract 

Sometimes we sail through the proposal and contract phase with ease, and other times we revise and negotiate until we get the agreement just right. Though we fight hard for our clients, we do want everyone in the deal to feel like we have created the proverbial “win-win”  for them. 

Hopefully, we wrap up this phase well within three months as we work closely with our client and the licensing partner to move from proposal to contract to negotiations, and finally, a signed deal. Personally, I love the moment when the last signature is complete and our client reaches a major milestone. 

Product Development 

But our work is not over once our client has a deal. We continue to work to create the profitable business we all envisioned in the Strategy phase. During the next six to eighteen months, our team works alongside our client and the licensee to manage the product development of the new licensed product.  

IMC makes sure all necessary submissions are sent for review and approval while providing support for the product’s retail sell-in and launch. We assist in media relations, marketing efforts, and ensuring everything is ready for a successful launch. 

Program Management 

What more is there, you ask? Well, that’s what we’d like to know! Meaning we don’t just walk away once the product is launched, rather we stay involved to help you see growth opportunities, potential product line extensions, and packaging updates and evolution. 

When you work with IMC, you get an advisor who is invested in your outcome and wants to see you surpass the inspired vision you first shared with us. We don’t just facilitate the deal and walk away, we stick around to help your business thrive. After all, if we’ve all done our jobs well, you might be ready to expand sooner than you think! 

IMC’s proven deal process can help you sort through your licensing challenges freeing you to focus on the future of your business. If you’d like to meet with us to see how we can help, contact us, and let’s get started! 

IMC Licensing Logo Mark

Related Articles

  • Debunking CPG Licensing Myths

    Debunking licensing myths is a familiar topic of conversation for the IMC team. From prospective client pitches to onboarding a…

    Julie Brown

    November 16, 2020

  • Is Your Brand Ready for Licensing?

    Licensing a brand can be a highly strategic tool for brand owners, so it’s no wonder many look to the…

    Julie Brown

    October 7, 2020

  • Why Do I Need a Licensing Agency?

    Using a licensing agency versus building a licensing program in-house is similar to a house project – you can take the DIY approach…

    Emily Wickerham Randles

    September 21, 2020

  • IMC Licensing Named Top 25 Global Licensing Agent

    IMC Licensing is thrilled to be recognized by License Global as a Top 25 Global Licensing Agent. On this year’s…

    IMC Licensing

    September 10, 2020

  • A Fresh Perspective on Licensing | Lauren DeLapa, IMC Licensing

    On the latest installment of The Brand Licensing Podcast, we’re sitting down with Lauren DeLapa from IMC Licensing. As an Associate Account Manager,…

    IMC Licensing

    September 9, 2020

  • IMC’s Proven Deal Process

    Wading into the licensing pool can be pretty intimidating. On one hand, you think you should understand every aspect, but on…

    Emily Wickerham Randles

    August 19, 2020

  • Pet Licensing in the Pandemic | Steven Shweky, Fetch for Pets

    On the latest episode of The Brand Licensing Podcast, we’re sitting down with Steven Shweky, President of Fetch for Pets,…

    IMC Licensing

    August 10, 2020

  • Why IMC Licensing?

    So, you’re looking for a licensing agency. Congrats! Jumping into licensing is an exciting endeavor, but now, you’re facing the…

    IMC Licensing

    July 23, 2020

  • Restaurant Licensing: Product Extension Strategy Approach

    We recently spoke with a leading casual dining restaurant chain about licensing their brand. They wanted three things:  Big deals  Product on…

    Emily Wickerham Randles

    May 27, 2020

  • IMC’s Licensing Solicitation Services

    So, you’re looking to jump into licensing solicitation and start your search for potential partners. Where do you begin? This is where we come into the picture! At…

    Julie Brown

    May 19, 2020

  • IMC’s Strategy Services

    As experts in brand licensing, IMC offers three core services: strategy, partner solicitation, and program management. If you’re also an…

    Julie Brown

    April 22, 2020

  • Are you a Good Licensor? – Tips to Maximize your Partnership with Licensees

    As a licensor, you have high expectations of your licensees. And you should! You manage a leading brand and business…

    Julie Brown

    March 31, 2020

  • Brand Licensing vs. Patent Licensing – How to launch a new product through Licensing

    We get several calls from start-up companies and entrepreneurs about utilizing licensing to launch their product. The conversation usually goes…

    Emily Wickerham Randles

    January 28, 2020

  • Don’t make this common mistake with your license agreement

    It’s fairly common, a licensee’s legal or executive team negotiates and signs the licensing agreement and then hands the reigns…

    Julie Brown

    May 1, 2019

  • Mitigating Risk – Brand Licensing

    Some consider licensing out their brand very risky, while others would argue that licensing out their brand is a low-risk…

    Emily Wickerham Randles

    February 14, 2019

  • Donald Trump: How a Presidential Campaign Helps (and Maybe Hurts) a Licensed Brand

    As election year 2016 rolls on, and Donald Trump the presidential candidate delivers a new surprise every day, it’s worth…

    Stephen Reily

    July 11, 2016

  • It’s Cool To Be Healthy: How Marketing Saved Wellness’ Business Model

    Is cheesecake the new tobacco?  That’s a question asked that has highlighted both good news –the New York Times last week, Americans Are…

    IMC Licensing

    August 5, 2015

  • 4 Reasons Why Licensing Needs Digital Marketing

    Five years ago many of our licensing clients (global CPG brands among them) weren’t even using digital marketing and social…

    Stephen Reily

    June 26, 2015

  • Stories Beat Data: And Other Marketing Insights from Cannes Lions 2015

    For all the lessons technology teaches us, did you ever feel like it also ignores some of the most important…

    Stephen Reily

    June 26, 2015

  • Earned Social Media = Earned Consumer Trust

    Brands are constantly seeking the loyal consumer. Not the one who buys occasionally, but the one who follows through on…

    Emily Wickerham Randles

    April 24, 2015

  • Four Things Great Partners Do

    Batman and Robin. Brin and Page. Ben & Jerry. Some business partnerships are so great that they appear to happen…

    IMC Licensing

    January 13, 2015

  • Rethinking the 4 P’s for a Digital World

    Since Jerome McCarthy laid out the Four P’s in 1962, we’ve been able to take for granted that a successful…

    IMC Licensing

    December 8, 2014

  • Keeping Your Options Open in Licensing

    Licensors with iconic brands often have to make tough choices about extending their brands in new markets through licensing versus…

    IMC Licensing

    November 4, 2013

Services

Licensing is a relationship not merely between brands, but among people. At IMC, we build and nurture both of those relationships while delivering top-notch customer care that treats — and protects — your brand as if it were our own.

About Us

We’re committed to fostering dynamic brand alliances. Often those alliances are born from one brand’s need and another’s ability to meet that need. The IMC team are experts at recognizing and creating those opportunities, but our real expertise is people. Standing side by side, as consultants, partners, peers, and as friends, we’re driven by a singular purpose: creating a smart idea.