Is Your Brand Ready for Licensing?

Julie Brown

October 7, 2020

Licensing a brand can be a highly strategic tool for brand owners, so it’s no wonder many look to the benefits of licensing when considering growth for their brands. At IMC, we are approached by brand owners of varying stages of the brand lifecycle who are interested in licensing, but unsure if they were ready. Below is a checklist of considerations to take into account before diving into our amazing world of licensing:

Do you own the trademarks to your brand?

Is your trademark available in adjacent categories where you want to grow your brand? Are you willing to invest in continued trademark protection in licensed categories? These questions may seem obvious to some, but they serve as a good reminder to check your brand’s trademark protection and consider the investment to maintain registrations. Trademark protection is typically the brand owner’s obligation, so be sure you’re prepared and willing to take on this responsibility.

Do you have enough brand awareness, equity, and elasticity?

In other words, what does your brand stand for with consumers and how widely known is it within your target market and outside of your target market. Start-up brands find it challenging to compete via licensing, where manufacturers (licensees) are looking for established brands/equities in which to partner. Secondly, is your brand elastic enough, or can its equities stretch into adjacent categories or new industries? The Arm & Hammer brand is a prime example of brand elasticity. The brand can stretch from baking soda to cat litter and to personal care products, just to name a few of the many categories where they compete.

Have you defined goals and objectives for licensing your brand?

For example, are you looking to compete in adjacent categories to build brand share? Are you looking to secure an additional revenue source? Or are you looking to create new product/innovation where you have limited capability? You can have multiple goals to support licensing initiatives, but its important to define and prioritize your goals to build a robust licensing strategy around them.

Are you willing to dive into strategic work to set the stage for your future licensing program?

Hint hint, this is where a licensing agency can prove to be especially valuable, but this is a collaborative process. Agents will need to understand what categories you anticipate growth and launching new products on your own, and your thoughts on adjacent/additional categories/industries where your brand has equity. Do you have the capabilities to grow in those adjacent categories in the next 5-10 years? If not, could they be an opportunity for licensing? Do you understand the competitive landscape in those adjacent/additional categories, and do you have data to support it? Can your brand compete?

Are you supporting your brand’s awareness in your territories and categories via marketing and promotional activity?

Will you consider collaborations with your licensees? This point is becoming even more important for licensees as they consider brands to license. As a brand owner, you will have trouble attracting licensees if you are not investing in your brand and willing to partner in future collaborative efforts.

Finally, and perhaps the most important because it’s often forgotten, do you have support from senior leadership within your organization to license your brand?

IMC has encountered energetic CMOs and brand management team members eager to engage in licensing, only to have their efforts thwarted late in our licensing discussions because they didn’t have upfront alignment with their President and CEOs.

Were you able to check these items from our list? If so, let’s get started! Contact IMC today.

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.