Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and other parts of the world are increasingly important markets for the licensing industry. Over half of the licenses signed in 2017 by LMCA were with licensees based outside of the United States. Asia, followed by Latin America, India and the Middle East are popular licensing locations. Whereas, five to six years ago, most foreign-based licensees took out licenses so that they could sell into the United States, the story is different now. The focus has shifted to home markets, rather than those overseas.
Accordingly, programs must be customized to individual markets while staying true to the brand and its core equity. Cultures, values, interests and goals in Beijing are different from those in Dayton, Ohio, New Delhi, Moscow or Borneo. For example, while the luggage may be similar, positioning of the Samsonite brand is quite different in China than it is in the United States. In some categories of goods, the designs, coloration and fit may differ by market. To achieve success, a brand must understand and cater to the specific market and customer. For global licensing programs, this translates into the need for more local expertise and first-hand experience in understanding and navigating the nuances of individual countries and regions.
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