By: Adam Berg, Managing Director, Brand Licensing
Crisis doesn’t build character, it reveals character. The act of facing a crisis, and the resulting outcome of actions taken or not taken, strips away the cladding fastened to the scaffolding of our lives. That cladding is largely the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, the myths and fables, large and small, we have constructed over the years to advance the legacy we want to perpetuate so we can live our lives in a comfortable place within our heads.
The scaffolding of our existence is the true self, it is what we see, and what others see, when the cladding is shed due to a crisis. Unfortunately, the word “crisis” gets a bad rap. We associate “crisis” with disaster, ruin, instability and danger. The etymology of crisis suggests a more neutral and even benign positioning. Based on the Greek work “krisis” – “crisis” is a state of, or time for, decision and/or interpretation.
Such is our time now, in the COVID-19 period. With social distancing and home isolation we are told we are in a time of crisis. Yes, we are, but in terms of our business – that of Strategic Brand Licensing – this crisis allows us to examine the scaffolding of the brand licensing business in order to see new things and build new opportunities based on fresh observations of what lay beneath the cladding of the stories, myths and fables we have told ourselves about our business.
In so doing, we will see new opportunities based on things long obvious in orbits closest to us, if we had only taken the time to look closely, now that we do not have cladding comprised of busy schedules, being out of the house and interacting with myriad of signals and noise competing for the limited resources of our attention span.
By spending more time at home involuntarily than any of us have had to deal with in living memory, take a look at the branded goods all around you. Look closely and often; look in the cabinets you clean, the closets you empty, under the sink when you repair the drip, the books on the shelves you dust, the clothes you refold, the items on your desk you rearrange for the thousandth time that day, the housewares in your kitchen, the tools in your tool box, the food in your refrigerator, the clutter strewn around, things you trip over and kick out of the way, the stuff you use while you putter, meander and shuffle around from minor task to minor task,
The cladding of strategic brand licensing is the constant arrival of new things. We go to the store, we order online. But, not right now. When we bask in the endless input of brands, we can create stories about them and place value on them that we then take to the brand licensing market. This input has dried up. We are left with what we have put in our homes prior to arrival of the Covid-19 “new normal”. What we have in our homes right now is there for a reason – we give these things long-term value. They are in our close-in orbit due to their proven utility, functionality, reputation or emotional connection. This is pure brand licensing gold.
Therefore, the “crisis” we are in as a business could be used as a time of decision and interpretation:
Decision – What brands am I looking at that I had overlooked, that I can sell, or buy, as a license?
Interpretation – Why are these brands good sales candidates, and how can I tell a story about them?
Use the gift of time we have been given to reflect on what we can do with what we have. Give it some thought. You think, therefore you brand.
Adam Berg, Managing Director
Adam is a recognized sales and business development leader in Strategic Brand Licensing. His experience in the field includes being the primary architect of the Betty Crocker housewares, General Motors video game licensing programs and Rust-Oleum Corporation Seal of Approval licenses. He has had responsibility for the conceptualization and development of long-term impactful programs for AC-Delco, Campbell Soup Company, Dr. Scholl’s and Pebble Beach Golf Resorts.
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