Brand Extension
Trends Impacting Licensing in 2020

Direct to Consumer



Brand Experiences

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The Direct To Consumer Market: Amazon has really paved the way for online shopping covering virtually all segments and categories; however, the online Direct to Consumer (DTC) market is rapidly evolving resulting in specialized and very focused segments. Brands like Tommy John for underwear, Casper for mattresses, Billie for razors, Zappos for shoes, Wayfair for furniture and housewares and many others are popping up in a massive emerging market in very distinct segments.  This creates a great opportunity for known and trusted brands with unique brand equity in select product areas to participate in the growing DTC trend via license. Wouldn’t it be great to have branded DTC online stores to get things like paper goods, beverages, plants, or others? More on DTC

Private Labels: One trend affecting licensing in a huge way is the trend towards retailers and e-tail launching their own private label and made up brands all of which I’ll call “private label”. These private label brands rely largely on customers’ trust of the retailer offering these brands. They appear to be arms length brands and obviously bear the imprimatur of the retailer as they are on the shelves or sites.  Such brands are offered across all categories from food and drink to apparel and footwear to electronics, etc., and at almost every level and channel of distribution. How does this impact licensing?

Brand Abundance: As avenues of communication explode across all paths consumers use to engage input (the time, place and method) licensing values are being depressed if only because anyone can create a brand, promote, market and sell it.  With important barriers into the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers lowered, so is the amount a brand can charge for that access. Influence on licensing?

Brands as Experiences: Experiences have become a trending marketing tool for brands. Whether it be a temporary pop-up store, an event, an attraction or a long term brick and mortar, creating meaningful relationships through storytelling, brand emersion and interactivity can result in a lasting relationship between a customer and brand, hopefully translating into increased product sales. How can the industry capitalize?


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