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TOTAL LICENSING
Branding Your Business, defines a brand John McInnerny: “It could certainly satisfy their consumers.
as the total sensory experience a cus- be better, and will probably get worse Another challenge is the retail market
tomer has with your company and its before it improves. On the licensing itself; at the moment it is segmenting
product or service. He has devised a front it is not an easy time to be in- into four: a budget or discount propo-
4 stage approach to brand profiling troducing new entertainment proper- sition; a low-to-mid tier; an upper tier;
which he calls EPIC – emotion, per- ties, but on the other hand it is a time and the luxury end of the market. Do
ception, innovation and communica- when retail tends to turn to true clas- we provide retail solutions for the dis-
tion. All brands are emotional and big sic properties. The secret is to ensure count tier? If we do how do we avoid
brands exploit this. Emotions are a your costs are no higher than they undermining our proposition in the
response to perception and we per- need to be”. higher tiers?
ceive a brand through the five senses : That, at least, is up to us. But there are
sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. In- Bettina Koeckler: “Everything other challenging factors over which
corporating the five senses into your seems to be against retail right we have much less control. Rising
business is vital and this is where one now with rising costs, inflation, in- plastic, oil and steel prices will affect
must innovate pre-purchase, during terest rates and personal debt. transport, packaging and even licensed
purchase and post-purchase. Finally, I am confident that if UK retail can re- products themselves and, by exten-
all the world loves a good story and main flexible and work alongside their sion, force licensors, licensees and re-
communication is how an entire brand suppliers, it will prevail. Despite this, tailers to face pricing issues they once
is underpinned. For those retailers there may be little growth over infla- thought would never affect them so
who have relied until now on purely tion during the next 12-18 months. I dramatically”.
squeezing the supply chain for profit think we will see interesting market
margin, the future is somewhat rocky share shifts between retailers as gro- Claire Shaw: “Challenging and will
and I feel that over the next 12 to 18 cery trade further non-food product continue to remain so. Retailers in the
months the current economic down- whilst people shop for essential needs. current climate are becoming much
turn will claim the vulnerable. Suc- As a market development, Interest more risk averse and need to rely on
cessful and profitable retailers of the rates will need to increase which will brands which will continue to shift in
future will be those who truly drive certainly encourage consumers to save large numbers. In uncertain economic
from the front with speedy and short and pay off debt thereby limiting spend. times, retailers do tend to gravitate to-
lead times. This in itself will also effect On the other hand Online has bucked wards brands which they are familiar
John McInnerny
Allsorts Media
the point of manufacture and with tra- the trend hugely of overall retail per- and comfortable with, that are guaran-
ditional Chinese production sources formance. Those who see online as teed to drive sales.
already in turmoil there will be some a natural extension to their current Equally, one thing you can be sure of
interesting market changes ahead. Per- trading platform will find it easier to is that children will always need toys
haps also uniquely endemic to licensed reach consumers who are losing con- and to be entertained and therefore
merchandise, too many retailers are fidence and be tempted to tighten it’s likely these categories will suf-
seeking the guarantee of success their purses”. fer less as casualties in an economic
that fosters a stagnated and plagiarist downturn”.
market. Moving forward, they cannot Vickie O’Mally: “It’s clearly tough
absolve all risk without subsequential and it’s difficult to see general im- Anthony Temple: “I don’t think an-
and pro-rata forfeit. The other mis- provement in the next six months. yone can argue that the economy is
sive to debate is that licensing by and However, there’s very mixed experi- not in a serious slowdown and we are
large caters for the mass market and ences across the retail landscape and facing worsening problems which will
in times of recession, this sector tends while trading conditions are broadly continue at least into next year. How-
to be least effected and in some cases very poor, there are exceptions. ever, there is still a lot of money about
actually thrives”. Confidence is key to the turnaround and quality and innovation will always
– from a consumer, retail buyer and or be in demand. When you’re down in
Richard Hollis: “It’s not going to be creative standpoint”. the bunker, there’s often a demand for
an easy ride, but products for children tried and tested classic brands”.
Bettina Koeckler
tend to retain their popularity in eco- Clare Piggot: “Anyone working
Chorion
nomic downturns. For the licensing closely with their licensees and retail-
Whilst entertainment
industry, feel-good films, inspiring char- ers cannot help but be mindful of the
is well established in the
acters and innovative TV programmes current economic conditions, which,
UK, do you see growth
can help the licensing industry weath- I think, will continue for some while.
in other sectors? If so,
er the storm. There are some very There’s no obvious answer except to
which sectors in particu-
strong properties in the market at the ensure that we redouble our efforts
moment – not least our own In the to work very closely with our retail
lar (brand, sports, art etc)
Night Garden and Doctor Who.” partners, to listen to what they want
do you forecast as being
and to respond to what they need to
growth areas?
114
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