In my role as Retail Brand Licensing columnist for The Licensing Journal, I write about the intersection of retailers and licensing. It’s a landscape that’s continually evolving and it’s an exciting one to be a part of.
The September issue of The Licensing Journal included my latest column, which focused on trends in the space. The article opened as follows:
“A year ago this article likely would have had a different tone. The winds of economic change were blowing. But few were predicting the gale force that would hit us in the fourth quarter. It’s an understatement to say that 2008 was not a good year for the licensing industry. Sales and royalty revenues were down in virtually every category monitored by industry resources and brands were no exception. According to EPM Communication, corporate brands experienced a downturn of 12 percent in the sales of retail licensed products for the year.
But historically, licensing metrics have followed short-term economic trends and have bounced back—following general economy and retail trends. So in looking at trends impacting the industry, we can’t ignore the impact of today’s economic reality as well as potentially systemic changes in how people think about the licensing deals that are likely to result. But in looking at the longer term future, there are a few other trends that I believe will impact the business long after we have forgotten CDS’s, bailouts, or an auto industry dominated by 'The Big Three.'
These long-term trends are:
· The role of the retailer
· “Doing good” celebrities as brands
· The web, communications, and the virtual world
I spent the rest of the article delving into these long-term trends in the licensing industry. In a nutshell, “the times they are a-changing.” But retailers don’t need to be caught off-guard.
If you’re interested in obtaining the full article, call 1-800-638-8437 or go to www.aspenpublishers.com.