When Licensing '96, the industry's premiere showcase, kicks off in New York's Jacob Javits Center June 24, marketers will have their best chance of the year to get up to date on this powerful branding technique.
How powerful? Sales of all licensed products continued to manage a modest rate of growth at retail in 1995, reaching $100 billion. The gain was between 1% and 2% in 1995 vs. 1994, according to Licensing Letter, which tracks the business.
On balance, 1995 was a very good year for product sales of trademark/brand licensed merchandise, particularly in food and drug chains. Trademark and brand licensing showed an 8% jump in sales to $14.2 billion.
Grocery stores accounted for 24% of the sales of trademark/brand licensed products, discount stores 26% and drug, variety and convenience stores another 5%, the newsletter reported.
Looked at by product category, foods and beverages represent the largest fraction, 39%, of the trademark/brand licensing segment. Health and beauty products represent 5%; sporting goods, 12%; automotive, 14%; home furnishings, 8%; footwear, 7%, and other, 15%.
What changes do 1996 and 1997 promise? Which properties and what types of licenses will be hot? Many answers may be found at the show. Among the highlights to check out:
The always creative and inventive presence of major studios and entertainment licensors like MGM/UA, Turner, 20th Century Fox and Lucas Films.
The expansion of the Designer/Artist Showcase to accommodate most of the bright new artist-designers in America and Europe.
The continuing influence of sports-related licensing: Pro leagues, teams, personalities and colleges all have licensing presence.
Three seminar tracks, designed for basic, advanced and specialty levels of sophistication.
The proven success of trademarks, brands and other corporate licensing programs represented directly and by their agents, which include companies as diverse as Ford and Procter & Gamble.
The increasing appearance of pro bono and cause-related licensors like ASPCA and the National Wildlife Federation and its new licensed products like the Dannon Danimals line of yogurts and dairy products.
This is the 16th year for the licensing show, and it boasts more than 500 exhibitor booths and more properties available for licensing than ever -- more than 3,000. Brand marketers who want to check it out should contact the International Licensing Industry Merchandiser's Association, New York.