75 Years of Peanuts' Rich Heritage and Innovation

Peanuts Worldwide conveys how it has built an iconic brand and kept its authenticity. It also shares what the licensing industry can expect for its 75th anniversary.

Alex Markovich, Sponsored Content Editor

April 29, 2024

5 Min Read
Join the celebration, Peanuts Worldwide
Join the celebrationPeanuts Worldwide

Peanuts is one of the most enduring and beloved brands in the world. In fact, it’s been seven decades since Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang first appeared in newspapers. And today, Peanuts seems to be everywhere you look. The brand’s rich legacy translates into a licensing portfolio with over 1,000 partnerships, including long-time collaborators like Hallmark and NASA, strategic partnerships with Apple and the YMCA, and ongoing initiatives: Take Care with Peanuts and The Armstrong Project.

How do you keep such a historic legacy fresh in consumer’s minds?

Peanuts Worldwide is sharing its business strategies, including its approach to licensing as they aim to bring everyone along for the 75th anniversary of Peanuts in 2025.

Prioritize Innovation and Know the Brand’s Strengths

After a nearly three-quarters of a century of success, it would be easy to overlook the need to bring a sense of “newness”. But Peanuts Worldwide continuously places priority on innovation, while maintaining authenticity for the storied brand loved by audiences globally. The organization analyzes customer needs, demands, pain points and retail patterns to ensure it defines trends and stays ahead of the marketplace, but never loses sight of what makes Charles Schulz’s comic strip so unique — resonant themes, relatable characters and an iconic design.

The recent collaboration with Apple on the Snoopy watch face is the perfect example of the brand’s ability to straddle tradition and innovation. While Peanuts has a long history of working with iconic watch brands, including Timex, Swatch and Omega, this release brought the integration of design and technology to a groundbreaking level. Apple, Peanuts Worldwide and WildBrain studios collaborated to develop over 140 animations, including Snoopy surfing and playing basketball, that greet the watch-wearer when the wrist is raised.

“We want to have the best quality products and experiences that resonate with fans,” Tim Erickson, executive vice president, Peanuts Worldwide. “If we don’t feel we can be a leader or do well in a certain product category, we'd rather not participate.”

Snoopy Surfing Apple Watch Face

Behind the scenes, the team at Peanuts Worldwide works to keep the brand fresh to engage every demographic. Yet in the past year, there has been a resurgence driven primarily by Gen Z fandom and organic social media conversation. Snoopy’s cuteness (and meme-ability) is part of the resurgence and has helped create multiple viral moments on multiple platforms. One of these viral moments includes the elusive “Puffer Coat Snoopy”, which was made by RUZ and released to retail in November 2023. The plush was an instant success on social media, as Snoopy fans rushed to CVS stores quickly buying out stock within a few days. During the release of the character plush toy, the official Snoopy TikTok account gained almost 200,000 new followers.

“When asked about the perennial popularity of Snoopy, Sparky always said that while Charlie Brown is pretty much who he is, Snoopy is who he would like to be — carefree and adventurous. I assume much of the world feels that way which makes Snoopy relatable to so many,” says Jean Schulz, widow of Charles Schulz and president of the board of directors, Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Puffer Coat Snoopy Plush Toy

Let's Start the Party!

Peanuts Worldwide will also use its strong brand identity, business strategies and licensing techniques to help it produce its global 75th anniversary campaign. The official campaign will start in October 2024 and culminate in celebrations in fall of 2025. However, some activations and marketplaces will continue the party all the way to 2026.

In anticipation of the major anniversary year, Peanuts is presently working with both current and new partners with a focus on nostalgia, collaborating with iconic toys, figures, dolls, electronics, and games fans might remember from childhood. It is also working on new location-based experiences, fashion collaborations and digital initiatives.

Want to Join the Peanuts Gang?

For the celebration, Peanuts will have a truly global presence, with partners in nearly every product category. The organization will be using the milestone to continue to grow its presence in key territories, including the Asian marketplace and expand further into industry categories like publishing and infant products.

“Peanuts deals with real emotions and promotes positive messages and lessons, including friendship, inclusivity, responsibility and resilience. Our goal is to develop a line of high-quality infant products across soft lines, hard lines and publishing that tie back to these lessons and allow parents to share their love of Peanuts with their children as well,” says Scott Shillet, vice president of global hardlines, Peanuts Worldwide.

Peanuts is also looking to grow its food and beverage portfolio and create collaborations and product ranges that organically tie back to the brand.

With 75 years of history, Peanuts’ generational appeal is evident, thanks to constant innovation, market research and an eye to what is trending with consumers. New and trusted partners alike continue to enhance the Peanuts brand, ensuring that it will continue to grow for generations to come.

Peanuts Worldwide will be attending Licensing Expo 2024, taking place from May 21 to May 23 in Las Vegas, NV. Registration for Licensing Expo is open now.

“If companies are a fan of Peanuts, we would love to meet them and invite them to stop by our booth,” says Erickson.

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PeanutsSponsoredMay 2024

About the Author(s)

Alex Markovich

Sponsored Content Editor, License Global

Alex Markovich is the Sponsored Content Editor for License Global and currently resides in Denver, Colorado, USA. She has written across a variety of publications, such as SDxCentral, Housing Wire, Clear Admit and The US Sun. This experience has given her the ability to gain expertise in tech, energy, real estate, education, non-profits and news. Not only does she have a diverse writing portfolio, but Alex also has mastery in advertising, brand awareness, brand identity and content strategy. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University and is professionally certified in editing from the University of Chicago.

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