The Science Museum Group are not only curators of the world’s most groundbreaking innovations and defining moments in civilization, but also imaginative licensors responsible for a slew of products as innovative as their archives.
Zuzi Wojciechowska, senior account manager, brand licensing, Science Museum Group, walks us through how the heritage mainstay brand stays ahead of the curve.
License Global: What do you look for in a licensing partner, and how do you identify potential collaborations?
Wojciechowska: We want our partners to be respectful of our brand values, with good-quality products and above all [be] creative. We have so many themes and assets; we like to work with partners who use them in inspiring ways.
What role have tradeshows played in your outreach strategy?
Trade shows serve a variety of purposes for us. We exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe every year, which is a great chance to meet new potential partners, existing licensees and retailers, as well as industry colleagues.
What is the importance of curating collaborations for heritage licensors?
Collaborations are a huge part of heritage licensing. They help build brand awareness and engagement outside of a physical site, reaching a broad audience. All royalties from our products go back to the museum and help support our vital work.
How do you see the licensing industry changing in the next five years, and how will the heritage licensing space change and evolve over that space of time?
I hope that the heritage licensing sector continues to grow. I think consumers have a personal connection with specific heritage brands which means they are loyal and engaged customers. This means that licensees and retailers are quite keen to work on our brands. Challenging times on the high street mean that retailers are looking for more experiential solutions, and places such as the Science Museum can offer just that. For example, we have a world-class outreach team who can provide amazing science shows in-store.
What initiatives do you see the Science Museum revealing across 2019 and 2020?
We are currently trying to work more closely with retailers, offering more experiences and promotions. We have seen a huge increase in interest in all things related to space, no doubt a result of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon as well Tim Peake’s recent mission to the ISS. This means more Science Museum space-themed product, including a new stationery and clothing range. Additionally, we will be looking at sustainability, trying to reduce the amount of packaging in our products and using less plastic.
You recently launched a new collaboration with Monster Factory. What are the key licensing initiatives that make SMG a leader in the heritage market?
We have a wealth of themes and images that licensees can draw on for both kids and adults. Additionally, technological advances and new scientific discoveries mean the topic of science is always fresh. There is no other heritage brand like us. We are the home of public engagement with science, which means all of our products encourage asking questions, figuring things out and further learning about the world around us. The Monster Factory products are a fun way for kids to role-play and learn more about space and space travel–the sky’s not the limit!
To hear more from licensing thought leaders such as Wojciechowska, register for BLE 2019, and visit the Science Museum Group team at booth C441.