October 14, 2021
License Global caught up with Marianne James, vice president, EMEA consumer products, Hasbro, to discuss what is on the radar for one of the world’s biggest and boldest toymakers and entertainment companies at Brand Licensing Europe, taking place Nov. 17-19, in London.
What are your goals for this year's Brand Licensing Europe event?
Our goals for this year’s show are to first showcase our expansive “something for everyone” portfolio of brands, and second, to demonstrate the power of our eOne advantage that allows us to firmly position our plans to supercharge our Brand Blueprint strategy across that portfolio. Third, to importantly spend much needed time in person with our industry friends and colleagues after what has been and still is a very tough time for the world.
What do you look for in a licensing partner?
Trust is a key element of any partnership, but we’re also looking for licensing collaborators who are focused on innovation, long term strategic thinking, and creative execution. We also value partners who take a nimble approach to their work – especially as we continue to see rapid changes across the consumer landscape as we all navigate pandemic-related issues.
What sort of collaborations get you the most excited?
I love working on halo partnerships that sow the seed of high value brand equity right through to scalable local partnerships that can travel to have relevance and drive commercial success across the globe. These types of partnerships talk to innovation, tapping into the brand DNA and are authentic to the spirit across all our brands.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in licensing?
For someone just starting out in licensing, I would encourage them to be curious—always ask lots of questions and get to know all aspects of the industry. Also – the licensing business is all about relationships and it’s important to work to build a network of professionals around you that you will work with for years to come. This really is the best industry in the world to work in – everyone has a warm welcoming smile – and if you lean into it with passion, your network will blossom.
Why are events like Brand Licensing Europe so important?
Events like BLE are a time for the industry to come together and showcase the power of our brands. Collectively we make a significant impact on families lives and it’s thrilling to see it all in action – to share moments of success and celebrate, to look forward and build tangible plans with our partners – and to finally do it all in person.
What changes have you seen in the industry?
COVID has obviously drastically impacted the industry as a whole – from supply chain issues to the huge shift to ecommerce and social commerce. We’ve also seen that retailers have become more risk averse and are more focused on supporting the “safe bets” of established brands. The opportunity that this provides is to challenge our teams to innovate the marketing of our brands and products to better reach our consumers while focusing more on differentiating our offerings from some of the newer brands. This time has also lead to major culture shifts across the industry, including more flexible working patterns, which have been a welcome change for many.
Hasbro is exhibiting at Brand Licensing Europe. Be sure to register here!
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