It’s no secret that Hasbro is one of the biggest names in the toy industry and one of the biggest names in licensing. Their products are everywhere and they’re a trusted source for consumers all over the world.
As Hasbro continues to expand its global reach in the licensing industry, they participated as both an exhibitor and Live Stage speaker at Festival of Licensing, the month-long virtual celebration of the global licensing industry, which takes place online Oct. 6-29.
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License Global had the chance to catch up with Casey Collins, senior vice president and general manager of global consumer products, Hasbro, to chat about the current state of licensing and what to expect from them at Festival of Licensing.
License Global: For those who don't already know who you are, who are you and how do you fit into the licensing industry?
Collins: My name is Casey Collins and I’m the senior vice president and general manager of global consumer products at Hasbro. I joined Hasbro two years ago from the WWE where I ran global consumer products strategy. At Hasbro, I work with our talented teams around the world to build strategic collaborations across our portfolio of brands.
Hasbro is one of the biggest players in the toy industry. What do you attribute to your continued success?
Over the past decade, Hasbro has set an uncharted path to build amazing brands, informed by insights, bolstered by compelling storytelling, and executed everywhere consumers want to experience them. We’ve strategically invested during this time – adding capabilities in digital gaming, consumer products licensing and entertainment – across platforms. Our recent acquisition of eOne accelerates these efforts, bringing brands, entertainment expertise and scale to the execution of our brand blueprint strategy.
What is the current biggest trend of industry disruption that you see due to the pandemic?
Consumer behaviors have certainly changed, and we are seeing growth in food, health & wellness, personal care, puzzles & games, home goods and classic play from our vault brands like Spirograph and Lite Brite. We have been working on initiatives to quickly expand our presence in these categories. We are constantly reviewing trends to understand where our consumers are focused to ensure we are meeting their needs by offering innovative products with the brands they love.
Additionally, the importance of digital content and e-commerce platforms really came to the fore and that’s a key strategic focus for us. In a very short space of time, access to entertainment and retail via digital platforms really accelerated at an unprecedented rate and given the uncertainty surrounding the next year that’s something we will continue to explore in every aspect of the business.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the beginning of your career, and what advice would you give newcomers now?
If I could go back to the beginning of my career, I would have told myself – “don’t listen to the people who say ‘no’ all the time, and don’t let them slow you down or change your direction.”
For those just getting into the licensing industry, my advice would be to listen, learn and always stay humble and hungry.
What do you see as the most beneficial habit those in the licensing industry should implement while working from home or at an emptier office?
While working remotely is not without our challenges, it has enabled our teams across the world to innovate solutions and redefine relationships with each other and partners in meaningful ways. Technology, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have connected us with colleagues and partners around the world and we think these collaborative tools will continue to serve us well in the long run.