Steven Heller, president, The Brand Liaison, hosted a panel of leading licensees to discuss what they are looking for in 2020 and beyond. The "What Do Licensees Want?" panel shed light on the factors and considerations driving the industry forward during this challenging time.
The diverse panel included Sam Ferguson, vice president of global licensing, Jazwares, Stephanie DiTirro, senior manager, licensing and merchandising, Extreme Concepts, Sami Souid, president, IHL Apparel Group, Matthew Arevalo, co-founder and chief experience officer, Pinfinity and Eunnie Hur, licensing director, Just Funky.
Highlights from the presentation included the importance of communication during the continually shifting era of COVID-19. Ferguson detailed how communication with partners is vital to ensure everyone can get through this unparalleled time.
"I think the biggest thing we've seen during COVID is, you [need to] increase your communication if you if you haven't already," says Ferguson. "I think that's key because everybody realizes everybody needs each other – retailers need manufacturers and manufacturers need the licensees or licensors need the manufacturers. It was probably the first time in my career; no one could point fingers. I think we all look to each other and said, 'this is no force majeure act of God, and we need to figure it out together.'"
Another key trend highlighted during the presentation was the push to react quickly. DiTirro shared how the retailers she works with are looking to pivot much faster to what they see in the market.
"We've noticed that retailers want to react to trends really quicker than ever," adds DiTirro. "Either capitalizing on really great sales with more product or coming to us and saying, 'how can we maneuver around the slower selling merchandise?'"
Those are just some of the highlights presented during the "What Do Licensees Want?" panel. To learn more from the full forum, check out the on-demand session now.