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Let’s Get Physical: Taking Digital Brands to the Physical World

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Thought leaders at Licensing Week Virtual discuss the key strategies of taking online brands to on-shelf success.

Day two of Licensing Week Virtual continued to break ground and bring together the industry’s brightest to share best-practices, tools and insight on a variety of topics.

On Tuesday, June 16, an informative panel discussion led by Stu Seltzer, president, Seltzer Licensing, broke down the keys to converting a digitally successful brand into on-shelf success. Panelists included Eric Karp, senior vice president, global brand licensing, BuzzFeed/Tasty; Taylor Carlson, vice president, marketing and licensing, Group Nine (Popsugar, The Dodo and Thrillist); and Scott Dunn, talent manager, Walter Geoffrey The Frenchie.

The panelists shared case studies from their own personal experiences building successful programs for brands with roots in digital. With one million books sold across nine languages, BuzzFeed’s Karp highlighted the publishing program for Tasty, explaining how an on-demand cookbook program was brought to life in only two months.

Carlson shared a similar success story with her example of the PopSugar ready-to-wear collection at Kohl’s, emphasizing the importance of listening to one’s audience before heading into product development.

“In moving a brand from digital to physical, what we really focus on is a partner that’s looking to elevate the customer experience and how to grow their digital relevancy,” Carlson said, adding that the Kohl’s campaign led to a 300-percent increase in traffic to Kohls.com.

Dunn shared his experience overseeing the campaign for popular pet influencer Walter Geoffrey, detailing the pup’s journey and how fans ultimately inspired the product development process.

Seltzer asked panelists a range of questions that uncovered key strategies for success, including how to build brand trust and how to determine brand purpose.

“We develop brand trust by listening,” said Carlson. “We listen to our communities and let them tell us what they want to see, what they want to hear, what they want to learn from us, and, ultimately, how they want to take action.”

Karp highlighted Tasty’s successful Rainbow cookware range and how the brand was able to win at retail.

“Traditional marketing and merchandising rules shouldn’t be thrown out the window just because we are the digital folks,” said Karp. “You need to have product that’s attractive, that’s priced right, that has fantastic shelf space and is marketed well.”

All panelists shared their brands’ core mission of spreading joy and making life easier. Another universal strategy discussed was the vital role of customer feedback.

“The fact that we’re able to deliver products and actually get live input and feedback from the folks who already love the brand, we have the ability to fine-tune these lines and to make the changes that are necessary to make better and better products to them,” added Karp.

To watch the complete session, “Digital to Physical: Bridging Online Brands to On-Shelf Success,” register for Licensing Week Virtual.

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