HERITAGE INSTITUTIONS CURATE and maintain centuries of creativity, from archives of textiles and designs to individual artifacts, world landmarks, historical milestones and iconic works of art. Generating more than $1.181 billion in 2017, according to Licensing International’s Global Licensing Industry Survey 2019, the heritage sector – which also includes not-for-profit organizations – stands as one of the most exciting and authentic sources of inspiration for licensees.
It's this authenticity that drives a deeper connection with consumers. Licensed products in this sector such as those inspired by Hokusai's The Great Wave – arguably one of the first globally recognized artworks, and heritage brands, in Japan – draw inspiration from iconic works and provides buyers with authentic consumer-driven design, such as the Great Wave-inspired homeware additions from the British Museum.
“Heritage brands are built on a strong and authentic history,” says Craig Bendle, manager, merchandising and licensing, British Museum. “Of course, heritage licensing is not just about brand association. There is also a strong asset base that can be drawn upon to support exciting licensing product development; in our case, some very well-known objects as diverse as Hokusai’s The Great Wave, The Rosetta Stone, beautiful ancient Greek pottery, the Sutton Hoo helmet, drawings by Michelangelo, the Lewis Chessmen and so on.”