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What is a Licensee & Who are the Best In Class Licensees?

Licensee is a comany that has been granted permission to use a brand name or IP to produce and/or market products or services in exchange for a royalty fee.

License Global

April 6, 2018

3 Min Read
Who are the best in class brand Licensees?
Leading Licensee Report

At a Glance

  • What is a Licensee?
  • Who are the world's best in class licensees?
  • Manufacturing - the challenges and opportunities being faced.

What is a Licensee?

A Licensee is a comany, typically a manufacturer or retailer that has been granted permission to use a brand name to produce and/or market products or services in exchange for paying royalties or a licensing fee to the brand owner. The licensing agreement allows the licensee to leverage the brand's reputation and customer base to introduce new products and expand into new markets.

Licensees are an essential part of any licensing program. They are the companies that handle design, distribution and manufacturing, ensure that licensors’ products are on display at retailers and make it into the hands of consumers worldwide.

Along with the manufacturing, the licensee is responsible for the marketing of the licenses products. Ensuring that they meet any quality standards outlined by the brand owner. A brand style guide is one of the resources used to uphold the branding quality.

Learn more about the basics of brand licensing

How do you approach the licensing process, and what elements make a marketable licensed product?


Apparel Manufacturer - Bioworld

Innovation has always been at the heart of product development at Bioworld. When our designers create physical items that perfectly capture the personality of the brand, you know you’ll have a best seller. Fans appreciate and seek out our products because of the quality and attention to detail that goes into every item.

Beyond design innovation, we also care about product functionality. Research and development go into every item to ensure our products are second to none.


Fasion Manufacturer - Erve

The best audience to check is your own family and friends. What are their kids watching or playing (or your own, of course)? What are they talking about to each other?

Unfortunately, there’s no golden formula to make a brand a licensing success. At Erve, we value a good brand story, a creative style guide and a longterm plan. In the end, it’s always a guess when you make a very early signing.

You win some, and you lose some. And you learn to play the game more and more with each passing day.

Collectibles Manufacturer - Iron Studios

The licensing process has many stages. We start by understanding how strong the IP is in our region by doing market research with our current customers and distributors and gathering information about how they perceive the IP and the sales performance they would expect.

Once we have this information, we can prepare a case study to present to the licensor and start the negotiations – such as the MOQs, pricings, royalties, contract duration and all the other details necessary to move forward with the contract to explore a new IP.

The elements that make a marketable licensed product are directly connected to the experience they provide to the customer. The product should communicate a story, a memory or a significant moment that the customer will perceive as nostalgic and want to have close to him at any moment – that is what we always aim to achieve with our products.

It’s a balance between price and quality. We have realized in the last year that the market is demanding what we call silver products. Bronze is a promotional product and gold is high-end. Across licensing, there has been a step up from promo items to higher-quality products with a higher price. The important part is to work on silver options.

Homewares Manufacturer - Stor

It’s a balance between price and quality. We have realized in the last year that the market is demanding what we call silver products. Bronze is a promotional product and gold is high-end. Across licensing, there has been a step up from promo items to higher-quality products with a higher price. The important part is to work on silver options.

Who are the best in class Licensees?

Every year License Global has compiles a list of more than 200 manufacturers across all categories to represent the breadth of the business.

Meet the licensees here

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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