“The last 18 months has shown the underlying strength of the licensing business and spotlighted companies’ ability to adapt to new circumstances, even as many of the assumptions and underpinnings of normal business practices were upended by the global pandemic,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “We look forward to supporting and leading a robust licensing industry as it – and the world at large – identifies and seizes opportunities in a reformulated post-COVID world.”
Highlights from the special report include:
- The year 2020, with lives upended in so many ways, was characterized by a notable uptick for many classic brands as consumers gravitated toward the familiar. Several licensing executives say that people at all levels of the licensing food chain are “looking inward on brands” – seeking names and suppliers from within their own borders and cultures;
- Videogames, collectibles and trading cards are categories that performed strongly though the pandemic, in large part because lockdowns limited other out-of-house entertainment options. That’s expected to continue at least through 2021, if not further, particularly as the latter two categories interplay with the nascent category of NFTs. Brand owners of all sorts are trying to figure out whether/how they fit into the business of selling digital collectibles in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and to develop strategies around the category; and
- With “non-essential” retail extremely limited in most countries during the pandemic, physical retailers adapted by quickly ramping up their e-commerce marketing and operations, and by expanding their activities in such modes as “Buy online, pick up at curb,” “Buy online, pick up in store” and other such hybrid approaches. According to Salesforce’s Shopping Index, European e-commerce grew by 47 percent in 2020 – slightly lower than the 56 percent growth rate for the world. Emarketer forecasts that 52.1 percent of China’s retail sales will come from ecommerce in 2021, up from 44.8 percent a year prior.
Perspectives from global licensing executives include:Perspectives from global licensing executives include:
- Jay Asher, partner, Brandgenuity;
- Natalie Berling-Noé, director GSA consumer products, Hasbro Deutschland GmbH; and
- Sarah Jackson, director, licensing, Primark.
The “Looking Forward: The State of the Licensing Industry” special report is free for Licensing International members. Non-members may purchase the 30-page report for $495. Visit www.LicensingInternational.org for more information and to download the report.
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