Report: Most Valuable Brands’ Worth Grows 6 Percent


BrandZ’s Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands have increased their total brand value by 6 percent, adding $277 billion over the past year to reach $5 trillion in total value.
Amazon is the world's most valuable brand, growing 32 percent to $415.9 billion and accounting for a third of the BrandZ Top 100's total growth. The retail sector has grown the fastest, up 21 percent in brand value, driven by major e-commerce players.
Technology brands continue to dominate the top of the ranking, representing 37 percent of brand value in the Top 100 and growing overall by 10 percent. More than half of media and entertainment brands appeared in the top 20 risers. TikTok (no. 79, $16.9 billion) was the highest new entry.

In addition to these insights, the report delves into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has changed how businesses grow in value. Last year’s report saw the Most Valuable Global Brands grow by seven percent; the pandemic caused that growth to drop down to six percent. Only time will tell what the pandemic will do to 2021’s numbers, though these brands appear to be showing resiliency.

Click here to download The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Report.

Licensing Week Virtual Unites the Global Licensing Industry Highlighting Post-Pandemic Growth


The first-ever Licensing Week Virtual, organized by the Global Licensing Group in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, took place June 15-19, bringing licensing industry professionals together from across the globe at a time when physical networking and deal-making were not possible. The virtual conference and exhibition secured 4,477 attendees globally from the United States, United Kingdom and Mexico, among others. Noted attendees included Build-A-Bear, Guess, Primark, Selfridges, Target and other world-renowned retailers. Furthermore, 2,933 virtual meetings were scheduled throughout the five-day period and on average, attendees spent 23-plus hours on the event platform. The virtual event showcased the need for developing new and nurturing existing industry connections, as well as future-looking and educational sessions for the licensing industry, which generated $292.8 billion in global sales of license goods and services in 2019, according to the Licensing International’s 6th Annual Global Licensing Survey.

Over the course of five days, the event gathered 4,477 attendees, with the top five countries represented including the U.S., U.K., Mexico, Brazil and Japan. Licensing Week Virtual attendees had a high-level purchasing level/seniority, with 42 percent citing they finalize and make the purchase decisions for their company and 39 percent influencing/recommending purchase decisions. Top retailers including Build-A-Bear Workshop, C&A, El Corte Ingles, Guess, John Lewis, Moonpig, Primark, Selfridges, Steve Madden, Target, Toys R Us and more were in attendance for the event.

The business of brand licensing is historically dependent upon face-to-face connections. Licensing Week Virtual notably saw 2,933 meetings coordinated through the Matchmaking Service, nearly parallel to the number of meetings that took place at the live Licensing Expo event.

Most attendees engaged with seven pieces of content and averaged 23 hours and 23 minutes on the event platform, underscoring the need for industry education and network-building at this time. Each day of the event featured content mirroring the experiences and content commonly found at Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe and was organized into the following categories: Brands & Lifestyle, Character & Entertainment, Art & Design and Emerging Categories.

Several of the Licensing Week Virtual’s 30 sponsors represented the most popular sectors from the 6th Annual Global Licensing Survey from Licensing International, which included the entertainment/character (44 percent of total global licensing market) and corporate brands (21 percent). Licensing Week Virtual sponsors in those categories included ViacomCBS, Neopets, Peanuts and The Smurfs.

Brands & Lifestyle
Consumer brands such as Kraft Heinz experienced net sale growth of 3.3 percent during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic as nostalgia inspires Millennials and younger consumers to look to familiar brands for support and direction during these critical times. As the industry works through the COVID pandemic, brands can look to the power of nostalgia to attract consumers as they cling to the familiar.

The value of purpose is now popular among corporate and lifestyle brands that are experiencing embrace from younger generations (Millennials and Generation Z). Brands that can showcase humility and values with conviction, and stand for causes such as human rights, sustainability, and support through strategic licensing partnerships can expect to see increased interest from a new set of conscious consumers.

Character & Entertainment
Video streaming is projected to reach $27.1 billion in 2020, and as the number of streaming subscription services significantly expands with movie studios launching their own services, coupled with traditional movie theaters unable to show films, more streaming properties have opened the door to vast licensing potential as a wider category of viewers are consuming more content than ever, due to stay-at-home orders, and are thus establishing deep-rooted connections with new properties. Companies such as Universal Studios with their early video-on-demand release of its “Trolls World Tour” animated movie, are releasing licensed products more closely aligned with the entertainment property itself and are able to promote product hand-in-hand with early digital launches.

The retail and licensee communities turned to e-commerce to slow the loss of revenue caused by COVID-19. With companies now focusing product rollout efforts through an e-commerce channel, the need for companies to be highly visible digitally and make online shopping a viable alternative to in-store shopping is a scalable and viable strategy, as the pandemic forced non-digitally native and hesitant consumers to understand the e-commerce landscape, from mobile curbside orders to delivery groceries. Due to the shift, direct-to-consumer opportunities will be a larger segment even as retailers begin to open.

Art & Design
“Label-slapping” is becoming a method of the past, now being replaced by deeper and profound brand collaborations with arts and designers. As consumers seek a greater connection to art through social media and online, licensing affords artists the opportunity to extend their brand to a wider audience through products that fall outside of their traditional product domain.

Product categories that have seen growth and are crucial to the art and design licensing community include home décor, footwear and accessories. These categories have grown, in part, due to the COVID-19 shutdown, as consumers spruce up their homes and work-from-home stations. During Licensing Week Virtual, merchandisers across the spectrum reported strong sales in those categories during the early part of 2020.

Emerging Categories
The rise in video game play has led consumers to a growth in interest toward esports and video game influencers. Fandom has gone beyond the basics of playing singularly and now extends into an entire video game ecosystem. Companies that have creatively leveraged the massive fan base in the gaming sector have shown promise in such partnerships. For instance, Epic Games’ “Fortnite” partnerships with brand owners for in-game digital concerts and licensed character releases have extended the brand’s popularly into other audience non-gaming audiences.

“This business is built from connections and the fact that the number of meetings coordinated during the event virtually mirrors the number set up in-person at our live events showcases the industry’s immense need for connections and learning, ” said Anna Knight, vice president,  Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets. “The most critical part of setting up a virtual event such as this was keeping our community needs top-of-mind – also realizing that not every single element of a live trade show can transfer over to a digital event beat-for-beat. We’re pleased with the results of Licensing Week Virtual and will continue to complement live events with digital offerings to continue to reach the broad and agile licensing community.”

“Providing the licensing community a platform to continue to build successful and influential brand partnerships is more critical than ever as consumer behaviors shift,” said Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “The success of Licensing Week Virtual marks the next step in the licensing landscape, and I am excited to see how the industry will continue to grow during this period of time in history and look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at upcoming live events.”

The Pitch the Brands contest, in partnership with InventHelp, gives inventors the chance to present their product directly in front of a live executive panel from today's leading brands. The 2020 winner of the contest was the Gentle Soother, developed by husband and wife team Adam and Misti Fyffe, which aims to help parents get the rest they need. The Fyffes were among the 10 chosen contestants in the submission-based contest. The grand prize included a one-on-one consultation package, worth more than $1,500.

To learn more about the trends of Licensing Week Virtual, read the full trend report here.

Kraft Heinz Sources New Agents for U.K., Ireland


As Kraft Heinz continues to build its licensing program for its flagship food brands including Heinz, HP Sauce, Lea & Perrins, Amoy and Bull’s Eye, new representatives have been appointed to extend that program further into the U.K. and Ireland. 

“After discussions with several licensing agencies, we are excited to select Metrostar and Brand Central to represent Kraft Heinz in the U.K. and Ireland,” says Olivia Hibbert, director, marketing, Northern Europe, Kraft Heinz. “We feel that Metrostar and Brand Central have the right innovative approach to take our iconic and much-loved brands in to new and exciting directions for the future.” 

With more than 200 brands being sold in more than 200 countries – eight of which are billion-dollar brands – Kraft Heinz’s move into innovative licensed consumer products is part of a new brand direction and will bolster the £800 million sales of FMCG products in the U.K. and Ireland. 

“Working with the global licensing team at Kraft Heinz, we are looking forward to expanding our program beyond the U.S. and Canada and into Europe,” says Ross Misher, chief executive officer, Brand Central. “There is an enormous global opportunity for Kraft Heinz across territories with their portfolio of strong brands. Metrostar is the perfect partner to launch into this new market with their expertise in food licensing and strong retail relationships. Kraft Heinz brands have a huge emotional connection with consumers in the U.K., who grew up eating these products and continue to enjoy them today.” 

After announcing its first collectible consumer products range with YouTooz in June, Kraft Heinz is already bringing the U.S. new ways to interact with its beloved brands and has now set its sights on the U.K. and Ireland. 

“These brands are legends in British food, and we see great potential in a number of product areas,” says Claire Potter, managing director, Metrostar. “We’re thrilled to be representing Kraft Heinz and to be working, once again, with Ross and the team at Brand Central. Brand Central and Metrostar partnered previously on the U.K. licensing campaign for Krispy Kreme donuts. The campaign was nominated for Best Food & Drink License at the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards, and Krispy Kreme won the Best Health & Beauty Range in 2018.” 

Speaking at Licensing Week Virtual, Chris Urban of Kraft Heinz walked License Global and the licensing industry through the brand’s new licensing plans, the power of its heritage and more. Read the full interview here. 

Levi's, Adidas, LVMH and More in the First Brand XT Report


License Global has launched Brand XT, a new special report focused on the latest in marketing campaigns, creative collaborations and brand extensions.

The report aims to provide companies with inspiration to expand their brands through deep dives into partnerships and activities, insights into how some of the world's biggest brands positioned themselves through iconic campaigns and share valuable insights into future trends from those in the know.

In the first issue of Brand XT, License Global covers the following:

  • The Brands that Leveraged Position to Do Good; 
  • The Corona Beer Story; 
  • The Last Great Conundrum: Influencers; 
  • Global Map of Consumer Spending; 
  • LVMH: Breaking New Ground with High Concept Collabs; 
  • Levi Strauss on the Power of Brand Positioning; and 
  • The Class of 2020: Adidas Explains How to Create a Brand Collective. 

Read the full issue of Brand XT today!

BrandEXT Issue One

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Eva Zuckerman, Holly Hunt Team for Home Décor


Home décor designer Holly Hunt has tapped fine jewelry designer Eva Zuckerman to create a décor line of her own, according to

The five-piece collection is inspired by Zuckerman’s designs and includes standing gems, trays and more. It is available now at select Holly Hunt showrooms.

Frisk, UN3D Pop Open Minty Summer Collection in Japan


UN3D, a Japanese casualwear brand of the Mark Styler Company, has teamed up with Japanese mint brand FRISK of Perfetti Van Melle.

Inspired by the brand’s logo, UN3D created a limited fashion collection launched this June with a pop-up store in the upper-tier department store Isetan in Shinjuku’s fashion district in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. The collection is available now.

The deal marks another partnership for a Perfetti Van Melle brand. Earlier this year, the candy company announced that Wildbrain CPLG would represent the Mentos and Chupa Chups brands.

Fauna Taps Exim for Paper Poo in LatAm


Fauna has tapped Mexican licensing agent Exim as the exclusive agent in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile for its kawaii character Paper Poo.

As part of the deal Exim is now responsible for developing a digital plan to localize, launch and grow the brand in the Latin AMericna countries.

Paper Poo previously partnered with the Dutch sustainable and ecological toilet paper manufacturer The Good Roll for a capsule collection.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises Promotes Two Execs


Dr. Seuss Enterprises has announced the promotions of Shannon Spisak and  Jenna Marson.

Spisak has been promoted to her new role as senior director of global marketing and communications. Marson has been named manager of global marketing and licensing.

In her new role, Spisak will manage the sales, marketing and creative teams. She’ll work to develop the company’s product, marketing, creative, social media and business plans. In her role, Spisak will report directly to Susan Brandt.

Spisak previously served as director of marketing and communications at Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Prior to joining the company in 2016, she served as the director of marketing at Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp and director of community marketing at PETCO. 

Meanwhile, as manager of global marketing and licensing, Marson will focus on international licensing and developing strategic partnerships. She will continue to manage the foreign-language publishing and marketing programs in her new role and report to Spisak. 

Previously, Marson served as coordinator of marketing and communications at Dr. Seuss Enterprises and has managed a variety of partnerships for the company. Marson also worked for AlpInvest Partners in New York City and Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP in Irvine, Calif.  

“Dr. Seuss Enterprises remains dedicated to our employees and helping them excel in their careers,” says Susan Brandt, president, Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “Both Shannon and Jenna are exceptionally talented and our organization has gained so much from them.  We are so glad that they will continue to be part of our team and we look forward to seeing them flourish in their new positions.”

Tommy Jeans, Bape Link for Men’s Capsule


Tommy Hilfiger has teamed with Aape by A Bathing Ape to release a streetwear collection that combines the signature styles of both brands.

The collection, according to, draws inspiration from the 1990s. It includes denim shorts, jackets and slouchy sweatshirts. The collection features designs such as Bape’s “Moon Face” logo and camouflage patterns with Hilfiger’s signature red, white and blue themes. Along with the apparel, the collection includes footwear as well.

The Tommy Jeans x Aape by A Bathing Ape collection will drop on July 11 at AAPE stores along with Tommy Jeans stores in Shanghai and Japan. The line will also drop at in Europe and through select European wholesale partners.

For Tommy Hilfiger, the deal extends the brand’s recent partnerships. Earlier this year the brand teamed with H.E.R. and Lewis Hamilton for a line of apparel.