Learning for the Future: Catching Up on Industry Knowledge at Licensing Week Virtual

LWVlicensingu.png

As much uncertainty remains for the second half of 2020, education and knowledge sharing took center stage at this year's Licensing Week Virtual.

Keynotes and panels with some of the industry's established thought leaders were coupled with a fully online version of Licensing University. From spotlights on post-pandemic business trends to understanding the importance of purpose-driven brands, the slate of panels for the week highlighted why learning is a vital piece in understanding how to move forward.

"I think everybody in this age of social media has been learning along the way about how to be a little more agile and react to what's happening in the world," says Marty Brochstein, senior vice president, industry relations and information, Licensing International, when discussing Licensing University. "Now the onset of the pandemic, and what it's done to the retail marketplace, has probably forced people to even move that education up in terms of their own professional training."

While the community couldn't be in the same room, the digital nature of the event showed how the licensing industry can still share knowledge and learn from each other while social distancing. Speaking about the importance of sessions such as Licensing International's Licensing University, Brochstein even highlighted how the digital nature of the show might have allowed some industry professionals more time to take part in educational sessions.

"I think that what we're able to do by putting these sessions together virtually is have access to a larger pool of speakers," says Brochstein. People aren't limited as much by their schedules. "Everybody is rushing around and everybody's scheduled to the hilt during the physical show. But now we're able to take advantage of the extra time afforded by putting this together on a virtual basis and gain access to some people, we wouldn't have been able to get together at one time."

In terms of Licensing University, and the other panels at Licensing University, many of the sessions shined a light on the trends at the top of everyone's mind – COVID-19. Sessions ranged from "The Day After COVID-19: Consumer and Marketing Trends" to "Stop Living in a Silo: Why Everyone Needs an E-Comm Strategy," panels aimed to provide tangible insight for companies looking navigate this unprecedented times.

"We were able to really think about some of the issues related to the pandemic and how it's affecting how you plan a marketing plan for the rest of this year and into next year when you're uncertain as to what the consumer landscape is going to be like," says Brochstein.

Learn More

If you missed any of the panels or Licensing University sessions, be sure to watch them on-demand by registering for Licensing Week Virtual.

 

Preparation, Agility and Values: Top Trends from Licensing Week Virtual

LWVtrends.png

The licensing industry is an ever-evolving landscape. New trends are always emerging, and those trends must be at the forefront when it comes to choosing new licensing partners.  

That’s why events like the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual are so vital. From keynotes and panels to Matchmaking deals and more, licensees and licensors had the opportunity to educate themselves on what’s happening in the licensing industry here, now and into the future. 

The virtual expo highlighted many new trends that are shaping the market. License Global was on hand and spotted these key trends to look from the show floor. 

How to Prepare for the Unexpected 

The COVID-19 pandemic is fundamentally changing how everyone thinks about business and life. From wearing face masks to re-thinking how we shop, the future isn’t what it used to be. This paradigm shift in thinking is ever prevalent in the licensing space too.  

During Licensing Week Virtual, we heard from panelists and attendees from every vertical who said they are looking to reach customers who are spending more time online and looking to do more things at home. Panelists such as Hamutal Schieber, founder and chief executive officer, Schieber Research, shared how we should expect something like at-home fitness continue to gain steam as people are reluctant to go to the gym. Others, such as Jack Gindi, chief executive officer, Ground Up, also highlighted how ecommerce must continue to play a vital role in all brands' retail strategy even as brick-and-mortar shops begin to reopen.   

The key theme to all these trends is the fact that while much of the future is still unknown, we have already seen some things to latch onto for future strategies. A few of these things will just be extensions of trends we saw even pre-pandemic. However, for those companies who were late to adapt, the time is now to re-think your plans moving forward. 

A Whole New Pace for Global Brands 

The licensing industry is a community defined by its agility. To that end, the rapidly shifting landscape of the consumer market amid COVID-19 has brought new initiatives, new ways of business and new opportunities to collaborate. At Licensing Week Virtual – itself an example of the community's agility – the trends to emerge from brand directors, licensing experts and consumer engagement specialists revealed what a fast-paced new normal could look like in the future.   

With the work-at-home culture looking to be just one permanent change for life post-coronavirus, studios are pursuing anime, animation and creative content offerings to swerve the production issues brought on by social distancing. Mobile games, like Licensing Week Virtual exhibitors Neopets, are driving buzz in the market as device gaming rises exponentially in both engagement and revenue growth. Big-ticket movies have found their way to on-demand services as platforms like HBO Max and NBC Peacock enter the fight for captivated audiences. These new, direct-to-home entertainment platforms, from mobile gaming to streaming, esports and beyond, will undoubtedly speed up the business of both consumer products, brand exposure and buyer engagement.   

"Our biggest challenge is meeting demand," says Zion Doran, senior director, integrated promotions and partnerships, Kellogg's, during the day two keynote panel. "So we took a lot of steps to meet the high consumption and high demand, but I will say I'm very proud of how we responded and our ability to be agile with how we market and talk to our consumers pretty much overnight."  

Speed and agility are just a few lasting changes of the coronavirus impact, meaning rising to the challenge of meeting consumer demand can bring a whole new world of business, buyer and brand innovation. Put simply, it's an exciting time to be in the business of brands. 

Partnerships for Change 

Throughout Licensing Week Virtual, a consistent trend was successful licensees and licensors using their platforms to make a change. Whether that was through Trevco’s MaskClub with licensed masks for the COVID-19 pandemic or enacting social change by supporting movements like Black Lives Matter, experts agree that using your platform for good enacts the change you want to see in the world all the while boosting your business.  

“We develop brand trust by listening,” says Taylor Carson, vice president, marketing and licensing, Group Nine, during day two’s panel, Digital to Physical: Bridging Online Brands to On-Shelf Success. “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. Now, more than ever, transparency isn’t just a trend or a buzz word -- it’s vital to a brand’s existence.”  

Donating products and time to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, social inequality or other causes has proven to be an effective business move that does three things: 

  • It puts your business in the spotlight, increasing brand awareness;  
  • It gives consumers a positive attitude toward your brand, making them more likely to choose your brand over an inactive brand in the future; and 
  • It aids in real change that will alleviate the socioeconomic struggles that potential consumers are facing and prevent them from investing in a product.  

In short, listening to a product’s audience and aligning with their values allows sales to continue to flourish. Doing the right thing with your business does more than just gives you a personal sense of satisfaction. It provides licensing programs those businesses are involved with the upper hand they need to spread like wildfire. 

Learn More 

These trends are just the tip of the iceberg. A wealth of knowledge was available to those who attended the event. To learn more about these trends and many others discussed at Licensing Week Virtual, you still have time. Register for the event and watch all of the content on-demand. 

Negotiating, Innovating and Thriving: What Comes Next After Licensing Week Virtual

LWVanalysisfriday.png

Licensing Week Virtual proved to be an invaluable event for the licensing industry. It was the first of its kind, allowing people from all corners of the industry to virtually meet one another through the Matchmaking service, educate one another through watching panels and keynotes, learn about up-and-coming licensable products through the Pitch the Brands contest and more. Multiple trends came to light through this event, with each day highlighting something new for the licensing industry to look out for moving forward. 

What We Learned at Licensing Week Virtual 

During the first day of Licensing Week Virtual, industry leaders highlighted the growing importance of nostalgia and creative thinking that will play out in licensing across the brands and lifestyle categories. The second day revealed how the world’s sudden, both socially and economically, have impacted the licensing industry – particularly within the characters and entertainment sector. Meanwhile, day three brought the art, design and emerging categories front and center. Guest speakers across the categories spoke about the role social media has played in connecting people with brands and turning people into influencers. On day four, licensors shared how they're working through the challenges of 2020 and discussed the potential realities in the months to come as part of Licensing International’s Licensing University sessions. 

The keynotes and panels' culmination over these four days proved that consumers are looking for a reminder of a simpler past and hope for better days ahead. They want products that disrupt the status quo by bringing them back to simpler times, and they want products that will connect them to the social issues that they care about in society. 

So with all of this new knowledge, what comes next after Licensing Week Virtual? How can the licensing industry use these new insights to boost their business, and what can the licensing industry expect in the future? 

More Disruptions 

If there’s anything that 2020 has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. Preparing your business for any outcome and shifting your partnerships and brand identity to go with the flow of change is always the best bet for staying in business. 

You’ll want to be aware of any new trends and disruptions happening not only within the licensing industry but throughout the planet. Social issues, COVID-19 updates and more will continue to be placed at the forefront during this challenging time. Use what is placed in front of you to your advantage.  

Create licensing partnerships in as timely of a manner as possible and be sure to look out for underserved communities. Your product could be the next biggest innovation in licensing, but it should also help alleviate challenges. 

Stay in-tune with what properties blow up during this time and create products that connect fans to those new properties. Find out your fan’s identity and connect that to the time period we are living in. It's a risk to dive into a new property, especially during a pandemic, but those who calculate their risks and choose the right new partners or products to champion will come out ahead after this pandemic comes to a close. 

Comforting the Masses 

It's essential to use your brand identity to move the needle forward through various forms of consumer comfort. Comforting people from all walks of life with nostalgic or revolutionary products will have your licensing partnerships taking off.  

Choosing properties is important but choosing what will comfort the masses is what is sure to get a product sold. What do people need during this time to survive? What do they need to relax? What do they need to keep themselves educated, safe and thriving as much as possible? The answer could be in a product you develop. 

Whether it’s a book deal, a line of face masks, a media partnership or something else entirely, businesses can make their brand memorable by listening in to what consumers need during this time and providing it in as many ways as possible. 

What’s to Come 

The future can never be predicted with 100 percent certainty. However, we can use what we have learned during this time to propel the licensing industry forward and create the right partnerships as new events occur. Continue to listen, continue to innovate and continue to transform. The licensing industry has always been resilient, and with the right education and transformative efforts, nothing can stop that. 

 

To learn more about how brands are transforming during this unique time, register for Licensing Week Virtual. Presentations are still available on-demand. 

Licensing Post-Pandemic: Industry Leaders Highlight A Way Forward

covid199999.png

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented. From store closures to teaching kids at home, the pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of professional and personal life. For the licensing industry, the challenges have also hit home for almost every aspect of business. Nearly everyone has spent at least some time working from home, and many expected industry standards have had to evolve.

As events have had to be postponed to flatten the curve of the virus, the industry has come together to find new ways to connect and get deals done in the face of uncertainty. Throughout this year's fully digital Licensing Week Virtual event, licensors have shared how they're working through the challenges of 2020 and discussed the potential realities that are trending in the months to come. Having heard from experts all week, here are some of the advice and ideas circulated on the virtual tradeshow floor.

Coming Together at A Distance

A very human challenge of the shutdown is the fact that much of the community has been working from home. More than ever, we are entering the homes of our cohorts and seeing them from a new lens. Speaking at the Marketing in the New Normal session as part of Licensing University, Alaina Caldwell, partner and creative director, Styleworks, highlighted how this shift has presented a challenge for many and how the community has come together to face the trial head-on.

"Everybody is in this together, we're trying to juggle our personal lives and our professional lives as they're intertwining as one, which can be really difficult for a lot of people especially right now in a time of need," says Alaina Caldwell, partner and creative director, Styleworks. "Bringing this virtual licensing event together is a major accomplishment. And I'm really proud to be a part of it."

A Social Industry Adapts

Licensing is inherently a social industry. Many in the licensing community thrive on meeting new people and shaking hands of partners. The pandemic has thrown a massive wrench in that aspect of licensing. During her session, Cladwell highlighted how such a social group of professionals has to adjust to meetings via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

"I think one of the major hurdles in our industry is that most of you are very social sales driven people," adds Cladwell. "A big part of what brings all of these brands, partnerships and collaborations together, and to fruition, is the way that they're presented with your personalities, you're used to in-person meetings, using those personalities and social abilities to share your brands and products with each other."

Looking at the Home Markets

When not working at home, each of us is also trying to find comfort in our houses. From working out in the living room to wearing leisurewear more often, the truth is we've all become homebodies in the last few months. With those trends, however, is a potential opportunity for the licensing community. Observers at Licensing Week Virtual highlighted how, even as things begin to open up, consumers will still look to make purchases via at-home platforms such as ecommerce and personal fitness options. During her Licensing University session, The Day After COVID-19: Consumer and Marketing Trends, Hamutal Schieber, founder and chief executive officer, Schieber Research, highlighted what trends to look out for even as the light at the end of the tunnel begins to poke through.

"We do think that there will be, at least on the medium term, a huge change [with personal fitness], people will likely go less to gyms and we'll look for more curated experiences such as ClassPlass and smaller surrounding smaller events," adds Hamutal Schieber, founder and chief executive officer, Schieber Research.

Learn More

Be sure to register for the event and watch all the show's sessions on-demand to hear more about the trends and highlights from this year's Licensing Week Virtual.  

Licensing University: Learning, Winning and More at LWV Day Four

licensingweekvirtual.png

Day four of Licensing Week Virtual kicked off on Thursday providing a breadth of new online opportunities for the industry. The Licensing University online sessions for the day brought out some of the most well-known executives in the licensing industry who shared tips and strategies via various panels. Licensing University was joined on the day by online keynotes, the Pitch the Brands contest, Matchmaking and more.

From listening to speakers to networking and “walking” the virtual show floor, there was something for everyone in the industry to enjoy. Here’s your recap of the fourth day of this inaugural event – and all it had to offer.

Invisible Marketing: A Hidden Tool for Connecting with Consumers Through Licensing

Drawing from his newly published book  Invisible Marketing: A Hidden Tool for Connecting with Consumers through Licensing, Jeff Lotman, founder, chief executive officer, Global Icons and owner of Fred Segal, spoke to the brand community today about the power of consumer relationships in licensing. 

For more information on Lotman’s book and insight into the creation of his licensing business, Global Icons, check out our coverage of the keynote.

Panel: Why Consumer Research Matters - Especially Now

Adina Avery Grossman, founding partner, Brandgenuity, moderated a deep-dive panel discussion on the importance and power of consumer research.

Panelists included Tammy Talerico, director, licensing, Church & Dwight; Scott Harmon, director, laundry innovation, Church & Dwight; Kyle Whitacre, vice president, sales, CR Brands; and Neelam S. Modi, Upstream Brand Management, CR Brands.

The group dissected an array of topics that highlighted the importance of quality consumer research. Using Arm & Hammer cleaning wipes as a case study, they illustrated techniques, strategies and best practices for gathering insight to deliver success. Grossman asked panelists about the importance of packaging, shelf research, research costs and how best to gather research in a post-COVID-19 climate.

To learn more about the panel, read License Global’s session recap online now.

Pitch the Brands Winner Announced

Pitch the Brands, in partnership with InventHelp, gives inventors the chance to gain firsthand insight on their invention from an executive panel of product experts and thought leaders. Chosen applicants had their product revealed to a live online audience and panel of judges during the Pitch the Brands session during day four of Licensing Week Virtual.

The panel’s experts included host Ronny Smith, managing director, InventHelp; Robert Yusim, president, Product Counsel; Michael Miller, director, product partnerships, Danco, LSP Companies, NCH Corporation; and Tracy Metro, host, Netflix's "House Doctor" and multiple infomercials.

Out of this year’s nominees, The Gentle Soother, was 2020’s winner.

Designers Adam and Misty Fife designed product which they say works like a dream and helped naptime went from an hour-long event to ten minutes of bouncing.

The grand prize package includes a one-on-one consultation package with the panel judges, worth more than $1,500.

Read about highlights from the session by reading our coverage of the competition.

 

Licensing International Webinar Recap

This year, Licensing University went digital to coincide with Licensing Week Virtual. The online-only event included sessions ranging from how to plan for a post-pandemic world to learning the basics of licensing.

With speakers including Hamutal Schieber, founder and chief executive officer, Schieber Research, and Scott Harmon, director of laundry innovation, Church & Dwight, the series brought some of thought leaders at the forefront of the licensing industry together to chat about where the industry is as well as where its headed. Multiple sessions fell under the Licensing University umbrella, giving those who attended a wealth of exclusive knowledge.

Read about highlights from the session by reading our coverage of Licensing University.

 

Learn More

If you couldn’t attend any of the session, you can rewatch all of the panels and presentations for up to one week after the event is over. Register for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual by clicking here.

 

 

 

Pitch the Brands: Inventions to Watch, and The Grand Prize Winner

pitchthebrands (1).png

Pitch the Brands, in partnership with InventHelp, gives inventors the chance to gain firsthand insight on their invention from an executive panel of product experts and thought leaders. Chosen applicants had their product revealed to a live online audience and panel of judges during the Pitch the Brands session during day four of Licensing Week Virtual.

The panel’s experts included host Ronny Smith, managing director, InventHelp-Intromark; Robert Yusim, president, Product Counsel; Michael Miller, director of product partnerships, Danco, LSP Companies, NCH Corporation; and Tracy Metro, host, Netflix's "House Doctor" and dozens of infomercials.

“It has been a pleasure to continue to work alongside Anna Knight and her team at the Global Licensing Group on Pitch the Brands in support of the inventor community, and by extension, the licensing industry,” says Smith. “We are proud of be a part of Pitch the Brands at Licensing Week Virtual, the sophistication and speed at which the contest and event itself were pulled together in a digital environment is truly a testament to unwavering support the Global Licensing Group, Licensing International, and supporting brands have for our creative industry.”

The following companies were chosen as nominees for the contest;

  • Imaskination: A mask company focused on getting young children to wear their masks by using a personalization system that lets them dress up as their favorite characters
  • The Spice Device: A spice measuring and dispersing system that prevents home chefs from having to go deep in the container of flour, sugar or any spice.
  • The Last Drop, The Last Bit: A device that will get the last drop out of any household container by allowing it to be propped up upside down.
  • Loom Gift Notes;  A personalized gift note system that makes sending online gifts more unique.
  • Derob Notebooks: A fully customizable notebook with options including phone holders and a pop-out football game.
  • RallyMates: A portable mini drum made for sports fans to keep cheering going.
  • The Gentle Soother: A bouncing chair that works to soothe baby with gentle motion.
  • Lux Button: A personalized button that can promote insignias, brand logos and more all the while decorating your outfit.
  • Hood Buddie: A hoodie that can adhere to your head, creating an airtight seal to keep the wearer warm.

Out of this year’s nominees, The Gentle Soother, was 2020’s winner.

Designers Adam and Misty Fyffe designed product which they say works like a dream and helped naptime went from an hour-long event to ten minutes of bouncing.

The grand prize package includes a one-on-one consultation package with the panel judges, worth more than $1,500.

To watch the contest unfold on-demand be sure to register for Licensing Week Virtual.

Beanstalk Brokers Deal for Baileys, Jessica Pastries

baileyscake.png

Baileys and Jessica Pastries, the producer of in-store bakery desserts, have partnered to introduce Baileys desserts to grocery stores across Canada.

Jessica Pastries is bringing the Baileys flavor to in-store bakeries with a chocolate mousse cake made with ganache, mousse, sponge and chocolate shavings, as well as a double brownie cake with chocolate brownie wafers smothered with a Baileys flavored white chocolate ganache. The Baileys Mousse cake is available at Metro Grocery stores across Canada.  The Baileys Double Brownie cake is available at Sobeys stores launching Father’s Day 2020. Jessica Pastries will also introduce two new Baileys desserts this holiday season, including mini-salted caramel cheesecake ramakins and a Christmas log.

“We started on the Baileys adventure two years ago with the idea of simply gaining a few extra product facings to our existing shelf space in the bakery sections in retail grocery venues,” says Eric Walfish, director, business development, Jessica Pastries. “What we are learning is that the power of the Baileys brand coupled with the creative skills of our product development team, so far has resulted in [a] fantastic response from the retail grocers and their customers.  We look forward to building on this excitement by expanding our Baileys dessert offerings and sharing it with all Canadians coast to coast for many years to come.”

Beanstalk, Diageo’s brand extension licensing agency, secured the partnership with Jessica Pastries.

For Beanstalk, the deal marks another collaboration for its client portfolio. The agency recently discussed its approach to licensing in a sponsored a panel at Licensing Week Virtual. Beanstalk’s panel, “Consumers, Brands and Retailers: Adapting in the New Reality,” explored the future state of retail, branding and consumer behaviorRegister for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual to watch the full session on-demand.

Licensing International Announces 2020 Rising Stars

risingstars.png

Licensing International has unveiled the recipients of this year’s International Rising Stars Award.

The group of six young professionals hail from all corners of the globe and all sectors of the licensing business.

They will be recognized at the virtual Licensing Excellence Awards, taking place Thursday, August 13, 2020. Prior to the Awards, this year’s Rising Stars will be introduced at a special online event Tuesday, June 30. This panel discussion will be moderated by Ivonne Feliciano, director, business development and marketing, Beanstalk and a past Rising Star.

This year’s Rising Stars are:

  • Krystyna Braxton, Apparel Licensing Manager, NFL Players Inc.
  • Allison Cimino, CEO & Designer, RockLove
  • Carolina Garcia Souza, Senior Category Manager, Stationery, Home & FHBP, Cinecolor Colombia, representative of The Walt Disney Company
  • Gao Qiang, Video Commercialization Center Licensing Director, Tencent
  • Hannah Stevens, Senior Commercial Manager and Head of Retail, The Point.1888
  • Louis Yenik, Licensing Manager, Crunchyroll 

Rising Stars were selected by a committee of global industry professionals hailing from five different countries and was led by Sharon Weisman, vice president global business development, Licensing International. Rising Star nominations were submitted by executives from around the world and the winners were selected by the committee based on the candidates’ commitment and passion for the licensing industry, leadership potential and proven innovation in their area of expertise.

In addition to being recognized at the two events this summer, Rising Stars will receive complimentary access to the Coursework in Licensing Studies program, VIP Access to Licensing International events throughout the year and a year of mentoring with a seasoned licensing professional.

Licensing International co-hosted Licensing Week Virtual with the Global Licensing Group. Check out their Licensing University panels here after registering for the event.

NFLPA Names Licensees of the Year

nflpa.png

Shinesty, Rawlings Sporting Goods Company and EA SPORTS have been named as the 2020 NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Licensees of the Year.

The three companies won in the following categories:

  • Best Breakout Product: Shinesty’s player-themed Hawaiian style shirts.
  • Best Player Activation: Rawlings’ activation on QVC to promote player signatures used on the new Team Roster Signature Football.
  • Best Use of Group Player Rights: EA SPORTS’ record-setting success across engagement and revenue growth through Madden NFL 20. 

“We have many licensing partners whose products, activities and results exceeded expectations, and this year’s winners, Shinesty, Rawlings and EA SPORTS certainly set a high bar and represented some of the most inventive ways to leverage group rights that we saw last season,” says Steve Scebelo, vice president, licensing and business development, National Football League Players Association.

As a brand-new apparel licensee, Shinesty unveiled a line of officially licensed Hawaiian shirts featuring hand-drawn caricatures of players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The Colorado-based company, whose mission is to bring consumers the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen, created the NFLPA collection for tailgates, watch parties, game day events and sports enthusiasts both in the stands and on the sidelines.

Rawlings leveraged its rights to the players’ official licensed signatures to provide fans an original new product – the official Team Roster Signature Football. Those watching global television network QVC saw the football covered in facsimile signatures from a team’s active roster of players.

EA SPORTS, one of the NFLPA’s longest-standing licensees, broke records both in engagement and NFLPA-based revenue growth. “Madden NFL 20” was the most successful games in franchise history, with unique gamers growing by 30 percent year-over-year, monthly average gamers reaching an all-time high, more than 330 million hours played, and over one billion minutes watched on Twitch.

A panel of NFLPA licensing executives evaluated licensees on five criteria: number of unique players featured within the licensees’ product lines; the marketing and promotional activations that featured players throughout the year; creativity and innovation in product development; the licensees’ positive development of the players’ intellectual property; and the range of distribution and growth in annual financial performance.

The NFLPA, through its licensing and marketing arm, NFL Players Inc., launched the annual awards in 2015 to honor the NFLPA licensees that demonstrate the most successful and creative use of NFL player group licensing rights. 

NFLPA hosted a panel at Licensing Week Virtual. Be sure to register for the event to watch all the show's sessions on-demand.

Meet the Nominees for Licensing International’s Excellence Awards

excellenceawardsss.png

The 2020 Licensing International Excellence Awards nominees include companies from five countries on three continents. Licenses from the world of entertainment, lifestyle brands, museum collections and corporate trademarks are all included on the list. Overall, more than 600 entries were received this year from companies in 22 countries and were judged by a panel of 152 executives from 20 nations.

The following are the nominees for Best Product: Appliances – Electronics – Housewares.

Bullit Mobile – Cat S61 by Caterpillar Smartphone

For more than 90 years, Caterpillar has been helping their customers. The Cat S61 rugged phone matches up with the reputation of Cat tractors and equipment and has been recognized for innovations with laser measuring, a thermal camera and an air sensor. Cat rugged smartphones are sold in more than 60 countries and placed in more than 15,000 retail outlets.

Cuisinart – Tasty Kitchen Electrics

Cuisinart and Tasty brought together a team of industrial designers to develop and build five kitchen electrics and to migrate the Tasty One Top (smart app-enabled inductive cooktop) to Cuisinart technology. Available at HSN, Amazon and Walmart.com, these candy-colored kitchen tools have aimed to inspire an entire new generation of home chefs.

ezpz – “Sesame Street” All-in-One Placemat

Sesame Workshop collaborated with ezpz, to make of an original all-in-one placemat with the “Sesame Street” brand. The all-in-one design allows parents to serve kids their favorite foods in the shape of Elmo and Cookie Monster faces with separate compartments for different flavors.

Haier COSMO Plat – YIHE Fairyland (Summer Palace) Kitchen & Bathroom Fixtures

AYIHE Fairyland Collection Kitchen and Bathroom products are the first IP crossover collection which collaborate between Haier COSMOPlat and Xiamen diiib Technology Co. With the help of Haier’s marketing and distribution channel, Diiib YIHE Fairyland collectionhas been sold in online stores such as TMALL, JD, MI and offline channels all round of China. 

Personalized Plates Queensland – emoji License Plates

Personalized Plates Queensland (PPQ) unveiled the world’s first emoji number plate range in last year. Queensland drivers can now choose customized plates using five of the most popular emojis to express themselves. Priced at $475 each, more than 1,000 plates have sold to date, generating more than half a million in sales.

Project Audio Systems – The Beatles Turntable

Project Audio Systems released their fifth Beatles turntable this year, The Yellow Submarine turntable, which is the most distinctive of the five yet. They’ve also created The Beatles White Album Turntable in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic “White Album.” The turntable is held almost entirely in white.

Stern Pinball – The Beatles Pinball

Stern Pinball, in collaboration with Ka-Pow Pinball, released the first and only Beatles pinball machine ever made.  Only 1,964 units were produced in recognition of the year in which the band made their U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Pinball game is available in three models named for the recording industry’s sales award levels. The Diamond Edition, the highest level and most difficult to attain, is limited to only 100 units. The Platinum Edition is limited to 250 units and The Gold Edition is limited to 1,614 units.

Learn More

Find out about the other brands up for this year’s Licensing International’s Excellence Awards by reading our continued coverage of the nominees.

Licensing International co-hosted Licensing Week Virtual with the Global Licensing Group. Check out their Licensing University panels here after registering for the event.