Dr Amanda Gummer shares her advice for Licensors in building a new IP and why research at the start is key...

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Monday 14th Feb 2022 - News from the United Kingdom

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It’s a story I hear year in and year out: a popular license doesn’t hit its mark at retail - it gets discounted and the whole brand is devalued. But how do we prevent this from happening time and again?  When I suggest research to de-risk the licensing strategy and product development, licensors nod sagely and rush to introduce me to the master toy licensee, Normally what happens next is a protracted debate between the licensor and the master licensee about who should pay for the research. 

Meanwhile the clock is ticking on the development cycle and before you know it, there’s no time to conduct the research and everyone holds their breath and hope the products fly off the shelves. When that doesn’t happen, licensees are the ones who bear the financial brunt and often lose the license, and retailers may end up being less likely to stock up on future lines.

Retailers already push suppliers on their A and M commitments and research should be another factor in the mix. By asking what research has been done as part of the product development cycle, retailers can be clearer on the risks they are taking when they make their buying decisions. In an increasingly competitive market, retailers need reassurance and additional reasons to list your brands.  As an added bonus for retailers, licensees that have done their research, can share those findings with their retailers to help them better understand and sell the products in store and online. 

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