MODA and UNICEF at BLE Sept 28th – 30th 2010

MODA Licensing is scheduling appointments for UNICEF at Brand Licensing Europe. If you are looking for a new children’s brand that stands apart from current offerings, then please visit us to learn more.

UNICEF, (United National Children’s Education Fund) a first time exhibitor, will take this opportunity to unveil the platform for a global licensing program designed to further commercialize the brand and create a dynamic and profitable licensing business that will drive traffic, engage consumers and generate revenue for licensees, retailers and help to fund/support UNICEF’s mission.

With strong worldwide awareness, 90%+ in most markets, UNICEF is a “borderless” brand that will resonate with consumers of all ages and backgrounds globally, locally and regionally. Our licensing brand platform (multiculturalism, connecting children with children, global and cause) provides differentiation that retailers and consumers are seeking.

UNICEF is already a proven success in the commercial arena enjoying a leading market position globally in the humanitarian cards and gifts business.

Available product categories for children include: Toys, Apparel, First Aid, Eyewear, Books, Software, Video games and Juvenile products.

Please contact us to set up at appointment or stop by our booth #CO53 to learn more about how UNICEF can improve your business and the lives of children.

Sharon Summer- T +1 212 687-7640 ext: 216
Alicia Rodriguez- T +1 212 687 7640 ext: 210

FMI 2010

FMI May 2010

I recently attended the FMI 2010 Show (Food Marketing Institute) in Las Vegas, the largest and most comprehensive food industry event in North America. The show was touted as a big success with attendance up and most attendees full of optimism.

People were talking about brand loyalty being critical to food retail and the importance private label store brands have in the market especially when shoppers have to make their grocery dollars go farther. In fact, I was informed that 97% of shoppers will purchase the same amount or more private brands in the grocery store in 2010 / 2011. These facts are real and add a sense of panic to brand owners and licensees who are vying for shelf space.

Competing with other brands is one thing but competing with your retailer is another and brand owners are looking for solutions that will maintain and increase their marketshare. There is no easy solution here but it seemed that product differentiation, creativity, customer service and speed to market was the buzz coming out of the show. Being a step ahead of the retailer by offering something unique that fills consumers’ wants and desires will help brand owners maintain brand loyalty and hopefully increase marketshare.

MODA was at the show launching a line of licensed America’s VetDogs® dog treats by Bil-Jac — to much success. Attendees seemed to really understand that by purchasing a package of America’s VetDogs® dog treats they were giving back to an amazing organization that supports our American disabled veterans and heroes (differentiation) by providing soldiers with service dogs that allow them to re-enter domestic life with dignity and a sense of purpose (unique). Bil-Jac also stepped up to the plate and saw the immediate opportunity by landing a national retailer to roll-out the VetDogs® dog treats in August 2010 (speed to market).

Kazachok Licensing Forum

Kazachok Licensing Forum – Paris,  April 2010

We were in Paris for business meetings which fortunately overlapped with Kazachok Licensing Forum.  I therefore planned to attend and to be sure to hear Ira Mayer, Publisher, The Licensing Letter speak. Of course, his office is down the block from ours in NYC but it’s so much more fun to get together in different locales!

Ira presented 3 industry challenges, which were the economy, retail infrastructure and media infrastructure; and 7 growth opportunities which are:  Geographic, sub-agenting, event licensing, on-demand production, DTR and retail exclusives, the e-world, and  Innovation.  I found all of what Ira presented to be worthwhile and relevant. 

I particularly liked what he had to say about Innovation:  “But innovation in licensing isn’t just about new properties and new products.  And this is perhaps the biggest growth opportunity of all, the one that will lead to a healthier, more vigorous, and expansive licensing business:  Innovation is critical in deal-making too.”  Ira emphasized that flexibility is a key component of innovation with respect to how we  approach deals.  In one of my blogs on licensing, I point out ‘ flexibility ‘as an advantage.  MODA adheres to the foundation of licensing which is leveraging an intangible asset but we do not limit ourselves to a rigid structure.  For example, when we represented a patent for a client there were deals in specific countries where a royalty on sales didn’t make as much sense as flat-fee purchase of the technology.  The licensee still had contractual obligations to the licensor including the proper use of the brand.

 Ira closed his remarks citing that innovation in deal-making is a formula for success. We can’t agree more.   

High Point

High Point, April 2010

This was a good market.  Let’s start with the fact that the sun was shining.  (Moving from building to building in High Point when it’s raining dampens the shoes and spirits!)   Overall the showrooms were busy and there was good energy – a feeling that the worst of the recession is behind us prevailed.

We attend this market for many reasons: to spend time with Hammary, our furniture licensee for The National Trust for Historic Preservation, to stay on top of any trends in the industry and to focus on particular categories of interest, including area rugs.

Hammary is launching  a new collection, La Valenica,  for the Design in America – The National Trust brand.   Like all previous collections, the designs  take inspiration from one of The National Trust sites or places.  La Valencia evokes the old world charm of the famous hotel located in La Jolla.  The collection embodies the elegant Spanish style of the hotel and features substantial forms and warm wood tones.   Wrought iron details, bold carvings and intricate inlay patterns provide a handmade feel that adds character and a feeling of luxury.   La Valencia was showcased in the new Hammary showroom.  Hammary and Anerican Drew,  divisions of La-Z-Boy, are now sharing showroom space.   This is good news for Hammary since the opportunity for distribution has now been expanded.  

The area rug showrooms that I visited were very active and there was a lot of licensed product to be seen.  Jaipur, a company that focuses heavily on design, had live models posing on rugs lining the Showplace walkway.  It certainly captured everyone’s attention but I’m not sure if they were focusing on the models or the rugs! 

In all, I spoke with a lot of people. What will develop remains to be seen but the good news is that, in general, everyone was open to hearing more. 

Toy Fair

Toy Fair, February 2010

Toy Fair 2010 felt a lot better than it did in 2009.  The aisles and booths were busier than last year and the exhibitors seemed happy. The noise level at the show was not as deafening as it had been in previous years.  Overall, the tone of the show reflected the economic forecasts – a slow but steady recovery. 

I was at the show representing our new client UNICEF.  The UNICEF organization is extending their brand to children’s toys, apparel, optical, first aid, safety and juvenile products.  We are really excited about this assignment since UNICEF’s global brand awareness, credibility and link to children is virtually unmatched.   Extending the UNICEF brand to toys is seamless. We’re exploring  product categories such as arts & crafts, plush, mini-vehicles, puzzles, games, infant/preschool, games, and more.

Jakks Pacific had one of my favorite toys.  “Real Construction” uses a durable foam material that looks just like real wood and allows children to create wood configurations safely.  It looked like a toy that children could really enjoy.

One thing that seemed lacking in the products I saw was creativity.  Considering the industry this was a bit perplexing and disappointing! It’s clear that the retail environment isn’t necessarily inspiring risk (at least in the toy industry), but for those willing to take the chance, is the potential reward worth the gamble? We hope so!

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