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License to Thrill

A look at the hottest children’s properties for 2013. ANALYSTS REPORT IT’S full-steam ahead for the licensing industry. Though it’s too early for numbers on 2012, sales are expected to be just as positive as the previous year. In fact, the licensing industry had a banner year in 2011, according to the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), with an increase of 5 percent from 2010 and approximately $109.3 billion in total revenue.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING Brochstein notes that getting product out quickly for the current hot property is crucial. “You can find that next hit just about everywhere, so speed to market has become an increasingly important factor in the business, particularly with kids,� he says. “Their attention span is so brief, so you have to be ready to jump on something when it’s happening.�

CHARACTER DRIVEN Character-related merchandise remains the biggest moneymaker in licensing. In 2011 alone, character-related merchandise totaled approximately $48 billion in retail sales. Marty Brochstein, SVP of industry relations and information at LIMA, says the most important aspect of any licensed merchandise is the emotional relationship parents and children have with a character or property.

LOOKING AHEAD Ira Mayer, publisher of the Licensing Letter, points to a few properties to be on the lookout for. “Licensing executives see three up-andcoming properties as ‘hot’ for the preschool market in 2013: Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Sofia the First. All are from Disney,� he notes. “The rapid ramp up of the Disney Junior TV channel is contributing to each character’s strength.�



Hot Dog

Puppy Love Glam teams up with the ASPCA to make a difference.

WHILE SOME BRANDS use an eye-catching license to boost sales, Priya Mittlemark decided to use it as a way to give back. While suffering from infertility issues, Mittlemark found solace in volunteering to help animals. “It helped my nurturing aspect and made me feel useful,� she says. When she finally did get pregnant she asked

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her friends to buy clothes with dogs on them for her little girl, but they couldn’t find such items. So she crafted a logo—a pink puppy wearing a tiara with the phrase “Spoiled and fabulousâ€?—and decided to turn her fashion idea into a reality, founding Puppy Luv Glam last year. But that wasn’t enough for the new mom. “I wanted to give back,â€? she says. After researching several animal organizations, Mittlemark decided to reach out to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to bring on the organization as a license for the brand. After going through several interview processes, the ASPCA came on board. “I’m so thankful. And they said they had been looking for the opportunity and the right company to get into more fashion,â€? she says. The ASPCA logo can be found inside the neckline of each garment and also on the hang tag. For each Puppy Luv Glam shirt or dress sold, $2 will be donated to the organization. “You really have to pick something you believe in,â€? Mittlemark advises, adding that brands should not partner with a nonprofit organization just for exposure. “You have to be 150 percent for the cause that you’re partnering with. When you’re passionate about iec[j^_d]"deXeZoZekXji_j$Ăˆš




5/15/13 4:49 PM

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Earnshaw's | June 2013  

The Shoe Issue • Tracey McLeod on BBC's Stellar Brands • Licensed to Thrill • Wee Soles, Big Success - Earnshaws Magazine: Infants' and Chil...

Earnshaw's | June 2013  

The Shoe Issue • Tracey McLeod on BBC's Stellar Brands • Licensed to Thrill • Wee Soles, Big Success - Earnshaws Magazine: Infants' and Chil...