Total Brand Licensing Summer 24

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PAGE 4 TOTAL BRAND LICENSING 6 Editorial Comment Thoughts from the editor 7 Global News News from the world of brands 9 The Monte-Carlo Lifestyle Reflecting the art of exquisite living like a Monagasque 14 Cover Story: WildBrain Working across a multitude of brands 15 Food for Thought Products that reflect the personality of the brand 16 LMCA Trusted by brands the world over 18 An Evolving Licensing Programme The V&A appeals to a broad audience 20 Pulling out the Stops Joester Loria at Licensing Expo 21 A Date for the Diary Licensing the National Day Calendar 22 In Conversation with... Beanstalk Revealing plans for this year’s Expo CONTENTS TOTAL BRAND LICENSING 24 Iconix Europe Nostalgia trends are driving success 26 Brands @ Licensing Expo A look at some of the brands that will be showcased at Expo this year 32 Howard Robinson From Selfies to Marine Life! 34 Museums and Heritage Shakespeare to Biltmore and Brighton Pavilion 42 The Natural History Museum A buoyant start to 2024 44 Cultural Authenticity A strategic approach to brand cultivation and expansion 50 CAA talks Gaming A Total Brand Licensing interview 52 The Brand Jam Observatory Areas to watch in licensed collaborations scene 54 Galloping through the Year A busy start for Thelwell’s ponies


A Total Licensing Group Publication


Francesca Ash


Jerry Wooldridge


Rebecca Ash Ffrench


Helen Bowerman


Roger Berman, ZenWorks

With thanks to all those who have contributed to this issue.


Total Licensing Ltd 4 Wadhurst Business Park Faircrouch Lane, Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 6PT, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1892 782220

Welcome to the Summer 2024 edition of Total Brand Licensing!

I can’t believe it is the time of year already when the industry is getting ready to head to Las Vegas for Licensing Expo – where are the months going? If you are in the UK like me, you will have noticed that the word ‘summer’ still seems desultory to hope for, but with any luck, the soaring temperatures in Nevada will make up for that.

As ever, the brand licensing industry brings a breath of fresh air and never fails to amaze and surprise. I can’t wait to walk down the halls at the Mandalay Bay and see what new and exciting innovations and creative ideas are gracing the stands this year.

We do however live in constantly changing times, and business can be hard for many. Which is why, as ever, it is essential to be nimble and ready to embrace change and trends. I think this Summer issue of TBL is a great example of that. One of the dominant features in this issue is Museum and Heritage – and wow, what a growing sector of the market that is! Once niche, the industry and retail has fully embraced the wealth of the treasure trove offered by beloved institutions, from the beautiful products offered by the V&A, to the legacy of Shakespeare, to Dulux’s Dracula-inspired paint in its literature range – something to really get your fangs into (sorry).

It has been a long-observed trend that nostalgia has played a huge role in the industry, and the Museum and Heritage sector goes even further beyond this. Tapping into deep global history, and treading carefully the line between preserving antiquity and bringing history to completely new generations, this sector can only grow.

Looking at the exhibitors who will be in Vegas, you can see that the Brand sector as a whole has grown too. A world away from the character and entertainment, it is also tangibly close in the business. Incorporating sport, heritage, collegiate, art, celebrity, lifestyle, food and beverage, fashion and more, it is incredible to see how brand extensions are executed with such creativity and passion.

This year’s theme at Licensing Expo is ‘brands at play’, so I am excited to see how this plays out on the show floor. With so many brands extending into gaming –and of course, licensing from gaming already huge – I predict it will be a successful theme!

We really look forward to seeing many of you in Vegas – you can pick up your copies of this magazine at the entrance – and we wish the industry a very successful show and 2024!

Total Brand Licensing Total Brand Licensing is published quarterly by Total Licensing Ltd in the UK. ©2024 Total Licensing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means whatsoever without written permission of the publishers and owners. Although persons and companies mentioned herein are believed to be reputable, Total Licensing Ltd nor any of its employees accept any responsibility whatsoever for their activities.l images are reproduced with permission from their owners.


Tonino Lamborghini, the luxury Italian lifestyle brand, has appointed Beanstalk to grow its global product licensing and brand extension program.

Rooted in quality, design and entrepreneurial innovation, Tonino Lamborghini has spread the essence of Italian living throughout the world for over 40 years – a tradition that has its roots in the family history, making the Tonino Lamborghini brand a global symbol of luxury.

The brand’s consumer products program, which includes home décor, fashion accessories, fragrances, and luxury beverages, serves as a tribute to its rich heritage and enduring legacy, reflecting the ageless elegance that defines the Tonino Lamborghini brand.

“We are delighted to partner with Beanstalk and are absolutely confident that our selection of one of the most prestigious agencies within the licensing industry globally, will significantly contribute to the growth of the Tonino Lamborghini licensing business,” said Paolo Zannoni, General Manager Tonino Lamborghini SpA.

As the exclusive global licensing agency for the Tonino Lamborghini brand, Beanstalk will further develop the brand’s presence through strategic partnerships in categories including consumer electronics, sports apparel and food and beverage. Drawing from its rich and unique mechanical heritage spanning various sectors including bicycles and gardening, Beanstalk will also pursue extension opportunities for the Lamborghini Oleodinamica brand, which holds 40 years of expertise, primarily in the industrial sector.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Tonino Lamborghini brand to Beanstalk,” said Allison Ames, President and CEO of Beanstalk.

“With its unwavering commitment to excellence and unparalleled heritage, the Tonino Lamborghini brand represents a unique opportunity for strategic expansion into innovative luxury products that allow consumers to experience the elegance, distinction and prestige of this iconic brand. We look forward to applying our expertise to further elevate the brand’s global footprint with partnerships that celebrate and reinforce its spirit of true Italian luxury.”



Brandgenuity has been selected as exclusive  agency for the Royal Shakespeare Company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.  For more than 60 years, the RSC has crafted inspiring theatre from Shakespeare’s storied home in Stratford-upon-Avon and has shared this work around the world.

Its mission is to preserve and evolve William Shakespeare’s legacy, along with other classical and modern theatre. RSC is considered a major global centre of excellence for theatre crafts, where the world’s leading creative minds construct costumes, sets and props in the service of theatre’s greatest works. The organisation uses innovative approaches and technology to reachboth current fans and new audiences.

The agency will extend the RSC to categories including fashion & accessories, lifestyle collaborations, home & textiles, beauty & grooming, gifting, and collectibles & stationery.

Partners will enjoy access to the RSC’s deep expertise, an exciting new style guide, and rich archive of costumes, props and fascinating historical documents.

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton has launched its own brand licensing programme. Originally a simple house that George, Prince of Wales, rented when he first began visiting Brighton in 1783, it was transformed into an extraordinary party palace, where banquets, musical performances, games and dancing erupted in the ornately decorated rooms. Instantly recognisable outside from its domes and minarets, the interiors feature fantastic designs, extravagant decoration, exotic splendours, fabulous beasts, tall palm trees and beautiful floral creations. Charlie McKenzie, Head of Income Development, says “We are delighted to be able to bring the colour, luxury and joy of The Royal Pavilion to the licensing world. Created by the finest craftsmen of the day, the glorious designs and spectacular royal vision will be suitable for many products such as gifts, textiles, stationery and home décor’

The purpose of RSC licensing is to help bring Shakespeare, the arts and theatre to a broader audience.  The program will be targeted to theatre buffs and literary enthusiasts 35 years+ and will give these core fans new ways to celebrate the world of Shakespeare and the RSC. It will also target culturally-minded newcomers 18+, giving them an opportunity to explore and appreciate the world of Shakespeare and his timeless themes in unexpected ways.



Monte-Carlo Lifestyle is pleased to introduce a strategic partnership with the leading Swiss-based company LATAM Premiums for the licensing of its brand: Monte-Carlo Club.

Maxime Navarre, President of LATAM Premiums, shared, “Our cigars, crafted with expertise from Estelí, Nicaragua, epitomize the essence of the Monegasque lifestyle. Each puff offers a symphony of exquisite flavors, blending tradition and innovation for a sensory delight.” Premium cigars Monte-Carlo Club are being launched in Europe in spring 2024, promising an unparalleled experience for aficionados of refined taste. “This collaboration promises to curate a selection of high-quality products tailored to refined tastes, further enhancing lifestyles with an unmistakable touch of elegance,” added Nathalie Delin, Monte-Carlo Lifestyle Global Brand Licensing Director.

Furthermore, Monte-Carlo Lifestyle proudly announces its collaboration with Monaco Harbour for the upcoming Formula One

Grand Prix. As the exclusive champagne supplier for the Monaco Ports Lounge, guests will indulge in the exquisite range of Comte de Monte-Carlo champagnes, Baron de Monte Carlo wines, and Petit Desserts by Monte-Carlo Gourmet. These products are renowned for their unparalleled quality and craftsmanship. Philippe Melliard and Erwann Guégan, co-owners of Monte-Carlo Lifestyle, expressed their excitement, stating, “We are thrilled to embark on these ventures that solidify Monte-Carlo Lifestyle’s position as a beacon of luxury and refinement.”

Renowned worldwide for its elegance and so-


The winners of The B&LLAs 2024 were announced recently at a glittering awards event, held at in London.

Hosted by Cally Beaton, the brand licensing community’s annual get-together, was attended by some 400 retailers, licensees and brand owners. Before the awards, revered fashion designer Jeff Banks – who described himself as a ‘humble tailor’ – captivated the audience with the story of how he turned his brand into a household name. The grand finale of the awards ceremony was the Brand Ambassador Award, which was presented to Louise French, svp of business development and operations at Beanstalk, for her continued contribution to this dynamic sector

The winners of the B&LLAs 2024 are:

Best Brand Licensed Fashion Accessories or Lifestyle Product - Mr Potato Head Collection /Anya Hindmarch

Best Brand Licensed Food or Beverage Product - Nadiya x Schwartz Recipe Kits and Seasonings/McCormack & Company

Best Brand Licensed Health & Beauty Product - Hawaiian Tropic Tropi-cool Cooling

Mists Collection/Designer Parfums

Best Brand Licensed Adult Apparel Product

- Coca-Cola Motosports Collection for Primark/ Brand Alliance

Best Brand Licensed Gifting Product - Keith Haring Collection/Caran d’Ache

Best Brand Licensed Homewares, Kitchen & Tabletop Product - Morris & Co Tableware /Spode

Best Brand Licensed Children’s Product -

Laura Ashley SS23 Collection for Mamas & Papas

Best Brand Licensed Electrical &/or DIY Products - Laura Ashley China Rose Appliances/MY VQ

Best Brand Licensed Home Decor Product -

Natural History Museum Collection/Dunelm

Inspired Innovation Brand Licensed Product - House Beautiful Fitted Bedroom Furniture Collection/Homebase

The Sustainability Brand Licensed Product - Van Gogh Museum Sneaker Collection/ Cariuma

Best Fashion Retailer of Licensed BrandsPrimark

phistication, the name “Monte-Carlo Lifestyle” is a symbol of prestige, achievement, and a cultivated approach to luxury living. Established in 2001 by the son of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Monte-Carlo Lifestyle evolved into an international brand alongside Riviera Lifestyle and Monte-Carlo Lifestyle Hotel & Resorts. With a focus on refined living, the brands have gained form through the development of a series of distinguished collections that encapsulate the essence of living in Monaco. From Monaco Lifestyle to Monte-Carlo Attitude, Noblesse Oblige Monte-Carlo to Monte-Carlo Club, amongst others, each collection reflects the art of exquisite living like a Monegasque.

Licensing opportunities for Monte-Carlo Lifestyle brands and collections are available across the globe.

For inquiries, please contact: Nathalie Delin, Monte-Carlo Lifestyle Global Brand Licensing Director at

Best Department Store or Mixed Retailer of Licensed Brands - Boots

Best Supermarket of Licensed BrandsIceland

Best Specialist Retailer of Licensed Brands - DFS

Best Licensed Heritage or Institution Brand - Van Gogh Museum

Best Licensed Lifestyle Brand - House Beautiful

Best Licensed Design-led Lifestyle BrandLaura Ashley

Best Licensed Food or Beverage BrandBaileys

Best Licensed Fashion or Talent BrandSara Miller London




Olympia Le-Tan, the iconic fashion house renowned for its unique book-clutch designs, has introduced its latest collaboration with Tatiana de Nicolay, a French illustrator who collaborates on the creation of high-end products and produces artwork in watercolors. This exclusive collection, inspired by the allure of India, features four clutches that seamlessly blend artistry and craftsmanship. Drawing from her extensive travels and diverse cultural experiences, Tatiana de Nicolay infuses each piece with a sense of authenticity. Her passion for watercolor and her exploration of ancient crafts and techniques converge in this collection, offering a glimpse into the vibrant landscapes, colors, and textiles that have shaped her creative vision. Having worked on collaborations with prestigious brands and designers, Tatiana de Nicolay brings a unique perspective to the world of fashion accessories, enriched by the tapestry of cultural influences and her artistic expression. The collaboration between OLT and Tatiana de Nicolay represents a fusion of two worlds, resulting in a collection that celebrates the beauty and diversity of India. Each clutch is a testament to the craftsmanship and creativity that define both their creations, inviting wearers to embark on a journey of discovery and self-expression.

King Juice Company has appointed Brand Central LLC to introduce their Calypso brand into new food and merchandise partnerships. Calypso, the originator of the flavored lemonade category, has more than tripled the business over the last five years, growing into the second largest shelf-stable lemonade brand in the category. Calypso offers a refreshing lineup of island inspired beverages sold through a robust distribution network serving leading retailers nationally. Calypso products are widely enjoyed and distributed internationally in over 20 countries.

Under the multi-year, exclusive agreement, Brand Central will help extend the island inspired flavors of Calypso into new food categories from frozen desserts and confections to new beverage formats and snacks. The agency will also seek out licensing partners to create on-trend collaborations and must-have lifestyle products.

“The Calypso brand is one of those rare brands that combines a passionate consumer base, a great product and fun, unique branding that applies well to consumer products. When you pop open a Calypso, it’s a vacation in a bottle and who doesn’t want a product that delivers a little taste of vacation?” said Ross Misher, Brand Central’s CEO.



The Royal Horticultural Society in the UK has announced its third collection in partnership with Sofas & Stuff Ltd, a creator of British bespoke sofas, chairs, beds, footstools and more. A new Sofas & Stuff range, called the RHS Botanicals collection, will draw inspiration from the rich history of botanical exploration.

The range will, once again, be based on the selection of assets available to RHS licensees from the RHS Lindley Collections, the world’s finest collection of botanical art.

This collaborative partnership will bring fascinating elements of the RHS archive to the interiors space, adapting original artworks into seven unique fabric designs that can be used across the full Sofas & Stuff range of British handmade bespoke sofas, chairs, beds, footstools, and cushions – or purchased as fabrics for curtains and blinds or other soft furnishing projects.

The seven fabric designs include: Pieter Van Kouwenhoorn Tulips, inspired by the legendary Dutch botanical illustrator; Plantae Japonicae, a sweeping floral design; Henry Moon Lion’s Tail, inspired by a watercolour painting of the Leonotis Leonurus plant by botanical artist Henry Moon; Mark Catesby Grosbeak, taken from a hand-coloured engraving of a sketch by early 18th century English naturalist, Mark Catesby; and Foliage, Ferns Toile and Palm Leaf which each reflect a distinct narrative from the RHS Lindley Collections. All the designs except Tulips will be available in a variety of colourways.

Cathy Snow, Licensing Manager, RHS, said: “This is, once again, British craftsmanship of the highest quality, skilfully combining works from our own collection of superb botanical art with beautiful fabrics and furniture. Sofas & Stuff are true experts in making and upholstering bespoke sofas, chairs, beds and sofa beds, and these exciting new fabric designs are a delight.”


In a collaboration brokered by Golden Goose, The White Kitchen Company has created a range of kitchen cabinetry shaped by the rich history and craftsmanship of English Heritage sites such as Apsley House, Down House and Brodsworth Hall.

Inspiration from The Duke of Wellington’s campaign furniture to panelling on a window shutter and cornicing in a maid’s long-forgotten wardrobe provided valuable glimpses into history.  Crafted with a blend of style and functionality, the English Heritage Collection embodies classic simplicity, with delicate touches to elevate its design style. Drawer fronts and doors framed with cock beading and traditionally raised and fielded panels, create a timeless and elegant look.  From the inception, it was clear – an English Heritage range should be 100% tailor made in England, uphold the highest sustainability standards, and embrace classic English cabinet making.


Authentic Brands Group (Authentic), a global brand development, entertainment and marketing platform, has announced the appointment of Lim Mi-Kyoung as SVP, Head of Australia and New Zealand.

In her new role, Mi-Kyoung will oversee Authentic’s regional expansion, focusing on  brand development and driving long-term growth. As Authentic’s first employee based in Australia, Mi-Kyoung will build a team of industry experts dedicated to advancing the company’s portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands in the region.

“As our business continues to grow across the region, we are bringing in top talent to open the door to new opportunities to launch new categories and distribution channels,” said Wesley Chu, EVP of APAC at Authentic. “Lim brings an extensive track record of driving brand value and building lasting relationships with manufacturers and retailers.”

Mi-Kyoung has over 25 years of experience in the branded entertainment business. She has served in leadership roles at WP Brands, Gaffney Licensing and Hallmark Australia, managing numerous blue-chip brands.

“Embarking on this exciting journey with Authentic, I am honored to take on the role of SVP, Head of Australia and New Zealand,” said Mi-Kyoung. “Their commitment to innovation and brand stewardship aligns with my passion for establishing partnerships that drive long-term brand value. I look forward to leveraging my experience in the regional brand landscape to oversee the expansion of Authentic’s presence and to cultivate a team of like-minded individuals dedicated to brand development excellence.”


ASPIRE Scores Across Collegiate Brands

WildBrain CPLG’s Corporate & Lifestyle division extends consumer products programs for Yale, Cambridge and Columbia ASPIRE, the dedicated Corporate & Lifestyle division of WildBrain CPLG, is expanding the presence of its iconic collegiate brands including Yale, Cambridge and Columbia, with new cross-category licensing partners worldwide.

Following the recent representation expansion of Yale to North America with a host of innovative partnerships, ASPIRE continues to sign new partners in Europe for the globally recognized Ivy League institution. A high-end collaboration with Danish born fashion label, Les Deux, sees the launch of a Yale menswear collection consisting of co-branded apparel and accessories available across Europe in Fall. In Spain, Dohe is set to release a stationery line featuring a range of notebooks, diaries, backpacks and pencil cases utilizing the classic Yale blues and pink for a fresh and modern look. October’s Very Own Merchandising (OvO) has created high-end Yale and Cambridge apparel and accessories collections featuring sweatshirts, t-shirts, varsity jackets and caps. OvO, which is co-owned by globally renowned rapper Drake, will launch the exclusive line this summer across OvO online and in-store in the US, Canada and the UK. Apparel continues to lead the way for the University of Cambridge licensing program with exciting partners in North America,

Middle East, Africa and India. The raft of brand assets from collegiate and sports lifestyle to the museum’s botanic and fine art archives, provides opportunities for hugely diverse licensee and retail approaches. New to the North American market will be a collection from The Forecast Agency who is launching junior, boys’, girls’ and men’s apparel and accessories. ASPIRE’s partnership with Cambridge also includes licensing rights to “The Boat Race”, one of the world’s oldest and most famous amateur sporting events and rivalries. With opportunities to partner with both Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Clubs, brands can become part of the year-round narrative of this truly historic event.

each season from spring/summer this year to spring/summer 2026. The collections will feature T-shirts, sweatshirts, pajamas, hats, socks, jackets and more.

ASPIRE also recently added the New Yorkbased institution Columbia University, a leader in research and higher education in the US and around the world, to its growing collegiate portfolio. ASPIRE represents Columbia in India, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the UK and Europe with exciting new partners on board.

Cactus & Pearl will produce men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel for the US, Canada and worldwide for leading online fashion brand Forever 21. The UK’s Brand Alliance will create an extensive range of apparel and accessories, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, dresses, loungewear, caps, luggage, cosmetic bags and more for mass retail including Primark, department stores and specialty independents across Europe.

Stone Kids is also creating a range of apparel for kids, teens and adults for

Jasen Wright, VP North America at WildBrain CPLG, said: “We’re seeing huge interest in these college brands across both kids and adult demographics. The trend for nostalgia continues to drive growth, but these are also aspirational brands as seen in the collaborations for teens and kidswear as well as backto-school. While fashion categories are a core part of our consumer products strategy, we are also expanding the program with creative IP-inspired accessories, footwear, homewares and gifting. With the growth of our team and expertise in Asia-Pacific, we’re now representing many of our ASPIRE brands in diverse markets which opens significant opportunities for our global partners and licensees at a local level.”

ASPIRE also represents the prestigious Ivy League institution Harvard University and The University of Southern California as part of its roster of collegiate brands, alongside other partners including Master Lock, the number one security brand in North America, Sauber Motorsports’ racing team Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber, heritage fashion brand Lyle & Scott, and leading spirits’ brands Absolut and Malibu.

Visit the ASPIRE team at the WildBrain CPLG booth J206.


Food for thought!

“The more established Pink Key Licensing has become, the more we’ve been drawn towards developing licensing programmes for food brands. This has been either building programmes for non-food merchandise (Kellogg’s and Pringles) or an out and out food extension programme (Seriously Cheddar) or both (SLUSH PUPPiE and Peperami).

On the surface it looks very much like there is a danger that we could end up being our own greatest competition, with several brands all vying for the same retail space, however, this is very much not the case.

The closer you look at our range of brands, the more you see how different they are; in fact, probably the only thing that some of them in common is that they are foods. Of course, there are advantages in some cases of the commonality between the brands. SLUSH PUPPiE (owned by the ICEE company) is probably the most loved frozen drink in the UK, attaining along with ‘Biro’ and ‘Hoover’ the enviable position of becoming a brand name that also describes the generic product it represents. However, in the US, SLUSH

PUPPiE is very much the junior brand in the port folio with the big player being ICEE brand and the very well-known ICEE Bear. The advantage of this is that many of the prod ucts developed for SLUSH PUPPiE in the UK have actually been ‘re-skinned’ for the US market using the ICEE brand.

It’s early days, but we can see this also working for the development of the Peperami brand in the UK with the potential to develop some of the ideas for the European brand BIFI, also owned by Jack Links and represented by Pink Key Licensing.

If you happen to be licensing an entertainment brand there is much more of a template for the products that will fit under that license – it’s not an exact science, but it’s fairly easy to list the products you’d expect to find on shelf in the early stages of, for example a successful pre-school property. For brands that would consider themselves ‘BLLA’s brands’ it’s

not quite as straightforward. The brand personalities are distinctly different, as are the core values. This is particularly noticeable with celebrities. For many years we’ve been fortunate to be the licensing agent for Jane Asher, and it’s clear to anyone who knows of Jane that it is a misconception to refer to her as a celebrity chef: the core of what her brand is about is baking and the huge range of food and non-food products bearing her name in Home Bargains bears that out. Compare that with our new association with Big Zuu and it couldn’t be more different: we are talking full-on cooking with strong exotic favours and a lot of colours. Two personalities, but the appeal, positioning and consumer couldn’t be more different!

I’ve talked for many years about the ‘bullseye’ analogy: successful products in licensing tend to be the ones that best reflect the personality of the brands they bear, a bit like the rings on an archery target. Without doubt the most successful ones are those which are right in the bullseye in terms of product execution and appeal to the target market. It’s why Jane Asher’s baking range, an in-home SLUSH PUPPiE maker, a hot strong Big Zuu sauce and a pencil case shaped like a can of Pringles all work so well; they are very different products for very different brands, but each one totally reflecting the brand they represent.

The litmus test for all of this is someone looking at a product or range and saying, ‘that makes total sense’ or just ‘I get it’. Of course, there are creative and quality considerations that will enhance it, or get products nearer to the ‘Bullseye’, but if enough of the attributes match up there’s every chance you’ll be on to a winner. “ Richard Pink, Pink Key Licensing


The V&A’s licensing programme has evolved over more than 30 years and now has over 85 licensing partners globally. Products span across many categories from home furnishings, apparel and jewellery to tabletop, stationery and crafting. Whilst the V&A appeals to broad audiences, there are exciting developments that will provide even more opportunities for the programme.

2023 saw the launch of Young V&A, a museum in Bethnal Green where children, young people and families can imagine, play and design. Looking ahead, 2025 will see the opening of V&A East, two free cultural destinations –V&A East Storehouse and V&A East Museum – which are dedicated to creative opportuni-

An Evolving Licensing Programme

ty and its power to bring change. These new cultural destinations will allow the museum’s licensing programme to broaden and diversify its audiences and will provide new opportunities for licensees to respond through product development and asset selection. The V&A is committed to collaborating closely with licensees to build engaging campaigns and to share the fascinating stories held within its remarkable archive.

Alongside the opening of new sites and staging blockbuster exhibitions such as the upcoming Naomi: In Fashion (the first exhibition of its kind exploring the extraordinary career of fashion model Naomi Campbell) the museum’s licensing activity continues to flourish.

Last year apparel partner Love & Roses launched their third range with the V&A. The AW23 collection of timeless silhouettes and luxurious fabrics encapsulated the magic of centuries past while embracing the confidence and elegance of the present. Inspired by Indian, Persian, Baroque and Renaissance style textiles, the collection was full of flowing dresses and graceful separates, adorned with ornate floral motifs and delicate arabesque patterns. More success followed with Love & Roses’ SS24 collection with a range of exquisite apparel which is a true celebration of lavish floral decoration. The collection combines contemporary flair with the opulence and richness. Inspired by the timeless allure and natural beauty of botanical art from the 17th century, William Kilburn’s lavish Rococo patterns, eclectic geometric motifs of 19th French dress fabrics and blooms from the Mughal Court. These elements and motifs have been expertly extracted to create new prints that adorn floral pleated dresses and woodblock-inspired blouses. Each garment in every V&A and Love & Roses collection is not only a celebration of historical artistry, but also a testament to the retailer’s commitment to quality and signature prints.

Olympia Le-Tan®, the Parisian fashion house who re-imagine classic book covers and art, transforming them into coveted artisanal clutch bags and accessories, introduced more limited-edition styles to their collection of V&A inspired bags. The designs for the AW23 collection are taken from the visionary French artist Maurice Pillard Verneuil’s 1897 book L’Animal dans la Décoration which resides in the prestigious National Art Library at the V&A. The portfolio is a masterful exploration of the intersection between art and nature and provides examples of imaginative patterns originally intended for adaptation by designers


creating wallpaper, textiles and ornament. Each bag encapsulates the essence of Art Nouveau’s graceful curves, transforming the artistic styles into contemporary accessories. The fusion of luxurious materials and masterful handwork ensures that each limited piece isn’t just a bag, but a wearable piece of art. The V&A celebrates the timeless art of craftsmanship, where every stitch, every detail, and every creation, tells a story of dedication and mastery. Olympia Le-Tan’s® creations resonate with the museum’s appreciation for meticulously crafted treasures that reflect the finest traditions of artisanal excellence.

Continuing to inspire and delight audiences globally, the V&A launched an eclectic apparel collection in collaboration with FILA. Championing the museum’s core values of excellence in design paired with expert craftmanship, the ranges of men’s, women’s and childrenswear takes inspiration from William De Morgan’s striking tile designs. One of the most innovative and imaginative designers of the 19th century, De Morgan was influenced by Middle Eastern motifs and the natural world and produced beautiful designs and ceramics in a distinctive style that added beauty and colour to Victorian homes. The range brings De Morgan’s captivating designs and vibrant colours to life with fabrics and techniques that exude elegance and performance. FILA have creatively combined mythical creatures, flowers, and motifs to create new prints and jacquards, interpreted through an array of intricate embroidery, knitwear techniques and rich embellishments, all highly crafted to withstand time. Whilst re-

flecting FILA’s ‘Do More Of What You Love’ ethos, encouraging more people to create and express their own style, these artistic pieces are also a tribute to the enduring artistic vision of De Morgan and a celebration of the timeless beauty and captivating charm of his work. Also in Asia, People Tree Japan launched a new SS24 collection featuring 12 items across two of the best-selling V&A patterns from previous ranges, Celandine and Voysey, which have been revisited in fresh colours. Celandine is an evolution of the very popular pattern from the AW21 collection. With its meadow flowers and structure of climbing foliage, the pattern has been reproduced in a tonal blue with

a modern colour combination for a Spring/Summer palette. Whereas Voysey, which features motifs full of nature, has been recreated from the new Spring/ Summer colourways. The collection includes not only blouses and dresses, but also hair accessories and bags.

Chinese luxury jewellers Chow Sang Sang launched more jewellery pieces to their ‘Art of Romance’ collection. The range evokes the secret language of love by reinterpreting the museum’s treasures with contemporary aesthetics. A pair of delicate earrings and a matching necklace feature a crown motif based on a decorative wallpaper design by British architect A.W.N. Pugin. Also in the range is a beautiful gold ring that is inspired by a 15th century engraved gold ring set with emeralds, likely falling within a tradition of medieval ‘love rings’. Whilst the sentimental pendant is inspired by a bracelet made up of 19th century charms gathered from across Europe and America during the 20th century. Most recently, they have launched the Heart Padlock necklace and bracelet.

Crafted in 18K rose gold and mother-of-pearl, the pieces feature an inscription of ‘gratitude’, in reference to a bracelet that William IV of England gave to his wife, Queen Adelaide, in 1835.

The V&A’s mission is to champion design and creativity in all forms, advance cultural knowledge, and inspire makers, creators and innovators everywhere. Through its work with licensees such as these recent collaborations, the museum continues its mission to inspire the next generation and spark everyone’s imagination. The V&A will be showcasing its licensing programme this autumn at BLE, London, and its interiors collaborations at Decorex, Kensington Olympia, London.


Pullling Out all the Stops

Joester Loria Group will be highlighting its diverse range of brands at the upcoming Licensing Expo, including Dog Man & Cat Kid Comic. Published by Scholastic, the follow-up to the enormously popular Captain

Underpants books has garnered rave reviews, sold over 60 million copies in 45 languages, and will be brought to the big screen with a full feature animated movie from Dreamworks/Universal in early 2025. JLG will be announcing the master toy, apparel, bedding and other key category licensees shortly, while Dog Man is the #1 property for existing licensees including University Games and Merrymakers.

The World of Eric Carle has extended Carle’s beloved works to collections of toys & games, apparel, home décor, social expressions, gift, feeding, classroom supplies, and consumables. 2023 was another year of growth for the brand with book sales +9% and consumer products sales +10%. Promotional partnerships including Kellogg’s Mini Wheats and McDonalds Happy Meal in Japan engaged millions of consumers with Happy Meal toys

selling out in 2 weeks. Experiential licenses include Play Park Eric Carle in Tokyo, hotel rooms and café in Futakotamagawa, nature trails at Bluewater, Festival Place, and dedicated accommodations and experiences at Gullivers, UK.

In 2023, Miffy experienced a meteoric rise in popularity in the US with Gen Z consumers discovering the brand and clamoring for product. Miffy’s recently launched US accessories collection from popular retail chain Daiso sold out in under a month. In 2024, Miffy product collections will be available at Gen Z’s favorite retailers including Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic, and from Gen Z’s favorite brands including Lesportsac.

As a leading premium social expressions brand, Papyrus has consistently delighted consumers with its beautifully crafted offerings available in over 18,000 retail locations and commanding the top spot as the #1 Amazon greeting card search term. With a dedicated audience of 17 million brand loyalists, Papyrus has a keen understanding of the evolving needs and desires of its customers. In response to demand, Papyrus has begun expanding its product portfolio through strategic licensing partnerships. In 2023, Papyrus initiated its licensing program, partnering with Reeds Jewelers for a collection of fine jewelry and gemstones; The Arister Group for seasonal decor, desk accessories and storage; and Enchante Accessories for stationery,

paper party goods and bedding, all infused with the signature Papyrus style and quality. Constellation Brands Corona, Modelo Especial, and Pacifico beers continue to drive exponential growth in both the beer sector and across licensed product categories.

PepsiCo is a category leader in more than 200 countries with sales topping $22 billion across its portfolio of brands.

Mountain Dew continues to innovate and dominate the Gen Z and Millennial market delivering products and experiences beyond the bottle to millions of Dew loyalists.

Cheetos, the brand is embedded in the fabric of pop culture, achieving cult status among followers through decades of entertaining commercials and an ever-expanding social media presence

Doritos continues to be a top brand amongst Gen-Z, capturing their audience with bold content and innovative campaigns.

WK Kellogg Co. offers an extensive collection of beloved breakfast brands, which can be found in an impressive 9 out of 10 homes across America.

Kellanova‘s lineup of globally recognized snack brands including Pringles, Cheez-It, Pop-Tarts, Eggo and Rice Krispies Treats. Chiquita will see new partnerships announced in 2024.

Toyota’s extensive lineup of cars, trucks, SUVs and hybrids are built to last, created to perform and designed for life. New partnerships to be announced at Licensing Expo.


A Date for the Diary!

National Day Calendar, the definitive authority on national days in the States, pens in The Brand Liaison as their exclusive agency for licensing and sponsorships. This collaboration is set to broaden the horizons of celebration, turning everyday observances into nationwide events. From National Ketchup Day to National Tequila Day, National Day Calendar empowers brands to celebrate with gusto. With a robust digital footprint and a dynamic media mix that captures the attention of over 20,000 media outlets, including premier television shows and renowned digital platforms, National Day Calendar offers unparalleled exposure. Think branded National Pizza Day, Beer Day, Donut Day, Coffee Day and so many more. Companies and brands can be the Official Sponsor or Official Product of their respective national days by licensing the use of their official seal and tapping into their

massive reach, bringing nationwide media and marketing to engage the entire country in a branded celebration. This extensive media network, coupled with a website attracting over 8 million visits per month, positions brands for heightened visibility and consumer engagement.

Marlo Anderson, the visionary founder of National Day Calendar, shares, “Transforming a simple hobby into a vehicle of widespread joy and connection, National Day Calendar now ignites daily celebrations reaching millions globally. Through our strategic partnership with The Brand Liaison, we’re set to elevate these moments further, enabling brands to resonate more deeply with their audiences and boost their celebratory days.” “It’s all about consumer engagement,” explains Steven Heller, President of The Brand Liaison. “Basically, National Day Calendar

creates branded celebration opportunities and brings a bull horn to amplify the celebration into branded media content and nationwide celebration events.” This partnership’s efficacy is underscored by a recent collaboration with Checkers/Rally’s for National Fry Day, which saw over 700 million PR impressions and 23 million social impressions. This monumental engagement led to an unprecedented 3,000% surge in social media interaction for National French Fry Day. For brands looking to amplify their celebrations and forge lasting connections with consumers, National Day Calendar, through The Brand Liaison, offers a strong opportunity. Beyond the sheer volume of engaged followers, it’s the quality and depth of engagement—fueled by a rich tapestry of national days—that sets National Day Calendar apart as a premier partner in brand amplification.


Can you tell us first of all, your plans for the Expo and what kind of a presence Beanstalk will have?

“I’ve always felt that Licensing Expo reflects the zeitgeist of our times. It is the pulse of our industry and the epicenter of connections that forge new relationships on a global basis,” said Allison Ames, President and CEO of Beanstalk. “Throughout our 30+ years, Beanstalk has strategically developed ground-breaking licensing programs for many of the world’s most recognized brands. Licensing Expo brings our community together

and is fertile ground to create new opportunities across diverse categories, territories and retailers. We’re excited to welcome new clients to our agency roster this year as well as identify new innovative ideas for our existing clients.”

How many brands and clients will you be representing at the expo?

Beanstalk will be showcasing all of its clients across the categories of Packaged Goods; Hard Goods; Automotive; Lifestyle & Institutions; Food, Beverage & Restaurant; and Digital Media brands.

Global agency Beanstalk talks to Total Brand Licensing about their plans for Vegas this year and many exciting updates around their top properties.

How will you include the theme of ‘Brands at Play’ into your show this year?

Beanstalk’s Tinderbox division represents several leading brands and titles, including Xbox, Halo, Atari, among others, and at Licensing Expo we will be seeking new ways for these brands to connect with consumers. Gaming as an immersive platform is like no other; and there are significant opportunities for brands to reach its captive fan base via in-game licensed partnerships. Many of the biggest multiplayer live service games feature licensed proprieties with exciting crossovers, that combine the lore or both IPs. These partnerships, drive engagement with the existing fan base and act as a brand recruiter, expanding the reach to new audiences.

Zara x Xbox - Launched in November 2023, Xbox’s first products placed at Zara brought innovation and newness to consumers who are used to seeing the Xbox brand as an evergreen throughout fashion retail. The two bag products, which launched at stores globally, celebrate the iconic Xbox controller, carefully replicating its shape whilst incorporating glow in the dark elements. This has created a “must-have” product demand in the fanny-bag/bum-bag category, with initial stock quantities quickly selling-through and multiple re-orders and expanded categories continuing into 2024. With the success of these products, the Xbox brand look forward to a long-term relationship with Zara.

TGI Fridays Cooking Fever - Developer and publisher Nordcurrent has announced a licensing partnership with TGI Fridays, bringing the iconic restaurant out of the kitchen and in front of 10 million monthly active users in its cooking simulation mobile game, Cooking Fever.


Looking at the theme, how important do you find immersive interactive experiences are becoming in licensing?

Allison Ames, Beanstalk President & CEO says, “Location-based entertainment has been on the rise for a few years. I expect the

experience economy to boom in 2024 and beyond as the post-pandemic trend continues, spurred by a desire for shared connections. Unique, immersive experiences are an effective strategy for brands to engage with consumers across generations, relaying their brand equity in a shareable, fun way.”

Can you give some examples of how some of your brands have adapted over the years to follow trends?

We were early pioneers in location-based entertainment space with the Harley-Davidson Café and have since worked with Baileys, Taco Bell and Activision on popup activations. In 2027, the Dinotopia theme park will be opening in China. We currently have some new immersive experiences in development that we will announce in the coming months including – Pringles x The Caviar Company – Responding to a TikTok social media trend; Chef Eric x Crate & Barrel – Responding to consumer tastes for authentic storytelling and embracing new cultures, as well as supporting black-owned businesses; Launch of the Chef Eric Adjepong x Crate & Barrel Kitchen Collection, inspired

by Eric’s Ghanaian roots and New York City hometown aesthetic to bring his passion for cooking and entertaining to customers’ homes. With over 60 pieces of cookware, glassware, serveware and decor, the collection features traditions common to West African culture and a flare only found in the Big Apple.

The Met – Consumers are seeking new opportunities to live with and enjoy iconic

works of art. The Met licensing program, and in particular, The Met x Eichholtz and The Met x Pacsun partnerships have been a resounding success. (Please see further details in the Museums and Heritage feature in this magazine.)

You have brands across many categories. Is there a particular area you feel that will see particular growth in the next 12 months?

Allison Ames, Beanstalk President & CEO says, “Unexpected collaborations continue to be a source of light-heartedness and hype for today’s consumers. For companies, they’re a proven brand extension tool that can generate revenue and impressions – and most importantly, help brands reach new audiences with new touchpoints. In fact, I’d say collabs have become an essential marketing tool.”

And have you got any exciting client announcements?

Two new clients include Tonino Lamborghini and TED Conferences, with further new client activity to be announced at the show!


Nostalgia trend continues to drive success for Iconix International

With a wide portfolio of contemporary and heritage lifestyle brands, Iconix International has seen the appetite for nostalgia-orientated collections and brand opportunities act as a key revenue driver globally and drive new door openings.

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer culture, there exists a phenomenon that speaks to our collective longing for the past: the resurgence of nostalgia brands, particularly from the 80s and 90s. From iconic cartoons and video games to beloved snack foods and fashion trends, the products and experiences of yesteryear are continuing to captivate audiences across generations and shape the world of brand licensing and fashion.

The 1990s marked a pivotal era in popular culture, defined by vibrant aesthetics and a sense of optimism. For many, particularly when viewed against the context of 2024, it was a time of innocence, filled with cherished memories of Saturday morning cartoons, after-school hangouts and standout fashion trends.

Now, as Gen Zers come of age and millennials seek to reconnect with their childhoods, nostalgia brands are leveraging nostalgia to captivate consumers with fresh new product and drive sales in a challenging and fickle market.

In the realm of fashion in particular, such brands have experienced a remarkable resurgence, with many iconic logos and styles making a comeback on runways and in collections. From sportswear giants reviving vintage sneaker designs to high-end fashion houses collaborating with beloved cartoon characters, the intersection of nostalgia and fashion has given rise to a new wave of “throwback chic” that celebrates cultural heritage while serving as a form of escapism from the complexities of modern life. Bolstered by social media which has allowed fans to connect and share their love for retro products on a global scale, online marketplaces such as Vinted has enabled the monetisation of vintage items on a large scale. However, while the nostalgia boom has undoubtedly been a benefit to relevant brands, it also raises important questions about ‘commodification’, in an age where authenticity and originality are highly prized and act as a competing way for brands to stand out in a crowded market; there is a danger of nostalgia becoming perceived as a gimmick, lacking genuine substance. As brand owners and licensees, it is essential to demonstrate a sincere commitment to honoring the legacy and heritage of the past. Authenticity is key.

Iconix International is fortunate to own a wide variety of truly authentic, heritage brands within its portfolio, from Starter to Pony, Ed Hardy to Ecko Untld., Ocean Pacific to Rocawear, Lee Cooper to Zoo York, Mossimo to Modern Amusement and a new entrant to the portfolio, Artful Dodger. It is critical to Iconix to tap into the true heart of these brands and their original brand DNAs and USPs, as well as to connect the brands to retailers and licensee partners who both share our ethos as regards brand nostalgia and thus provide the consumer with the best possible product that draws on that brand history and particularly accurate reflect its authentic look.

Starter has long been a key brand in the Iconix portfolio, bringing Americana sports heritage to a global audience of both League afficionados and younger sports lifestyle brand

enthusiasts alike. With recent collaborations including Palace x Starter, Zara x Starter, Pull & Bear x Starter for the brand’s 50th anniversary, Mercer Amsterdam footwear and Staple Pigeon, the brand shows no signs of slowing down with a raft of exciting new announcements due for 2024. Meanwhile the Pony brand is hitting the press since its global relaunch, featured in for it’s 50th anniversary limited edition hi top release as well as being named the best lo top for 2024 by the New York Post.

For 2024, Iconix International has also re-

launched the iconic Zoo York skate brand, first founded in 1993, with key streetwear retailer SNIPES in partnership with TB International. In Snipes’ words, with Zoo York ‘SNIPES is relying on one of the most legendary New York brands of the 90s and early 2000s with

Ed Hardy, ASOS Spring/Summer 2023 Ecko Unltd., Autumn/Winter 2023 Artful Dodger

a long heritage. The integration of the brand offers new revenue potential for SNIPES and strengthens its international image as one of the leading streetwear retailers worldwide.’ The collection of apparel, footwear and accessories is a credible nod to the original product ranges created by Zoo York in the 90s including using the original remastered graphics packs, whilst

tions and with an eye towards both original

Ocean Pacific is relaunching for 2024 across Europe and the UK with both new licensing

jor retailer collaboration due to be launched shortly. The original 80s and 90s nostalgia

peal, whilst it has been extensively referenced in the last season of Stranger Things as one of

ing its heritage appeal amongst Gen Z. Iconic hip hop brand Ecko Unltd. is not only going from strength to strength in European distribution as well as in a major new launch at Landmark Group/RNA in the GCC, but is also launching a number of major collabs for 2024/2025, to be announced shortly, one with a major retailer and one with a hype streetwear collaborator in a collab which is sure to make waves with ‘in the know’ consumers of vintage brands.

Ed Hardy meanwhile continues its meteoric growth, with strong results at retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Snipes, Fenwick, Footasylum, Zalando, Asos and more, and with a very major new retail partnership to be announced shortly along with a hype new collab. The brand is entering the jewellery category for 2024, with designs which faithfully replicate the original artwork of tattoo idol Don Ed Hardy onto unique standout pieces which complement the wider apparel and footwear collections. An upcoming announcement as to a Y2K throwback runway collection with a very special collaborator will be a major press story for the year. Iconix is now in the process of relaunching Artful Dodger, another design-first statement brand which we are confident will follow a similar trajectory thanks to its archive of hand illustrated graphics and

irreverent brand message. Nostalgia is an ideal platform on which to base the relaunch of a brand, rooting it firmly in an authentic revival of the brand’s original style.

Rocawear, the ultimate hip hop nostalgia brand originally founded by Jay-Z, is a constant strong performer in the Iconix International portfolio, particularly at key retailers such as Defshop and Zalando. The brand has just been tapped by a major online player for a new collaboration for the coming year, to be announced shortly, again using an archival graphics bank of retro illustrated graphics to recall the hip hop peak of the 90s and bring the brand’s inimitable style and music-inspired credibility to both fans of the brand and new customers alike.

Global megabrand Lee Cooper meanwhile recently went right back to its roots with a collaboration with Maison Gainsborg, available exclusively on their site and within the Gainsborg museum in Paris and now has several further nostalgia plays in the works including on pieces based directly on the Lee Cooper vintage style archive.

The Cali-favourite Mossimo brand has relaunched in the UK with a collection of original Mossimo 90s graphics remastered onto heavy quality t-shirts, sweats, shorts as well as a range of socks and underwear, which has already demonstrated strong commercial results across both Men’s and Boys’ categories due to the hand-drawn illustrations with strong 90s flavour and product colourways which immediately stands out in store from more generic brand plays.

“The nostalgia trend is not going anywhere

any time soon and we look forward to making further announcements of carefully curated brand plays in this space which bring out the best of the brands’ heritage to a new consumer base – the retro appeal of many of the Iconix brands have been a great strength of our portfolio that we believe has allowed us to navigate through challenges such as the pandemic and global macro-economic climate challenges successfully and we look forward to where these brands will go next – with an eye to both the future, but also the past,” said Daisy Laramy-Binks, MD, Iconix InternationalEMEA.

Zoo York, 2024 Pony M-100 re-release sneaker, Hypebeast 2023 Mossimo, Spring/Summer 2023

Brands in Vegas!

An increasing number of corporate and brand extension licensors and agents are showcasing their properties at Licensing Expo... and this year is no exception!

On the following pages, we highlight some of the brand companies that will be on the show floor at the Mandalay Bay this year.

Air Force/Space Force Booth F105

These logos demonstrate the Defense Department’s continuing commitment to provide national security to everybody living in the U.S. and its territories. Through the strength of our highly trained men and women, they also provide food, shelter, and aid to those around the world who have experienced natural disasters or oppressive governments. The Space Force Guardians maintain and protect infrastructures that allows GPS to work and that facilitates digital lifestyles. The Air Force and Space Force licensing program has over 300 licensees selling product ranges from candles and games to apparel and jewelry. More than $25m Air Force- and/ or Space Force-branded merchandise was sold in 2022.

American Mensa Booth K226

American Mensa, the High IQ Society, is one of the most well-known brands in the world. An association with Mensa helps validate customers’ purchases by letting them know they are making a smart choice when they connect.

They are looking forward to showcasing their brand and exploring new opportunities.

Beanstalk Booth G134

Beanstalk is a global brand extension licensing agency that works closely with their clients to unlock brand equity and create many of the world’s most recognizable products and services. They help leading brands, celebrities, media properties, manufacturers and retailers creatively find ways to strengthen

their relationship with their most important stakeholder – the consumer. Beanstalk offers a breadth of services across their practice areas, including brand representation, digital media representation (Tinderbox), manufacturer representation, consulting, brand partnerships, cultural intelligence, legal and financial services, and royalty auditing. They are headquartered in New York, with offices in London, Miami, Cincinnati, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, and affiliates throughout the world.

Brand Central Booth F154

Brand Central represents a number of brands including Mars Wrigley (M&M’S, Snickers, Twix, Dove, Skittles, Starburst, Hubba Bubba), J.M. Smucker Co. (Smuckers, Uncrustables, Jif, Folgers, Cafe Bustelo, Meow Mix, Milk-Bone), Kraft Heinz (Kool-Aid, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Heinz, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, Jet Puffed), Tapatio Hot Sauce, Bimbo Bakeries (Entenmann’s, Thomas’, Little Bites), Yellow Tail & Josh Wine, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Rube Goldberg, and Sally Face. For the past 23 years, they have provided comprehensive business solutions in the areas of brand extensions, collaborations, manufacturer representation, creative services, e-commerce and trend intelligence landing the agency in the top 10 from Licensing International for 14 consecutive years. Their mission is to help clients unlock the full


potential of their brands to build brand love, create cultural conversations and generate substantial revenue.

Brand Liaison


Brand Liaison will be showcasing all of their properties in Fashion, Sports, Home, Food, Electronics, Pet, Publishing, Art Properties and more, and have recently expanded their Manufacturers Representation!    On the fashion side, they will be introducing Jason Wu licensing and featuring Bearpaw, Savile Row, FUBU, Gloria Vanderbilt, Betsey Johnson, Dolce Vida, Etonic, Route 66, AirJump, BUM Equipment and more In sports they will showcase OVERTIME, Hoonigan, American Racing and consulting for acquiring NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Collegiate, Nascar, Formula 1 and more... On the home and electronics side they will introduce Kempa Luxury Brands, and will feature Jaclyn Smith, Christopher Knight Home, PetMedics,  Sassy Woof, RCA, Fisher, Bell + Howell.


Booth J140

Brandgenuity is a global independent brand licensing agency that extends iconic brands into products, services and experiences that delight consumers, raise brand awareness, and generate revenue.

The agency’s clients include BMW, Church & Dwight, Nissan, Honey Bunches of Oats, Mike’s Hot Honey, Sazerac (Fireball Whisky, Buffalo Trace, Southern Comfort), Dr. Scholl’s, White Castle, Edgewell (Hawaiian Tropic, Banana Boat), NFLPA and others. Brandgenuity has won numerous industry awards.

Bravado Booth D170

Bravado lives at the crossroads of music and fashion. They understand the power of smart merchandising, and they know how to create products that spark organic, emotional connections between fans and artists.

Their world class capabilities have made them a leading provider of consumer, lifestyle and brand management services around the world. With teams in 40 countries, they create a tailored approach for every project — from creating new spaces in the market to bringing an artist’s creative vision to life. Bravado is about building brands and legacies that live on, beyond the music.

CAA Brand Management Booth G156

company-owned stores in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Orlando as well as, Coca-Cola licensed merchandise supports immersive brand experiences and creates touchpoints between consumers and the company’s brands.

By collaborating with influential fashion partners and designers, the Licensing and Retail team helps build brand equity by interpreting The Coca-Cola Company’s iconic brands in new and relevant ways, maintaining Coca-Cola’s status as an icon of pop culture.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Booth A138

CAA Brand Management is the licensing and consumer products division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the leading brand, entertainment and sports agency. Distinguished by its culture of collaboration and client service, CAA’s diverse workforce identifies, innovates and amplifies opportunities for the people and organizations that shape culture and inspire the world.

Coca-Cola Booth B154

The Coca-Cola Company’s Licensing and Retail division manages the design and marketing of a range of lifestyle products bearing the company’s trademarks across the categories of men’s and women’s fashion apparel, accessories, beauty, home goods and food.

Partnering with a variety of retailers in over 160 countries around the world, including

Britannica is a continuously updated, rigorously fact-checked information source for students, teachers, and lifelong learners. Merriam-Webster is America’s leading provider of language information, helping millions of people understand and use language better through dictionaries and other learning products. Together the two brands have kindled the spark of curiosity for over 250 years.

Global Icons Booth H80

Global Icons is a full-service corporate brand licensing agency with offices in Los Angeles, Detroit, London and Hong Kong.

Founded in 1997, they are the largest independently owned licensing agency in the world.

Their client portfolio includes some of the world’s top brands. They use Global Icon’s expertise to extend these brands into new product categories and territories.

In addition, they offer licensing acquisition services to companies seeking to license brands for their products


Hang Ten Booth H114

Founded in 1960, Hang Ten is the original California lifestyle brand. They look for partners to design & develop an authentic, free-spirited line inspired by a coastal attitude. Their history carries a surf heritage and nostalgic appeal

Adorned with the globally recognized “Feet” mark, their authenticity comes from being a pioneering force in action sports defining the aesthetic and culture of this unique market. While always aware of their deep roots in the Californian coastal spirit, Hang Ten continues to evolve as an all-season lifestyle brand that transcends age.

IMG BoothG144

As the largest global licensing business representing third party clients IMG is proud to manage the licensing programs of many of the world’s best known brands, media franchises, events, trademarks and talent. Their rights representation of individuals, estates, media outlets, entertainment properties and myriad other corporate trademarks provide clients with a unique opportunity to maximise their IP potential, all over the world.

Jewel Branding & Licensing Booth C134

Jewel Branding & Licensing (JBL) will be highlighting key initiatives and new clients at the 2024 Licensing Expo. Key brands include the New York Botanical Garden, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The National Wildlife

Federation and Scout, the brand renowned for totes and accessories.

Over the past year, Jewel has launched many Artist Series programs, where manufacturers and retailers highlight an assortment of diverse artists with different viewpoints. Berkshire Blanket and Home continues to expand with their Artist Series collection of throws and robes highlighting EttaVee, Creative Ingrid and Mia Charro. The colorful collection of warm, cozy throws have been strong sellers at a wide range of retailers. Crayola introduced an artist series coloring book featuring the art Mia Charro, CatCoq, Tania Garcia and Alja Horvat.

Me and My Big Ideas partnered with CatCoq on a travel themed Be Happy Box, which included an adorable retro water bottle, pouch, stickers and stationery. MAMBI also launched a collection of Happy Planner x Breathe Live Explore by Oris Eddu planners and accessories.

Whiskey Ginger, founded by Loni Carr and Brett Gramse, is inspired by the characters who inhabit the wild lands of Bozeman, Montana. The brand has experienced significant growth with partnerships including drinkware with Tervis, a cocktail book with Hardie Grant, gifts and décor with Primitives by Kathy and most recently the launch of a multi-sku men’s grooming and HBA line from Argento.

EttaVee, renowned for its vibrant and lively creations by artist Jessi Raulet, launched a gift collection with Enesco, now available at Hallmark Stores. The brand introduced a new partnership with Koi Scrubs for a colorful collection of hospital scrubs.

Jewel has signed several new clients that will be debuting at Licensing Expo including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Krissy Mast.

The Joester Loria Group Booth D154

The Joester Loria Group is an award-winning full-service licensing and brand extension agency, representing PepsiCo’s North Amer-

ica beverage brands; Frito-Lay’s Cheetos and Doritos brands; Constellation Brands Beer portfolio including, Corona and Modelo; WK Kellogg Co cereal brands including Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops; Kellanova brands including Pringles, Cheez-It, Eggo and Pop Tarts; Toyota and Lexus; Papyrus; The World of Eric Carle™ including The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Miffy; Dav Pilkey publishing franchise Dog Man and Cat Kid Comic Club; and Chiquita

Licensing Works! Booth C222

Licensing Works! represents timeless, iconic brands and makes new brands conic. They increase brand awareness and valuation for their clients by creating and growing innovative new revenue streams. They deliver the brand essence in every licensed product translation, while protecting the intellectual property. They currently represent Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Estate, The Little Prince and Friends from Mediawan Kids & Family and La Succession Saint Exupéry Estate, Zorro from Zorro Productions, Inc., Fun With Spot from The Eric and Gillian Hill Family Trust / Salspot Ltd., Winchester Mystery House from WMH, LLC, Moulin Rouge from Moulin Rouge S.A., Tarzan and Jane and Tarzanimals from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Puppy In My Pocket from MEG, Kewpie from Kewpie Corporation, Inc., The Valentines from Millimages and introducing The Wingfeather Saga from Angel Studios and Shining Isle Productions.

Lisa Marks & Associates



LMA is a creative, full-service Licensing, Brand strategy and Marketing Agency, focused on strategic brand building, long-term equity enhancement and revenue generation. LMA is unique in bringing clients innovative


and breakthrough licensing expertise from the world’s leading entertainment companies, consumer brands and marketing service agencies, including Disney, Nickelodeon, Omnicom and Hasbro combined with the know-how, track record and industry relationships necessary to develop powerful, cohesive, turnkey licensing programs. Based in New York, LMA consists of a coalition of experts and industry leaders in the fields of Licensing and Merchandising, Creative Development and Design, Product Development, Retail Business Development and Multimedia Brand Extensions.

LMCA Booth C156

categories. Embracing its heritage of the laid back, fun-loving vibes of Californian culture, and mixing it with the colorful, retro flair of the 1980s and 1990s, Maui & Sons’ signature designs and logo are recognized worldwide. One of the founding surf wear labels in the business, Maui & Sons has lived up to a high standard of quality for over 40 years, attracting a diverse, loyal following that appreciate the brand’s island-inspired ethos and authenticity.

Monte-Carlo Lifestyle Booth D106

of licensing professionals are continuously developing rich licensing partnerships with quality manufacturers and service providers to bring the magic of the World’s Most-Beloved Airline to a new generation of first-class consumers around the globe.

Perfetti Van Melle Booth F138

Perfetti Van Melle is preparing to enchant business partners at the upcoming Licensing Expo, offering a number of opportunities. Perfetti Van Melle will showcase its selection of classic brands with fresh vibes: from the invigorating freshness of Mentos to the timeless sweetness of Chupa Chups and the whimsical joy of Airheads.

Three decades ago, LMCA set off with the ambitious mission to transform the way brands deliver products and experiences to consumers. Today, LMCA continues their commitment to strengthening and supporting their clients’ brand strategies and marketing efforts through global brand extension licensing. As part of their partnership with Stobbs, a leading Intellectual Property law firm, they offer services including Anti Counterfeiting and Online Brand Enforcement, Brand Valuation and Trademark portfolio management. Their legal team can also provide legal contract negotiation services and support with dispute resolution.

Maui and


Booth D108

Founded in 1980, Maui & Sons has evolved from an apparel label to a global lifestyle brand that has transcended

Monte-Carlo Lifestyle aims to reinforce and develop the “art of living” in Monaco, through a portfolio of prestigious brands including “Monaco” and “Monte-Carlo” labels. At the origin of this collection of brands is Baron Christian Louis de Massy, son of Princess Antoinette of Monaco and Alexandre Athenase Noghès whose grandfather was the founder of the Monaco Grand Prix. As a privileged player in the development of brands in Monaco, they are present in various sectors of activity and registered in many countries. In order to respect their history and their desire to protect the values of the principality of Monaco, they pay the utmost attention to the choice of their current and future partners and ambassadors.

Pan Am Booth B142

For nearly 100 years, Pan American World Airways has been synonymous with Quality, Style, Service and Innovation and this is translating into a licensing program. The companies team

They are also introducing Trident, the globally acclaimed gum brand known for its refreshing taste and diverse flavors. Joining Trident is Bubblicious, a beloved chewing gum brand cherished for its unique flavors. These two iconic and international brands join the Perfetti Van Melle’s family in their commitment offer positive feelings and experiences to teenagers, young adults and kidults.

Seltzer Licensing Group

Booth F134

Since 1998, The Seltzer Licensing Group, a global brand licensing agency and consultancy, has helped companies around the world identify the best paths –and partners –for a successful brand licensing program. They work closely with some of the world’s best-known retailers and most established and well-loved brands to orchestrate creative brand alliances that deliver for all involved. They have created, analyzed, and successfully executed hundreds of brand licensing plans and strategies for a wide-range of clients across various categories and in-


dustries. With their clients every step of the way, from identifying partners to delivering signed agreements and beyond, they provide a streamlined yet comprehensive, collaborative, and consensus-building approach that maximizes the power of alliances.

The Smiley Company Booth E188

Born in 1972, to spread feel-good news, Smiley would go on to become one of the most important icons in graphic design, bringing people together through a creative message that spreads positivity and putting social and emotional learning at the top of the agenda.

Swissbrand Booth E118

Swissbrand is a lifestyle company created to provide reliable and innovative products with the highest quality. Their passion is to

explore the world and their desire is that their customers can experience everything it has to offer. They design and create cutting edge products focused on the needs and desires of our consumers.


Booth U218

publishers, including Nintendo and Sega, as well as many partners in electronics, toys and games, apparel, accessories, entertainment and more. Tetris Holding, LLC, is the owner of Tetris rights worldwide, and The Tetris Company, Inc. is its exclusive licensee.

The US Marine Corps Booth H103

Since 1775, Marines have valiantly fought and died to protect the United States nation and advance its ideals.Their long and proud heritage of faithful service is fueled by an uncommon fighting spirit and the grit to continue on when others quit. From Belleau Wood to Afghanistan, the United States Marine Corps is America’s stand-in force - always ready when our nation is least ready. The USMC Trademark Licensing Office is dedicated to upholding our core values as they protect America’s greatest brand. The Marine Corps reps will not be stationed at C103 but will be deployed throughout the event.

Wildbrain CPLG/Aspire Booth J206

The Tetris brand is one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands and franchises in the world. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2024, the brand continues to be loved globally by people of all ages and all cultures. Billions of Tetris games are played online every year, and over 520 million units have been sold worldwide. The Tetris brand’s global licensee network includes major video game

WildBrain CPLG is a trusted licensing partner for leading brands worldwide, offering 50 years of expertise building consumer products and location-based entertainment programmes across the entertainment, sport, corporate and lifestyle sectors. With over 20 offices serving the UK, Europe, India, the Middle East, China, Asia Pacific and the US,

WildBrain CPLG combines the strength of global reach with expertise in local markets to achieve the best results for partners. Teams consistently challenge themselves to explore new and innovative ideas and opportunities

in partnerships, activations, creative and business processes to celebrate and build brands. The company’s ASPIRE division offers expert Corporate & Lifestyle brand representation and management.

Wilderness Cooking Booth A134

Wilderness Cooking is a player in the digital media landscape, specializing in creating and promoting culinary content across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Their Wilderness Cooking project captured the hearts of tens of millions of subscribers and racked up billions of views across platforms. They are also holders of over 20 prestigious awards from YouTube, and have expanded their reach with online merchandise stores in Europe and the US.

Yale Booth G107

Founded in 1701, Yale is the 4th oldest college in the United States. Yale is a world-renowned Ivy League institution which has graduated five U.S. Presidents, 500 members of the U.S. Congress, 48 U.S. Cabinet members, along with 52 Nobel Laureates. It comprises Yale College (undergraduate), along with 13 graduate and professional schools. Located in New Haven Connecticut approximately midway between New York City and Boston.

Remember to pick up your copies of Total Licensing, Total Brand Licensing and Total Art Licensing at Licensing Expo!


Museum & Heritage

Step inside...

From what was once a niche sector of the licensing industry, the Museum and Heritage side of the business is growing faster than you can say Shakespeare, Biltmore and Brighton. Exploring the explosive growth of the businesses that carefully curate and exploit some of the world’s most treasured institutions, these following pages are bursting with creativity, beauty and the potential that these can bring.

In April 2024, the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company named Brandgenuity exclusive global licensing agency. For more than 60 years, the RSC has crafted inspiring theatre from Shakespeare’s storied home in Stratford-upon-Avon and has shared this work around the world. Its mission is to preserve and evolve William Shakespeare’s legacy, along with other classical and modern theatre. RSC is considered a major global centre of excellence for theatre crafts, where the world’s leading creative minds construct costumes, sets and props in the service of theatre’s greatest works. The organisation uses innovative approaches and technology to reach both current fans and new audiences. It is truly Shakespeare for Everyone, from the

characters and words to the costumes and worlds.

Teri Niadna, Managing Director, Brandgenuity Europe said, “We are honoured to work on this beloved brand that is the worldwide authority and global keeper of William Shakespeare’s legacy. As we build the Royal Shakespeare Company licensing program, we will craft beautiful, evocative products that draw from William Shakespeare’s immortal words and the RSC’s unique interpretations of his plays, characters and themes.”

Brandgenuity plans to extend the RSC to categories including Fashion & Accessories, Lifestyle Collaborations, Home & Textiles, Beauty & Grooming, Gifting, and Collectibles & Stationery. Licensees will enjoy access to the RSC’s deep expertise, an exciting new style guide, and rich archive of costumes, props and fascinating historical documents. The RSC is an evergreen institution and has a remarkable archive that is truly incomparable. In addition to a treasure trove of costumes, props and fascinating historical documents, there will be a new inspiration guide that will be immediately usable for licensees to draw from. Brandgenuity worked alongside Royal

Shakespeare Company and Skew who created the guide. The Skew team visited Stratford-upon-Avon as part of their immersion process, to ensure that the direction created for licensees was inspired and truly authentic to the iconic history of Shakespeare. The Royal Pavilion at Brighton has launched into Licensing.

King George IV’s spectacular fantasy palace

The Royal Pavilion at Brighton

by the sea and the essence of Regency splendour is now available as a licensing property to inspire and delight.

This famous Brighton landmark, characterised by its domes and minarets inspired by Indian architecture, and its bold and colourful interiors was dedicated to George’s lavish lifestyle and passion for fashion, the arts, architecture and good living in Regency times. Originally a simple house rented by George, Prince of Wales, for his visits to Brighton in 1783, it became a playground of extravagance as it was gradually transformed into a dazzling party palace. Every facet of the Pavilion embodied grace, luxury and regal splendour, leaving George moved to tears of delight. George’s personality, cultured and luxurious lifestyle set the tone for the Regency era that continues to capture hearts and fascinate us today through popular media like Netflix’s “Bridgerton” (watched by 63 million viewers) and Jane Austen’s “Sanditon”, enjoyed by 5.3 million viewers in the UK alone. This resurgence of interest has sparked a renewed fascination with Regency fashion, decor, and lifestyle, with Chinoiserie style experiencing a notable resurgence in popularity.

The Royal Pavilion announces that the spectacular designs, which once moved a King to tears, are now available for licensing. An enchanting lookbook of curated designs, enriched with vibrant history and sumptuous wallpapers, will inspire a range of exquisite products across home decor, homeware, stationery, and gifts, delighting Regency fans.

Charlie McKenzie, Head of Income Development at The Royal Pavilion, expresses excitement about sharing the palace’s legacy with the world through licensing partnerships.

“We are thrilled to offer the colour, luxury, and joy of The Royal Pavilion to the licensing world,” McKenzie remarks. “Crafted by the finest artisans of the era, these glorious designs and royal visions are perfect for a variety of products, including gifts, textiles, stationery, and home decor.”

As The Royal Pavilion at Brighton, a registered charity, opens its doors to licensing partnerships, it not only celebrates its right heritage but ensures sustains its mission of preserving our unique cultural heritage for the enjoyment future generations.

LMCA announces the addition of the iconic Biltmore, George Vanderbilt’s estate in Ashe-

ville, N.C., to its client roster. With a reputation for innovative licensing expansions that elevate brand heritage while attracting new audiences, LMCA will build on Biltmore’s history of gracious living, sustainability and eclectic self-expression.

Guided by LMCA, the new licensing program will take inspiration from the unparalleled Vanderbilt collections and reimagine them for today’s modern consumer. With themes that play on the Vanderbilt’s affinity for nature, exploration, and entertaining, the categories will include kitchen, home decor, food & beverage, travel, fragrance, and furniture. At its core, consumers will find the commitment to craftsmanship long associated with Biltmore, and discover opportunities to take a part of Biltmore’s legacy back to their own homes.

Biltmore is equally enthusiastic about the partnership. In a statement, Donnette Miller, Licensing Director at The Biltmore Company, said, ‘’We selected LMCA as our licensing agency because of their unparalleled expertise, strategic vision, and impressive track record in the industry. Our collaboration with LMCA will allow us to deepen the Biltmore

Biltmore, LMCA

experience with existing enthusiasts and introduce the brand to a wider audience.’’

Laura Ashley, recent winner of three B&LLA awards including ‘Best licensed design-led lifestyle brand’, will be relaunching its fashion range, available at NEXT.

Laura Ashley’s iconic floral heritage prints will be a prominent feature throughout the collection. Evolving the classic big prairie dresses and high necks in traditional Laura Ashley styles while still appealing to the growing consumer demand for vintage fashion.

The partnership between Laura Ashley and NEXT was facilitated by IMG, Laura Ashley’s licensing representative for fashion in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Asia. Carolyn D’Angelo, Senior Managing Director, Gordon Brothers Brands and President of Laura Ashley Global says: “Fashion has always been a key pillar for the Laura Ashley brand, so it’s a huge moment for the business that we’re introducing this new collection. “The range will cement our position as a lead-

ing global lifestyle brand and help us reach new customers across the UK.”

To celebrate 200 years of the National Gallery, The Royal Mint and the National Gallery have launched a commemorative £2 coin. Designed by Edwina Ellis, designer, engraver and printmaker for The Royal Mint, the coin portrays the iconic National Gallery building in Trafalgar Square, London. The Gallery has also joined forces with Dr. Martens , with a new release featuring Harmen Steenwyck the latest addition to the line-up of Dr Martens artist-led collaborations.

Pop art creators Art & Hue visit the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford for a new collection of stylish pop art prints inspired by Britain’s, & possibly the world’s, first public museum and first university museum.

With six new prints celebrating the iconic building’s architecture & exhibition spaces, the pop art is available in three sizes & 12 colours closely matched to The Treasured Collection of paints by Graphenstone inspired by the Ashmolean’s exhibits.

Opened 340 years ago on the 24th of May 1683, the Museum’s grade I listed façade was designed in 1845 by architect Charles Cockerell, and the contemporary interior was redeveloped in 2009 by Rick Mather.

The collection includes three prints of the exterior, celebrating Cockerell’s classical frontage, and three prints of the Museum’s interiors, capturing the spirit of a promenade through its galleries.

The Ashmolean pop art prints are available

in three sizes & 12 colours to choose from so you can curate your own personalised art collection and bring a small piece of the distinguished Museum into your home. Exclusively by Art & Hue, all pop art is printed to order on museum-quality archival card of 310gsm, made from 100% ethically-sourced cotton, with fine-art pigment inks for longevity.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has partnered with pioneering Boston-based sneaker and apparel company Endstate on a collection that merges fashion with technology to celebrate a major exhibition opening at the Museum this spring. Making its U.S. debut in March, Hallyu! The Korean Wave explores the rise of South Korea as a cultural superpower and the worldwide impact of its transformative contributions to cinema, drama, music, fashion, beauty and technology. Dropping on February 28, the NFCchipped Endstate items connect customers to unique perks that include VIP and early entrance to two MFA Late Nites—signature after-hours events at the Museum—taking place in celebration of the exhibition, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to curatorial content.

As part of the Shakespeare Birthplace


Trust’s celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio, it has partnered with the award-winning children’s publisher, Walker Books, to produce a new folio for children to ensure Shakespeare’s legacy is preserved for future generations.

Shakespeare’s First Folio: All the Plays: A Children’s Edition is aimed at children aged 7 to 14 and features edited versions of all 36 plays in the First Folio.

The book has been lavishly illustrated by Emily Sutton, described by The Times as “one of our greatest children’s illustrators.” Emily meticulously researched each play and was inspired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s extensive collection, which includes weapons, domestic objects, textiles, and early printed books.

Published in April, the first 10,000 copies will be distributed to 6,000 primary schools and 3,000 libraries across the UK for free by the SBT, along with a suite of free online teaching resources.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s licensing program is managed by Beanstalk. One of the most important cultural institutions in the world, representing 5,000 years of art from around the world and attracting tens of millions of visitors, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and exhibitions, revealing unexpected connections across time and across cultures. With 40+ licensees around the world - from luxury furniture and home decor (Eichholtz, Scalamandre, Ann Gish) to fashion apparel and accessories

(Pacsun, Dr. Martens, Todd Snyder, Timex, Casely) – The Met licensing program has seen exponential growth since its inception in 2021. Achieving best-in-class retail placement from Harrods and Bloomingdales to Pacsun and Perigold, sales have surpassed expectations and garnered coverage in the most prestigious commercial and trade publications. It’s also generated more than 1.5 billion social media impressions.

In a collaboration brokered by Golden Goose, The White Kitchen Company has created a range of kitchen cabinetry shaped by the rich history and craftsmanship of English Heritage sites such as Apsley House, Down House and Brodsworth Hall.

Inspiration from The Duke of Wellington’s

campaign furniture to panelling on a window shutter and cornicing in a maid’s long-forgotten wardrobe provided valuable glimpses into history. Crafted with a blend of style and functionality, the English Heritage Collection embodies classic simplicity, with delicate touches to elevate its design style.

Dulux has revealed an artistic campaign that sees 12 iconic books become the inspiration for unique paint colors. Titled ‘Heritage Editions,’ the range draws inspiration from the likes of Frankenstein, Moby Dick, Little Women and War of the Worlds.

Created by ad agency Ogilvy, the covers were created by hand to demonstrate the application of paint. Each book has also been physically curated and the spines act as paint swatches.

“Nothing is more rewarding than when a great idea meets a great team of people. Every Dulux Heritage color has rich story to tell that evokes a feeling and by pairing 12 classic colors with 12 classic books, the feelings they evoke are deliciously heightened,” said Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux UK and Ireland.

“This has been one of the very best truly collaborative and enjoyable projects I have ever worked on as creative director of Dulux and best of all it gave me the opportunity to put my painting skills to the test in executing each of the inspired book cover designs

Dulux English Heritage

Ogilvy captured so perfectly.”

The campaign will run in the UK, across out-of-home, social media and influencer partnerships.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has partnered with Surya to marry Wright’s timeless architectural genius with Surya’s mastery of textile craftsmanship in two exciting new handmade rug collections. Recognized for his revolutionary architectural designs that seamlessly blend form with function, Wright’s creative ability extended far beyond the border of architecture to murals, furniture, art glass, textiles, and decorative elements to create a complete work of art inside and outside of a building. Wright appreciated that rugs allowed for continuation of his design onto an additional surface in a space.

The partnership was brokered by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s licensing agency, Jewel Branding & Licensing.

Cathy Snow, Licensing Manager, RHS, and Total Brand Licensing sat down for a conversation on the latest news.

Total Brand: Can you tell us some of the recent exciting news from the RHS? And are there any new areas/categories you are exploring?

Cathy Snow, Licensing Manager, RHS: We’ve had a cracking start to the year, with several new licenses signed and announced –across our core gardening categories of course,

but in a number of others too. They include an exciting new collaboration with Radley London, an industry-leading name in expertly made leather handbags and accessories, that will bring beautiful horticulture-inspired designs to a new collection that launched, appropriately enough, in the spring. The Bloom

Collection, a range of beautiful doormats and runners from Atlantic Mats, also uses designs inspired by the RHS Lindley Collections, the world’s finest collection of botanical art. There’s also been a tasty RHS confectionery collection of fine chocolates, sweets and biscuits from The House of Sarunds. And we’re thrilled with the wooden habitat home collection for a variety of garden wildlife from The Wildlife and Birdcare Nature Recovery Project (WBC).

We should also mention new collaborations with established partners, notably our third superb RHS fabric collection with Sofas & Stuff and the RHS Four Seasons Swing Seat with garden furniture maker Sitting Spiritually.

We have several more deals in the pipeline that will be announced this spring and summer. After great work building new relationships during 2023, 2024 is turning into a really strong year for the RHS.

What makes the RHS an attractive brand partner?

This is our 220th year, so we’re pretty well known, but, importantly, as an organisation we’re more relevant than ever. Our world-

Laura Ashley The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)

wide appeal, the pull of our fantastic flower shows, especially the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, our huge horticultural knowledge, our historical assets and our focus on education and sustainability keep our offering relevant to everyone who loves nature, gardens and gardening. Our message is clear: if you own a plant, you are a gardener and we’re here on your lifelong adventure with gardening. And that high awareness boosts our licensing offering – along of course with our hard-working licensing team and the impressive support we offer our licensees!

I imagine you have to be rather selective and maintain the brand’s ethos when looking to choose partners, but are there any more ‘out there’ ideas you are exploring now?

We’re always reviewing existing and pipeline licensing deals to make sure they are in tune with our work and the direction in which we’re heading. For example, sustainability – all the way from manufacturing to delivery – is becoming ever more important for the RHS, as you would expect. Synergy is also crucial. If a licensee understands the RHS, then we’ll get the best-fitting product possible.

Where licensees have that synergy, we see the most successful and sometimes surprising collaborations – wine, womenswear, confectionery and decoupage papers come to mind – so, yes, we’ve had some recent approaches from a couple of unusual product categories. Watch this space!

What about global visibility – is RHS known around the globe as well?

Yes, the RHS is recognised worldwide. We sell licensed products in Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe. The BBC’s coverage of the RHS Chelsea Show each year is available around the world, which is great for brand awareness. We have plans to significantly expand our international reach over the next few years. And can you tell us some plans for the rest of the year?

This year has been a really busy one so far for signing new licensees and new product launches from existing licensees. That’s going to continue. We’ve got new product coming from Moorcroft, Sofas and Stuff and UK

Greetings. Turner Bianca’s RHS bedding collections have just landed with Dunelm and Next. Dexam is launching two new kitchen textile designs this spring. Woodlodge Products’ new RHS Ecopot – made from recycled ocean plastics – will be available too. Let’s not forget WBC’s new hedgehog houses, bird nest boxes, bird tables and insect hotels, which are also now available. There will be further launches over the next 18 months with our newest licensee Atlantic Mats as well. West

Designs, whose high-quality art and craft range for adults and children launched in spring 2024, will expand the range further in the autumn. We’ve also just signed off our second collection of RHS-inspired cotton quilting and sewing fabrics with Riley Blake, all ready for a winter launch.

How do you marry up the various branches (excuse the pun) of the RHS – iconic gardens, flower shows, gardening and scientific research, with your licensing programme?

RHS x Radley

Our licensing programme takes inspiration from our gardens and flower shows and all products are developed with the help of our science and advisory teams. We also make full use of the Lindley Collections, the world’s finest collection of botanical art, which informs our style guides and, by extension, the products and packaging developed by many of our licensees. As well as gardening centres, stores and gift shops, many products are sold via our retail outlets.

And of course all profits from the licensing programme are then fed back to the RHS – a wonderfully circular programme! A gardening analogy could be appropriate here: the seeds of ideas (product concepts) grow into healthy plants (products), fertilised by royalties to fund the RHS’s work. And that helps all aspects of the RHS to keep on growing.

Unlocking the Power of Narrative: How Storytelling Elevates Museum IP Licensing

Leveraging the inherent narratives within museum collections to create engaging, impactful licensed products, by Daniel Yizan He, Founder and CEO of ARTiSTORY

The world of IP licensing has long been dominated by the usual suspects – entertainment IP, cartoon IP, and fashion labels. However, a niche licensing category has emerged as a surprising powerhouse in recent years: museum and heritage IP.

Historically, this segment accounted for a mere 2% of the global licensing market share. Yet, in China, the story has taken a remarkable turn. Data from LIMA China reveals that museum and heritage IP now makes up a staggering 18% of the country’s total licensing market as of 2021 – a meteoric rise since 2016. It is worth noting that both Western museums and Chinese museums have jointly contributed to this phenomenal growth in China, with examples including the V&A, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and China’s Dunhuang and Palace Museum.

What’s behind this unexpected growth?

1. Understanding consumer preferences Several converging trends have fueled the

rapid surge of museum and heritage IP licensing in China. Foremost among them was the country’s rapidly expanding middle class and their growing disposable incomes during the early 2000s. These affluent consumers are increasingly seeking out premium, culturally-relevant products that offer a deeper connection to their identity and cultural interests.

Alongside this shift in consumer preferences, there has been a notable emphasis on storytelling for shopper acquisitions in China’s vibrant online retail scene. Especially younger generations are placing greater value on engaging, immersive shopping experiences. Museum and heritage IPs are in good position allowing brands to tap into this evolving demand.

2. Transforming artifacts to merchandise

Unlike cartoon and entertainment IPs, museums and heritage organizations enjoy a deep well of knowledge, thanks to their pool of conservationists and curatorial teams. This valuable insight on the artifacts that inspire licensed product designs is a significant advantage. The process of “transforming artifacts to merchandise” is an intriguing one by itself, and the licensed products from these programs offer consumers a wonderful opportunity to appreciate art and culture in their daily lives.


3. Keeping up with online trends

On the other hand, with rising costs in customer acquisition, the capability of effectively engaging consumers has become a must-have, especially for consumer brands that rely heavily on online channels.

Licensing firms such as ARTiSTORY and Alfilo Brands have long tapped into the power of narrative and storytelling for museum and heritage IP licensing.

Back in May 2017, the British Museum conducted its first live streaming from the heart of its Great Court and its galleries, giving its Chinese shoppers an up-close and personal look at the inspiration behind the museum’s licensed products. The live streaming session covered 15 licensed products, including fashion, accessory, and travel suitcase, and was broadcast on the platform (part of Alibaba). The live stream took place early morning before the museum is open to the public.

As the presenter unveiled the design inspiration of “the Rosetta collection” travel suitcase in front of the Rosetta Stone in the museum, it was a “whoa” moment for the shoppers. As the live streaming continued, the sales of the licensed products shot up instantly.

The unique storytelling session not only grabbed the attention of the Chinese shoppers but also enlightened them with a wonderful shopping experience.

Some other storytelling techniques that have been popular includes behind-the-scene videos showcasing the conservation work

at museums, interview with curators, and photography and filming in the museums. Another simple but equally effective way of storytelling can be simple as a short writeup of the product’s design inspiration with reference to the museum collection.

Extending the Storytelling Success to the Global Market

Can the storytelling success in China be extended to the global market? Absolutely. At ARTiSTORY, we encourage cultural organizations and brands to actively leverage storytelling to engage consumers and create meaningful connections.

As evident in the examples mentioned earlier, the inherent narrative and storytelling nature of museums and cultural organizations offer brands a perfect solution to connect with consumers on a deeper, more meaningful level. These historical and cultural assets provide a level of authenticity and credibility that can be difficult to achieve through traditional IP efforts. By tapping into the emotional resonance and educational value of museum and heritage IP, brands can develop products and experiences that resonate strongly with their target audience, which helps build strong brand loyalty and engagement.

Leveraging Cultural Narratives for Impact-



Most of these narrative and storytelling approaches can be achieved at relatively low costs, but they can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the marketing programs of the brands, not just on their social media, but

also through influencer marketing. Picture a smartphone accessory brand presenting its new cases adorned with fairy tale motifs, presented by influencers against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the British Library’s Fantastic Beasts collection, where the inspiration was drawn from the enchanting realms of beloved childhood stories.

Or, imagine a YouTube influencer showcasing a meticulously crafted scale model of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird next to the actual aircraft displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Other forms of storytelling offered by museums include interviews with curators, providing fascinating insights into the stories and educational value woven into each product.

By embracing the power of storytelling and the authenticity of museum and heritage IP, brands can unlock a cultural goldmine and connect with consumers on a deeper, more meaningful level — just as their counterparts in China have successfully demonstrated. With dozens of licensing programs featuring storytelling as a key component under its belt — including recent collaborations with Centre Pompidou, the British Library, and the Cambridge University Museums and Botanic Gardens — ARTiSTORY is poised to lead the global charge in unlocking the cultural and educational potential of museum and heritage IP.

The Met

National Gallery x Royal Mint

The Natural History Museum had a buoyant start to 2024 with an array of new launches, namely in toy and fashion with ROKA London and Galt. The iconic heritage brand was nominated in four categories at the Brands & Lifestyle Awards, including Best Licensed Heritage or Institution Brand, as well as a nomination for Best Brand – Art, Design, Museum at the Licensing International Excellence Awards

Having well and truly cemented their place within the homewares sector, the Museum continues to flourish in this category, with ongoing relationships namely with UK retailer Dunelm and luxury wallpaper brand Divine Savages. Says Maxine Lister, Head of Licensing: “There seems to be a real appetite for nature-inspired products that allow consumers to bring a piece of the natural world into their homes. We absolutely love working with our licensing partners to create thoughtful collections that shine a spotlight on the wonders of nature”.

But it isn’t just the homewares sector the Museum is looking to target. The team have exciting launches to come throughout 2024 that will see brand presence grow in a plethora of categories including apparel, food,

gifting, and toys, as well as opening new retail channels and consumer groups.

Not content with making great strides on just a national scale, the Museum is busy exploring exciting new partnerships both in the UK and internationally. Whilst focusing on expanding their already successful work across Europe and the USA, the team are also appointing licensing agents to work with

them outside these territories.

“The Natural History Museum is a world-renowned scientific institution with a strong global reach,” says Max. “Having firmly established ourselves in the UK, we’re eager to expand our reach to new international markets. We’re looking for likeminded partners that have a shared ethos; to prioritise sustainability and creativity in developing appealing, thoughtful products to inspire a love of the natural world.

“There is currently a great opportunity for us to showcase the Museum and our 80-million strong collections through these collaborations, with a unique ability to tailor product and designs in ways that most appeal to each unique market.”


Cultural Authenticity: A Strategic Approach to Brand Cultivation and Expansion

Executive Summary

In this article, we explore the complex role of cultural authenticity in corporate branding and strategic brand management in the interconnected global landscape. The focus is on ways in which brands can represent the values, traditions, and history of culture authentically by moving beyond shared values to engage with the shared emotional preferences that reflect consumers’ deep-seated beliefs. This approach is key to creating branding that is culturally accurate and emotionally resonant and fosters sincerity and integrity in a space often characterized by superficial representations. We employ two theoretical frameworks, Hofstede’s onion model and Hall’s iceberg model, to demonstrate these cultural dynamics and their impact on authenticity.

The key aspects integral to cultural authenticity in branding discussed here include:

1. Creating cultural awareness. A case study of Emirates Airlines shows how brands can resonate with cultural norms and consumer hierarchy in contrast with companies such as Finnair that emphasize egalitarian values. By integrating traditional Emirati elements into its brand, Emirates offers a culturally rich experience.

2. Defining culturally relevant products and spaces. Product design can embody cultural authenticity, as Starbucks’ introduction of the mooncake in Asia and Anghami’s delivery of Middle Eastern music culture demonstrate.

3. The global impact of local trends and content creation. Brands can both influence and be influenced by cultural trends and consumer behaviors, prime examples being Disney’s strategic localization in China and the global impact of South Korean K-pop culture.

4. Embracing feedback culture to drive innovation. Brands such as LEGO and Coca-Cola exemplify the importance of listening to cultural needs and user feedback for innovation and maintaining consumer trust.

5. Advocating purposeful and socially compliant principles and norms. The article concludes with a discussion of how brands can

align their universal appeal with local cultural nuances. Chanel and Patagonia serve as leading examples that global brands can manage to comply with social discourses. These brands not only provide customers with a sense of purpose but also showcase successfully how aligning social aspects and creating awareness on a global scale can accomplish business success.

Overall, we stress that cultural authenticity is not a surface-level consideration but, rather, a fundamental aspect of strategic brand transformation and business development. Our examples demonstrate that this form of authenticity plays a key role in shaping brand perception and contributes to long-term sustainability. Thus, by embracing cultural authenticity, businesses can forge deep connections with their customers and operate effectively in diverse markets while maintaining their core identity.


In the contemporary interconnected world, there is increasing recognition of the significance of cultural authenticity in corporate branding activities and, by extension, strategic brand management. Culturally authentic branding emphasizes genuine and respectful representations of the values, traditions, and history in the countries and regions where products and services are marketed. Conceptually, cultural authenticity transcends surface-level shared values to focus instead on the shared emotional preferences that reflect customers’ core values. Doing so naturally requires a deep understanding of and reflection on the unique features of the culture of a brand’s customers. The focus on shared preferences ensures that branding is not simply consistent with the prevailing norms but emotionally resonant,

thereby fostering sincerity and integrity in a landscape often characterized by superficiality. By embracing cultural authenticity, companies create branding that genuinely connects with their diverse customer bases.

We draw on two complementary theoretical frameworks, the onion model and the iceberg model, to explain the relationship between the multifaceted layers of cultural dynamics in and authenticity.

1. Geert Hofstede’s onion model serves to identify and categorize the various components of cultures. From this perspective, culture is not monolithic but rather consists of distinct layers, each of which influences behavior, values, and norms. The outer layer includes observable elements, such as clothing and symbols, while closer to the core are values and beliefs, all of which reflect fundamental assumptions. An understanding of each of these layers is crucial for assessing the authenticity of cultural expressions and distinguishing surface-level practices from basic values and worldviews.

2. Edward T. Hall’s iceberg model complements the onion model with an emphasis on the hidden aspects of culture. In this model, the tip represents the observable elements of culture, such as language, food, and gestures, while the much larger submerged portion represents the deeper, less visible aspects, such as communication styles, social norms, and unspoken rules. In the context of cultural authenticity,


this model underscores the fact that superficial observations are ineffective for achieving cultural understanding.

Together, these models provide a comprehensive framework for examining and assessing cultural authenticity in the context of branding. Thus, the onion model serves to categorize cultural elements so as to distinguish superficial observations from genuine cultural values while the iceberg model highlights the need for a deep exploration of the often hidden factors that shape cultures. This dual framework facilitates meaningful and authentic appreciation of, respect for, and engagement with diverse cultures. The commonality between these models lies in their exploration of cultural layers and the recognition that there are aspects of culture not immediately visible. They highlight that deeper cultural dimensions significantly influence visible and explicit behaviors helping to understand and compare national and organizational cultures, providing insights into cross-cultural communication by revealing hidden and implicit cultural factors that may cause misunderstandings. Indicating cultural rules, acknowledged by both models, shape behavior, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of culture with visible manifestations and underlying layers that influence interactions.

At the heart of cultural authenticity in branding is the commitment to foundational values and accurately representing and connecting with diverse cultures. This commitment fosters a brand experience that is emotionally rich, sincere, and reflective of the subtleties of various cultural identities. Approached this way, branding transcends aesthetics, symbols, heroes, and rituals to encompass the strategic process of crafting the identity, values, and narratives associated with products and services in ways that resonate genuinely with consumers. Culturally authentic branding, then, involves creating a distinct and memorable image of a brand that is in harmony with the cultural contexts in which it operates.

An authentic brand identity builds on visual elements to encapsulate the inherent values and distinctive characteristics of consumers in a manner that resonates with them and engages with their emotional preferences so as to mirror a brand’s ethos and its consumers’

cultural and personal identities. Such heartfelt and genuine approaches elevate brand identity from simple imagery to a meaningful connection, thereby enriching and deepening consumers’ relationship with it. Here, we provide a nuanced perspective on cultural authenticity and the shaping of brand perceptions. Through carefully selected case studies, we investigate the role of cultural authenticity in effecting positive change across the increasingly diverse global landscape. Our analysis goes beyond traditional marketing strategies to examine the complex interplay between culture and brand identity. We cover the key considerations for crafting an authentic brand strategy and offer a lucid and thorough account of how cultural authenticity informs and molds the branding journey.

Aspect 1: Creating Cultural Awareness Emirates, Dubai’s flagship airline, is emblematic of the city’s status as a global hub of highend hospitality. The brand manifests the city’s love of luxury and its role as a cultural melting pot, as is readily apparent in first-class services designed meticulously to show deep respect for clients’ status. Emirates’ exclusive private suites, exquisite gourmet dining, and exceptional service cater to elite travelers’ desire for exclusivity and prestige. Hofstede’s cultural

dimensions, particularly the power distance index (PDI), are enlightening in this context. The members of high-PDI societies that form a significant portion of Emirates’ market appreciate profound respect for hierarchy with first-class offerings customized to provide levels of service that recognize and reinforce the social standing of its target customers. By contrast, Finnair, a leading European airline

company, is rooted in the low-PDI culture of Finland and, accordingly, prioritizes egalitarian values and functional simplicity with an approach to service, including in business class, that emphasizes efficiency, environmental mindfulness, and a consistent experience for all in a manner consistent with Finnish cultural values.

Moreover, Emirates seamlessly incorporates distinct Emirati elements—including traditional architecture, clothing, Arabic calligraphy, henna art, camel and falcon culture, and the ambiance of traditional souks—into its brand identity. In this way, the brand has forged a rich cultural identity that marries traditional values with modern progress. Emiratis, proud of their heritage, skillfully integrate these elements into contemporary life, and the brand celebrates this heritage by offering an authentic and culturally rich experience that connects people locally and globally, fostering unity while embracing modernity and innovation.

As a parallel example, Levi’s, renowned for its denim apparel, exemplifies the art of crafting narratives that resonate with local cultures in its efforts to transcend its U.S. origins and embrace global diversity. While its storytelling in the United States often revolves around themes of individuality, freedom, and the “American dream,” Levi’s has adeptly adapted its messaging to reflect local values and narratives across the world. This strategic shift from point-of-origin values to local relevance is evident in the company’s tailoring of its campaigns to various cultures. Thus, while its advertising in the United States frequently showcases diverse individuals united by their Levi’s jeans to symbolize inclusivity and freedom of expression and reinforce the brand’s


authenticity and emotional connection with domestic consumers, its international advertising features customized messages. In Asian countries, for instance, the brand integrates local fashion trends and motifs to connect with consumers on a personal and culturally relevant level. Through this localization strategy, Levi’s demonstrates its commitment to understanding and reflecting the diverse cultures of its global customer base. By maintaining its core identity while ensuring that its message of individuality and self-expression is relevant and relatable to worldwide, Levi’s has become both a symbol of U.S. heritage and a global icon of personal style and cultural diversity.

Aspect 2: Designing culturally relevant products and spaces

Cultural authenticity in branding encompasses analog products, digital applications, and spatial design. In this context, each feature of a brand and its marketing serves to communicate cultural authenticity. The strategic incorporation of symbols, motifs, and narratives deeply rooted in specific cultures conveys messages and evokes emotions that resonate with the consumers in a given country or region on a cultural level.

Starbucks’ strategic introduction of its moon-

cake in Asia, timed with the Mid-Autumn Festival, is exemplary of this approach. By adding this traditional delicacy savored during a festival freighted with cultural symbolism to its menu and, thereby, demonstrating an understanding and appreciation of the local culture, Starbucks has deepened its emotional connection with its Asian customers.

This approach of integrating cultural symbols into product design has proved highly effective for brands seeking to establish their

cultural authenticity. By remaining attentive to the unique cultural nuances of their diverse customer bases, brands such as Starbucks transform their products into meaningful expressions of cultural respect and empathy. These efforts enhance the overall brand experience and foster a sense of community and belonging.

Using an analogous strategy, Anghami (which means “my melodies” in Arabic), has established itself as a major music streaming service in the Middle East. Beyond the distribution of music, the company plays a key role in preserving the rich tapestry of traditional Arabic music and fostering the evolution of contemporary Arabic genres that draw on modern musical styles and themes. While this approach helps to maintain the role of Arabic music as a dynamic and essential aspect of Middle Eastern cultural identity, it raises a critical question regarding whether Anghami is an authentic cultural brand or is simply a regional adaptation of the globally recognized digital music service model associated with the U.S. company Spotify. Such offerings as curated playlists and collaborations with regional artists cater to local preferences, but what appears to be a manifestation of genuine cultural authenticity may also be viewed as a savvy business move to fit regional tastes. Authentic cultural representation entails a commitment to both localizing content and actively promoting and referencing the unique facets of culture—in this case, of Middle Eastern music—into every aspect of a company’s operations. So, while

Anghami undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in the contemporary Middle Eastern music landscape, further critical examination is needed to determine the extent to which it can be considered an authentic cultural brand. Another facet of cultural authenticity is the creation of branded spaces, such as retail outlets, offices, workplaces, and showrooms. These spaces serve as external extensions and physical representations of brand identity, establishing a tangible connection with a company’s consumer base. The recently established award-winning Adidas campus in Portland, Oregon, for example, epitomizes the notion of sports as a lifestyle. The architecture of the buildings is designed to mirror the core values of teamwork, integrity, agility, and playfulness. These spaces are in harmony with the commitment by Adidas to inclusivity, credibility, and sustainability. Seamlessly reflecting the brand’s identity, the office space is meticulously designed to be both authentic and in-

novative. Beyond serving as a workplace where employee interactions thrive, the Portland campus is meticulously designed as an environment that goes beyond the conventional. It provides a wide variety of amenities and spaces strategically curated to enhance well-being. The campus actively promotes engagement and includes dedicated areas for experimentation and testing, creating a holistic environment that prioritizes the overall experience of its occupants.

Aspect 3: The global impact of local trends and content creation

Brands have a reciprocal relationship with cultural trends and customer patterns, as mentioned, both influencing and being influenced by them. Successful brands actively engage with and respond to cultural shifts and cater


to diverse consumer behaviors by adapting their strategies so as to remain relevant to their target customers. This symbiotic relationship between brands and cultural dynamics underscores the significant impact of brands on the ever-evolving landscape of consumer culture. Thus, certain brands acquire the power to influence cultural trends and perceptions, which is to say that their representations shape the perceptions of concepts and ideas by broader audiences.

The Walt Disney Company’s efforts to globalize its brand are illustrative of the implementation of an intricate localization strategy. For the Chinese market, Disney deployed a carefully crafted strategy, tailoring its brand and content to align with the local cultural and market characteristics. The slogan “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” that featured prominently in the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort in 2016 shows the company’s recognition of the importance of respecting Chinese values when attempting to connect with Chinese audiences. The guiding principle embodied in the slogan involved harmonizing the design of the resort with the local landscape, including the incorporation of the Chinese language into the storytelling and entertainment. Indeed, the concern with creating an authentically Chinese experience permeates every aspect of the resort. Accordingly, Disney has established partnerships with local Chinese companies to facilitate its entry into the market. For example, the company’s collaboration with the Chinese film company Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to create a Chinese-language musical production of The Lion King showcased its commitment to working with local partners, participating in Chinese corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and contributing to the local market. Also noteworthy in this context is a contem-

porary cultural trend originating in South Korea that has gained significant global traction. The economic implications of K-pop (Korean pop music and TV shows) culture have extended beyond the roots of the genre in the music industry. The widespread popularity of K-pop has translated into substantial revenue and influence across diverse economic sectors as it has captured the attention of global brands seeking to establish connections with diverse consumers and enhance their specific identities. This influence strikes a particular chord with the members of Generations Z and Alpha as they enter the workforce. For effective alignment with these trends, brands must understand the unique and varied consumption patterns, communal dynamics, and fervent fandom that characterize these generations. Thus, what was once a local genre has evolved into one of the most influential global cultural movements.

Aspect 4: Embracing feedback culture to drive innovation

Brands can respond actively to the cultural needs and feedback of their consumers by adapting their strategies to stay relevant, innovative, and authentic. Such responsiveness and feedback are essential for maintaining consumer trust. Of course, cultural responsiveness is key to brand success in any market. As discussed, brands that attune themselves to the cultural needs and feedback of their consumers demonstrate their commitment to relevance and authenticity.

LEGO is an informative example of a brand that remains attuned to the cultural needs and feedback of consumers in the Japan and Middle East, deftly adjusting its strategies to harmonize with their values and preferences. Recognizing the paramount significance of family values in the region, LEGO emphasizes

family bonding and creativity in the marketing of its products. It has also introduced LEGO sets featuring culturally relevant themes, including representations of iconic architectural achievements such as Osaka’s famous Himeji

Castle as well as Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa.

The Coca-Cola brand is another prime example of cultural sensitivity. For its marketing in Central Africa and the Middle East, the brand has astutely recognized the significance of the


sacred month of Ramadan, during which it introduces special edition packaging and advertisements that capture the essence of the celebration. This approach has resonated deeply with consumers, rewarding Coca-Cola’s effort to develop cultural insight. By actively incorporating cultural nuances and feedback into their strategies, such brands go beyond mere translation to integrate the resulting insights into the product development process. This commitment earns consumer trust and solidifies their status as esteemed and culturally attuned entities in the Middle East and serves as a noteworthy example for other brands.

Element 5: Advocating purposeful and socially compliant principles and norms

A major challenge facing global brands as they surge in popularity involves harmonizing universal appeal with the capacity to adjust to the subtleties of local cultures. The impact of multinational brands’ engagement with local issues and efforts to catalyze social discourse is significant, and so, in turn, is the collective global impact. Integrating CSR as well as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives and transparently conveying social values are further characteristics of cultural authenticity.

To foster cultural awareness, brands must first establish their cultural relevance and then seamlessly integrate their identity into their customers’ cultural milieu. Effectively alignment with the cultural norms, beliefs, and aspirations of their customers positions brands to strengthen connections with them. Achieving this relevance and alignment requires careful crafting of messaging, imagery, and tone to suit the specific cultural context of its audience.

The renowned luxury fashion brand Chanel, established in the 1920s by the visionary Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, has excelled in these respects. The brand is a prominent exemplar of French artistry and liberation centered on freeing women from the confines of traditional fashion in a strategic response to changing cultural norms regarding the aspirations of women for autonomy. In other words, Chanel’s branding has resonated with the contemporary movement toward women’s empowerment and symbolizes a broader shift in socie-

tal attitudes. Redefining fashion as purposeful, inclusive, and adaptable, the company’s vision has consistently aligned with women’s desires for self-expression and individuality and their evolving roles in society.

Chanel’s unique haute couture epitomizes this heritage as a beacon of cultural significance and relevance. Its impact extends beyond clothing and aesthetics to the preservation and promotion of the core values of authenticity, creativity, savoir-faire, and outstanding quality craftsmanship on a global scale.

Individuals often use brands to express their identities and affiliations, associating themselves with brands that reflect their personal values and cultural identities to create a sense of belonging and purpose. A well-known example of this approach is Patagonia, a U.S. clothing and outdoor gear company founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard and headquartered in Ventura, California, renowned for its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and CSR. The brand’s ethos is deeply rooted in environmental stewardship and core values that extend to activism and social advocacy. A distinctive aspect of Patagonia’s corporate approach in this regard is its decision to close its stores annually for a week to prioritize the well-being of its employees over immediate profits. This policy of providing a paid break and encouraging employees to embark on adventures fosters a positive work environment while also demonstrating the company’s concern for their happiness and sense of fulfillment. It boosts company morale and

cultivates trust and loyalty among employees and customers.

Chouinard’s commitment to doing the right thing even at a cost thus remains evident in the company’s actions. This mindset attracts passionate employees who contribute to a work culture that distinguishes Patagonia from other retail establishments. Recognizing that employee satisfaction extends beyond financial compensation, the company maintains a mission-driven environment in which employees can pursue their passions. By cultivating a culture of motivation and engagement, it has increased its productivity and overall success. Closing its stores annually results in a temporary sales reduction but positions the company strategically, for the value of the goodwill and trust of its employees and customers is far greater. This genuine strategy of committing itself to its people and the planet resonates strongly with Patagonia’s customer base and sets it apart from its competitors. Unsurprisingly, brands that respect and align their products and services with social norms and values often earn widespread acclaim and acceptance. The Central Japan Railway Company, prominently represented by its high-speed train, the Shinkansen, well illustrates this relationship between cultural sensitivity and the bottom line. The Shinkansen epitomizes Japanese efficiency and values, incorporating cutting-edge technology and high-quality service and gaining renown for its exceptional punctuality. The train symbolizes the railway’s commitment to continuous improvement, optimization, and cleanliness. The high standards for service and safety seamlessly align with the culture, resulting in a travel experience that is not only cost-effective and convenient but also distinctly Japanese. The attention to detail, respect for tradition, and dedication to serving societal needs constitute the quintessential Japanese essence of this iconic train.

Summary and Conclusions

Cultural authenticity, we have shown, is a comprehensive approach that transcends symbolic gestures and operational marketing tactics. It involves fostering awareness and sensitivity within a company as well as incorporating genuine cultural elements that resonate emo-


tionally with consumers. This approach also requires staying attuned to evolving trends and diverse customer patterns, obtaining measurable feedback to refine strategies, and implementing localization approaches that connect with specific communities and regions. Crucially, cultural authenticity should not be seen as a superficial feature of branding. Rather, it is a vital part of strategic brand transformation and business development. In general, culture plays a pivotal role in shaping how a brand is perceived and contributes to its longterm sustainability.

By embodying the values, traditions, and aspirations of their consumers, businesses can forge deep connections and build trust. Cultural authenticity serves as a bridge between local nuances and global standards, enabling businesses to operate effectively in diverse markets while maintaining their core identity. In the ever-evolving global landscape, embracing cultural authenticity is a strategic imperative as well as a manifestation of a company’s commitment to cultivating meaningful relationships with its customers and the wider communities that it serves. Ultimately, brands engage with cultures through symbolism, rituals, preservation, and narrative alignment to establish genuine and meaningful connections with their customers. By respecting and aligning with their cultural norms and values, brands amplify their authenticity and solidify their standing in the global marketplace. To be perceived as authentic, commercial brands’ engagement with local cultures must align with their consumers’ aspirations, values, and quality standards. Cultural authenticity, then, is a fundamental feature of brand strategy and business development that significantly influences brand perception and contributes to long-term sustainability.

Embracing cultural authenticity is both a strategic necessity and a demonstration of a company’s commitment to building meaningful relationships with its customers and the communities that it serves. Through the wholehearted adoption and integration of local culture into their product design and marketing, companies can succeed and have a lasting positive impact in the interconnected world marketplace.


John co-founded State of Culture, an independent and interdisciplinary strategic business consultancy. The consultancy places a significant emphasis on integrating social considerations within the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) framework. Demonstrating a commitment to fostering positive impact through culture, John actively employs global tools and methodologies as an Associated Practitioner at The Cul-

ture Factor Group (formerly known as Hofstede Insights). His specialization involves addressing intercultural and organizational challenges, offering effective and evidence-based frameworks. With nearly two decades of experience working for and with world-leading organizations and brands across various industries, including Hugo Boss, SAP, Li and Fung USA, The Walt Disney Company, Steelcase, and Jones Lang LaSalle, his leadership has been instrumental in numerous global and local projects, applying design principles such as co-formulation, co-implementation, co-creation, and a human-centered approach to deliver sustainable and impactful user and space experiences. John brings a strong intercultural background and perspective to his work, having relocated to China and collaborated extensively in Europe and the USA. Currently based in Munich, Germany, he holds two full-time postgraduate degrees: a Diplom in Business Administration and Intercultural Communication from the Applied University of Konstanz, and a Master’s Degree in Design Strategy with distinction from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – School of Design. Additionally, he has been certified with Design Management from Parsons - The New School in New York. John serves as a distinguished member of the international jury panels for prestigious organizations such as iF Design and Frame. As a devoted university lecturer and research associate, he thrives on collaborating

within interdisciplinary and creative teams. His motivation stems from an inherent passion to create value and drive transformation through the realms of design and culture.

Amer Bitar

Amer Bitar, with an impressive +20-year career in media and sports entertainment, is a testament to his innovative entrepreneur and strategist skills. As the founder of Markettcom, a leading brand licensing agency in the Middle East and Africa, Amer showcases his business acumen. Amer’s expertise in cross-cultural management is particularly influential in the Middle East, where he is actively involved in research and mentoring emerging talent.

His academic credentials are as diverse as they are impressive. With an undergraduate degree in Economics from Damascus University, Amer expanded his expertise through International Business studies at McGill University. He holds an Executive MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal, and a doctorate from Bradford

University, UK, complemented by executive education from Columbia University. In the academic sphere, Amer has made significant strides as the author of “Bedouin Visual Leadership in the Middle East,” where he delves into leadership within the Arab world. He serves as a revered reviewer for Sage Publications and contributes thought leadership to esteemed academic journals and magazines. Amer’s dedication to business and academia also includes guiding SMEs in the MENA region and providing strategic advice to global brands on expansion through licensing. His comprehensive understanding of both business dynamics and cultural nuances in the MENA region makes him an invaluable asset in these sectors.


CAA Talks Gaming

CAA Brand Management Executives Tony Attwood and Sye Austin talk to Total Brand Licensing about the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry and its explosive growth

How have you seen brands grow and change in the gaming industry in recent years?

Sye Austin: Certainly, since the beginning of COVID, gaming has been one of the industries to benefit significantly from consumers being forced to stay home, becoming an entertainment staple. In addition to development of the virtual world and Web3, a new sector of interest emerged, with many brands trying to find the right way to successfully activate in the NFT bubble. With interactive businesses now dealing with a post-pandemic cooling of the market and a slow-down and levelling in the NFT sector, new opportunities are forming with the shift towards user-generated content within existing games, enabling brands to be seen in in-game adver-

torials, create platforms for use in new world/ universe building, or engage in storytelling through custom gameplay.

Tony Attwood: The video game industry has become a key industry for brands to target and grow a presence in order to reach and interact with the Gen Alpha and Gen Z consumer groups, with whom they would not otherwise naturally have a relationship. We are also seeing continued growth in the connection between gaming and social connection/community space, where 52% of Gen Alpha and 48% of Gen Z* are using gaming to feel more connected with friends.

*source: Youth First Digital Insights 2024 In terms of licensing, can you outline some recent news and tell us a bit about what might be in the pipeline?

Tony Attwood: For our automotive clients specifically, we are identifying and creating opportunities to extend beyond the traditional racing games, and exploring ways to authentically enter platforms, including Roblox and the Fortnite ecosystem. These platforms have become untapped opportunities, and in the absence of official integrations, have become a target for unlicensed and unauthorized content. Porsche, for example, is heavily focused on utilizing the gaming industry to tell authentic stories and provide moments of delight, including the recently announced Overwatch 2 partnership. This collaboration will provide new skins for fan-favorite characters like D.Va, inspired by the all-new Macan Electric car, which cleverly combines the key in-game hero character and integrates


the Porsche brand in an authentic way. CAA Brand Management represents Ford, which is expanding further into other genres, with the puzzle game Forza Customs, to engage with a younger demographic.

Sye Austin: Here at CAA Brand Management, we have a several additional gaming-related projects in the pipeline with our automotive clients launching later this year. Again, the aim is to step outside of the core racing game genre, while allowing different audiences to interact with the brand or its products in its usual environment, in meaningful ways. Being present where passionate communities are formed is key when positioning brands in the interactive space. Gaming brands seem to be increasingly multi-generational and gender agnostic in their audience popularity – why do you think that is?

Sye Austin: People grow up with the games they play. Millennials, who are now 28-43-years-old, grew up during the video game wave of the 80s/90s, paving the way for younger generations to become digitally native. Minecraft, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year, has an average player age of 24-years-old, but also a younger following. As a result, we have a real cross

section of fans, from people who became interested in the game as kids, and continue to revisit it as they get older, or even finding something they can have a shared interest in now with their own children.

Tony Attwood: Typically, gaming consoles like the Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation are purchased by a wide audience across children and adults, while consoles, including the Nintendo Wii and Switch, have turned gaming into a family activity, enjoyed by individuals of all ages. Technology and the growth of smart phones and tablets have also been a key driver in making gaming easier to access, and a much larger audience can access a huge library of games for zero or minimal cost via mobile devices. This allows everyone, regardless of gender or age, to easily access gaming, and is part of the reason why e-sports has continued to grow and gain recognition as a serious sport, attracting largescale audiences, both in person and through streaming coverage.

How are you building on this popularity?

Tony Attwood: The opportunity for brands to form gaming collaborations is also appealing, as it allows them to build relationships with younger consumers prior to becoming potential customers. These relationships enable a brand to become aspirational to a young consumer in an environment or community

in which the consumer is already present and comfortable, immersing themselves in an unexpected new world or environment. The collaborations offer a new way for established brands to strategically tell stories and talk about their products, values, or innovations, and reach consumers they would otherwise not be able to connect with.

Through licensing and merchandise opportunities, we can create limited edition capsule collections to provide the consumer with a physical product to show that they were part of this unique moment in time and continue celebrating the collaboration. This is akin to a consumer watching a movie and purchasing an item to extend the connection and show that they are part of that particular community.

Sye Austin: We have also seen gaming IP like League of Legends partner with Netflix to launch the award-winning series ARCANE, opening a new opportunity to access consumers that are not necessarily gamers. The success of such an IP extension translates into strong opportunities to curate a comprehensive consumer product offering at retail, enabling fans all around the world to display their affiliation to the series and the League of Legends characters.

Sye Austin Tony Attwood

The Brand Jam Collaborations Observatory

Brand Jam observes the world of licensed collaborations and brand extension activities, dissecting more than 300 innovative cases each quarter with its Collaborations Observatory. This issue’s column by Paolo Lucci is dedicated to three areas to watch on the licensed collaborations scene.

Retail collaborations become narrative

In 2024, H&M will have been collaborating with fashion designers for twenty years, a business model the Swedish clothing retailer created in 2004 with its first collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. Since then, H&M’s collaborations have gone from strength to strength. In the beginning, there was this incredible buzz, not only on traditional and social media, but especially in those ultra-sophisticated, snobbish fashion magazines that couldn’t believe such a revolution could happen.

The queues outside the stores from 4am, the unusual one-piece-only-per-purchase,

combined with the fastest sell-out ever, took the fashion industry by surprise, made many customers happy and convinced luxury labels that a quarter of an hour of democracy would do no harm to a brand’s glittering cachet.

The same system has since been adopted by

many retailers, so much so that it has become a staple for retailers at all levels. Now, more narrative layers are creating new opportunities for mass retailers to strengthen their ranges. French menswear specialist Celio launched a brilliant collaboration with Chamonix -Mont Blanc last winter, a technical and leisure winter range where the specific technical features of skiwear are enriched by the French chic and fascinating winter resort of Chamonix. Celio x Chamonix Mont Blanc uses a storytelling destination/brand that not only offers soft values with a recognisable and eye-catching logo, but also its tourist destination web platform to promote the range institutionally. A brilliant association which upgrades Celio’s brand.

From “Consumers” to “Fans”

The effort made by all brands - now also toy manufacturers - to create objects of desire rather than simply “consumer products” is becoming increasingly evident. With testimonials such as Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak x Marvel, or Montegrappa’s various forays into pop culture icons on its limited editions such as Queen, Games of Thrones, Monop-


oly, Harry Potter, it has become a standard marketing paradigm in the luxury watch and collectors’ pen markets.

Catering to “fans” instead of consumers, through scarcity and subtle cultural references, is now becoming the same goal for toy brands, especially in light of the declining birth rate in the West, forcing toy companies to intercept the interest of millennials or even boomers.

LEGO’s most innovative launches, since the launch of the Millennium Falcon retailing at over $800, then the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine limited edition of 2016, or the Fender Stratocaster, follow this strategy in full.

Hasbro Pulse, e-store of the toy brand, was born in the same circumstances - a container to please fans instead of selling to consumers - repeatedly launching a series of small batches of limited edition products online, using the “drop system”.

In fact, scarcity and references to cultural pop icons are at the root of the success of these objects of desire, capable of unleashing the desire of adults, millennials and GenZers as a whole, as has happened in the luxury sector.

With a positive flip side for a new breed of collectors, where luxury is not measured in money, but in availability: you can be happy with a Playmobil Magnum P.I. Ferrari for €69.99.

Music Merch 4.0

The recent Travis Scott’s collaboration with Audemars Piguet on the Cactus Jack Royal Oak adds an interesting theme to the observation of how music artists interpret the evolution of music merchandising.

In this case, the first reciprocal collaboration between the Swiss luxury watchmaker and American artist Travis Scott with Cactus Jack -artist’s own brand- appears on both a $200,000 Royal Oak watch and a range of co-branded apparel: Audemars Piguet x Cactus Jack.

This first reciprocal collaboration may be a small revolution for Audemars Piguet, but it says more about the new ways music artists are finding to generate new lucrative revenues by integrating touring, merchandising and collaborations in a world where royalties from digital platforms have become lower.

While the Cactus Jack Royal Oak is priced at $201,000 for a total of 200 pieces (you can do the math...), the clothing collection is no slouch, ranging from $125 to $500 per item.

Another example of economic opportunity is the record merchandising sales that the same Travis Scott achieved last year during the Dallas and Denver dates of his tour: an astonishing $1 million per night.

This model, based on the convergence of luxury and music, is transforming the music merchandising offering along two axes: “mass ubiquity to scarcity”, and “basic to curated”, in an attempt to attract fans with more storytelling ingredients that create a strong sense of belonging.

The future of such a sophisticated merchandising model is difficult to shape, but as Spotify begins to check in on music merch, it seems full of promise.

You can read about the most interesting collaborations, merchandising, and brand extension insights on every week, and send any queries or comments to


Thelwell Gallops Through 2024!

It’s been a busy start to 2024 and the tail end of Norman Thelwell’s centenary year, and the year is certainly planned to end with a flourish...

Thelwell’s Pony Parade exhibition

The recent Amsterdam exhibition from December 2023 to February 2024 attracted visitors from all over the globe to the iconic Living Horse Museum, home to the oldest riding school in the Netherlands. where visitors admired artwork for ‘Thelwell’s Pony Parade, a Century of Charm and Wit’. The Thelwell Estate is in talks for more exhibitions, so do keep your eyes peeled. Book re-publication “Some Damn Fool’s Signed the Rubens Again”

The latest in a flurry of beloved Thelwell classic books re-released for the world to enjoy, “Some Damn Fool’s Signed the Rubens Again” proves that Norman Thelwell was not a one-trick pony, with his sharp wit this time focused on the British class system. Enjoy the artist’s observations at what happens when Britain’s stately homes are opened to the public. From the duke in his tower preparing the repel the coachloads with boiling oil, to toddlers wrecking treasured heirlooms and everything in between, the comic situations make for an hilarious read, published by Quiller.

New range of vintage Thelwell greeting cards

A stunning new range of humorous vintage cards from the inimitable mind of Norman

Thelwell has been brought to life thanks to the talented team at Countryside Greetings. Some of the best cartoons from the recently re-published “Some Damn Fool’s Signed the Rubens Again”, the master of whimsical cartoons once again gives us his witty perspective on British life.

Spotted in Singapore

One of the ‘Pony and Rider’ sculptures by Robert James Workshop Ltd was discovered by a friend of Thelwell on their travels! Made of hot cast bronze, this garden statue perfectly captures the wit and energy behind Norman Thelwell’s pony & rider cartoons.

If you happen to be in Singapore, don’t hesitate to go and witness this stunning commission, situated in the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay.

New design for bed set, cushions and curtains

The Pony Club draws in the numbers!

The Thelwell Estate is honoured to play a central part of this year’s The Pony Club Art Competition, with the theme being ‘Friendship and Adventure’ and two of the judges are Norman Thelwell’s children, Norman and Penny. Both Norman and Penny gave Artist’s Tips to give inspiration and guidance to all four categories of entrants, encouraging the budding artists to ensure they had fun overall! Once the judges have had the tricky job of whittling down the most competition entries ever, the runners up and four lucky winners, these will be announced at The Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday 3 May.

Following the successful release of the designs of ‘Original’ and Trophy’, the latest line is ‘Antics’ and will be released later in the year by Noveltex to stockists, adding fun and colour to homes everywhere.


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