8 Tips to Keep Product Approvals Running Smoothly

Getting approvals for a licensed product can be a cumbersome process. Licensors need to make sure their brand is being represented properly, while licensees need approval to produce and sell the licensed merchandise.

The back-and-forth between licensor and licensee can add time and frustration as there can be a lot of hands involved in the production and design of a licensed product.

So, how can one save time and aggravation during the licensing product approval process?

Here’s Dependable Solutions’ list of 8 ways to keep your product approvals running more smoothly:

1. Be Organized.

With so much information that needs to be shared – logos, color PMS, artwork, copy, legal lines, packaging designs, comments, and more ­– it’s imperative to be organized. A Digital Asset Management system can help organize all your content and style guides in an easy, shareable way. Having a user-friendly system saves time for team members to quickly and easily access assets that are needed.

A Brand asset management solution allows you to efficiently review, share, and download any brand material or marketing content all at the click of a button.

This way, the licensors are helping licensees follow best practices in new asset creation. Keeping everyone organized helps save time and money while moving the creative process easily.

2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Lost in translation. This can happen to anyone and can be detrimental when working on branded products.

Questions and comments will be sent back and forth.

How you communicate is just as important. Provide feedback with specific instructions.

For example, instead of saying “make the background blue” provide the PMS color that should be used. By specifically stating what is needed you’ll avoid confusion and wasted time.

While a product goes through the approval processes, going back and forth to ask questions and take down notes can hamper efficiency. For misunderstandings to be avoided, a full proof product approval system, can help both licensors and licensees to communicate in an intelligible way.

3. Set Stages.

Products have different stages to go from “Concept” to “Approved.” It’s important that all parties know what stages are needed for approval.

A licensed t-shirt will have fewer stages than a licensed video game. A licensed sculpture will have different approval stages than a licensed greeting card.

A product approval system allows you the flexibility to customize the approval stages that will work for both licensor and licensee, allowing everyone to be on the same page from the beginning.

4. Know Your History.

There can be a lot of teams involved when it comes to approvals, especially on big projects. Remembering every comment throughout the product development cycle is difficult. Tracking these feedbacks via long email chains is even harder.

Having a licensing product approval system allows full visibility on every stage with related comments. No more digging through of emails to find who said what.

Having quick access to the product’s development history allows for a smoother process moving forward. It also ensures that anyone with permission can step in and keep the project moving forward if a member of the team is out sick or on vacation.

5. Stay Up-to-Date.

Logos and artwork can be kept updated all the time whether for a new marketing initiative, fan engagement or legal reasons. These updates can be added to a DAM system anytime, everyone can get access at the same time.

This reduces delays across time zones and workdays no matter where anyone is in the world.

6. Get real time alerts.

Once a product approval reaches the final stage, the changes must be confirmed prior to formal approval. An automatic system like a product approval solution can send reminders to parties involved to confirm the final changes at this point.

The teams involved can also receive email alerts to review or make comments at any time. Do not be left in the dark – get alerts in real time.

7. Deliver Production-Ready Assets.

When sharing assets whether it is artwork, logos, packaging, audio files, digital file, share the production-ready version. Licensees can lose valuable time trying to upgrade a low-res file.

With a proper brand asset management software, licensors can share digital assets easily with only the licensees that need them.

In addition, all the restrictions and requirements (e.g. legal verbiage) can be included saving time and the headaches usually associated with digital asset sharing.

8. Legal Matters.

Does it need a ™ or an ®? Is the licensed product design breaching any contract term? With a licensing product approval solution, it’s easy to confirm that every merch is in line with the licensing agreements terms.

Licensing collaborations can mark a beginning of a long term partnership. It’s important to pertain transparency between the licensors and licensees and remove roadblocks to get licensed products faster to market. The beauty of having a system like ours is, brand owners and their licensees can follow these 8 tips effectively, from sharing brand assets to designing a product and getting final approval- in one single location.

No hassle, no wasted time.

Learn more about Dependable Solutions’ brand licensing software system to keep your licensing product approval process run efficiently, and securely.


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