licensing collaborations

Engaging Fans by Creative Licensing Collaboration (PART 1)

Engagement happens when people share their creative ideas and many of these ideas play off one another. Creative licensing collaboration is one such idea.

Remote workforces, as accentuated during COVID-19, need tools to help you communicate and collaborate with your artists, designers, executives, legal team, marketing and sales teams, brand managers, finance teams and more to create and confirm a successful product launch.

Fans enjoy your newly delivered products and, thanks to social media, now lend their voice in contributing to the promotion of your brand.

Collaborations help us all stay in tune with current culture and how our brands move consumers everywhere in the world.  They allow us to reach new audiences outside our core group of fans in other ways that extend our brand’s purpose into their lives.

Creative licensing collaborations help you imagine your brand in new and exciting ways which can motivate your team. By tapping into your creative imagination, your core, non-licensed products can perform better in the marketplace and you can create new income streams for your company that never existed before.

We can also take advantage of other loyal brand enthusiasts when you cobrand to leverage their audience. Creative collaborations are a great way to tap into free publicity, reminding your target audience about your established brands which may lack advertising funds.

Talkin’ ‘bout That Generation

Several generations of consumers are potential targets for your new products and services. Knowing what makes each generation tick can help you target your product and service more effectively.

Builders (a/k/a the Silent Generation)

Born between 1925 and 1945. Builders grew up on swing music, postwar happiness, Mickey Mouse, and Gone with the Wind.  Many own their own homes and have lifetime jobs. As this was pre-feminism, many women were homemakers and did not have the right to vote in the U.S. until 1961.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964. In Europe and North America, Baby Boomers came of age in a time of increasing affluence and widespread government subsidies that provided post-war housing and education. They grew up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. Baby Boomers began to work at younger ages than successive generations leading to strong work ethics. They enjoy mentoring and being mentored.

Generation X

Born between 1965 and 1980. Gen Xers came up in a time of greater affluence and have a truly independent spirit, having taken advantage of more education. As the first generation to grow up with two working parents, they tend to be strong communicators and innovative. Gen Xers are a great consumer-minded generation.

Millennials (a/k/a Generation Y)

Born between 1981 and 1996. Millennials around the globe are less keen on getting married causing a marked downturn in fertility rates around the world. They tend to be more spiritual but  less likely to follow established religions. As the first generation to grow up with the internet, social media, and mobile devices, they are very tech savvy and truly are multi-taskers.

Generation Z

Born between 1997 and 2012. Gen Zers are dubbed as “digital natives” as they’ve grown up with and are more comfortable with the internet and portable technology. They tend to spend less time reading books and have shorter attention spans.

Seven seconds for an internet search is all you get to grab Gen Z’s attention.  FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, albeit perceived, and rewarded by their fixation on their mobile phones and social media. They expect workforce diversity and equal rights (e.g. women’s pay and Black Lives Matters).

Talkin’ to That Generation

The generational differences sometimes make it harder to market your brand and product to a specific generation. And younger generations have a new way of interacting with brands and products.

So how do you reach Gen Y and Gen Z consumers?

First, you must have a mobile strategy which involves creating content, preferably easy-to-digest videos and not white papers. These consumers need fantastic design and technology and are willing to pay for it to help dazzle, engage with, and entertain their friends.

Social and environmental causes are very important to them, so brands and products that appeal to the Earth and human nature will appeal to these consumers.

Generational Collaborations That Work

Smart collaborations can help extend a brand beyond their core audience, like these:

Sega + Glam Glow

Co-collaborations are great ways for older brands to connect with younger audiences and reach new demographics. One of the most buzzed about collaborations was between Sega and Glam Glow. They released a Sonic Blue GRAVITYMUD mask that targeted the adult female customers, which is not Sega’s core demographic. The original version sold so well; they did a second release that went into all Sephora stores worldwide.

Afterwards, a few other brands tried to replicate the success, but no one could beat Sonic. Sega’s outreach to female consumers was a prelude to their successful release of the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie starring Jim Carrey.

Users of this collab: Millennials & Gen Z

Rocky + Running

Renowned brand licensing agency Brandgenuity extends intellectual properties into service/experiential ideas that really generate excitement with passionate fans, help provide new ways for fans to engage with their beloved properties, and for these properties to reach a broader fanbase.

A great example is Rocky, owned by MGM, which won three Oscars in 1976 and turned Sylvester Stallone into a star as both a writer and actor. Gen Xers and Millennials have been rewarded over the last fifteen years with the Rocky Run, a chance to join runners from around the world in Philadelphia, channel your inner Rocky Balboa, and see if you can go the distance.

This event attracts 20K+ who all pay an entrance fee to run the Rocky Run that finishes on the iconic 72 steps of the Philly Art Museum. It now generates nearly $100k per year.

Consumers: Boomers to Gen Z

Automotive Brands

Automobile brands have some of the strongest fan bases over every generation since the invention of the car in 1886 by Karl Friedrich Benz and Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler.

Recently, Tesla founder Elon Musk traded places with Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world. Automobile brands have had continuous innovation and collaboration to reach their die-hard enthusiasts by issuing hundreds of new licenses each year across toys, computer games, diecast cars, mobile phones, accessories, and apparel.

Consumers: Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials, and Gen-Z

While capturing new audiences helps build a brand, one can never forget about your core audience. Loyal fans are steadfast supporters and promoters of your brand lifestyle. They utilize your products and want to remind everyone that they love your brand.

Licensed products via creative licensing collaborations with familiar platforms and complimentary categories help them promote your trademarks to their friends and family. Avid customers love to identify with what they want and what they aspire to have. In short, they just love to belong.

In the second part of the creative licensing collaboration series, we will deep dive into the considerations of such collabs, cobranding factors for brand owners and licensees and how collabs can run seamlessly through a digital workspace.


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