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No Mo FOMO: Never Miss Key Dates from Licensing Agreements

FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is a real phenomenon which is becoming progressively common. It is even able to cause significant stress in your life. It can affect just about anyone, but some people are at greater risk.

It is important to remember that FOMO is very real and common feeling among people of all ages. Everyone feels a certain level of FOMO at different phases in their lives.

FOMO has also become one of the driving motivators in the tech industry today. FOMO creates a healthy dose of diligence, pushing us to constantly invent new technologies and processes that we can then leverage across the brand licensing industry.

Embracing automation and adapting new technology takes us one step closer to relieving the constant fear of missing out.

Before the world was hit with the tumult, disruption and curveball that blindsided many businesses in 2020, the licensing landscape of 2019 was enjoying $292.8 billion in global sales revenue, generated by licensed merchandise and services.

However, changes are afoot, and the licensing industry has been reflecting these changes every step of the way.

According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “The only constant in life is change.” With so much disruption happening so quickly, how can you assure yourself that you’re not missing out on important dates and information coming from your business partners?

In our previous blog we talked about 5 tactics to avoid FOMO, and today we will discuss why now might be an ideal time to take a fresh look at things.

How you are keeping yourself up to date with information that might slip through the cracks?

FOMO is as real as it gets and now more than ever, it’s time to ensure that your expectations from your licensees match the reality on the ground. You can do so by checking on key dates that might slip through the cracks if you do not have an automated solution in place.

As brand owners, there are several vital dates that you should keep in check as your licensing program and your number of licensees grows.

Contract renewal/ expiration dates:

It’s a mammoth task to track every agreement that you made with every licensee. The most significant dates in the contracts are when they expire or must be renewed.

Manually tracking contracts across many licensees and agents takes away so much precious time, and these tedious tasks will divert your focus from doing business analysis and giving your business the attention, it deserves.

Time is of essence and you can’t lose any more of it by doing these administrative tasks – not when you can rely on a solution to take care of it for you.

Access your contractual rights information, dates, contract terms and much more with a single solution in place and free yourself from worrying about missing out on contract expiration/ renewal dates.

Sell off period:

Sell off periods get tricky when a contract with a licensee has expired yet licensed merchandise is still on store shelves.

It’s critical for you to ensure that even with the contract being expired, royalties are coming in from the existing inventory during the sell off period.

At this point, manually going through every royalty report to validate the royalties against contract terms down to SKU level is unrealistic. It just takes too much time and manpower, so you might never know what is going on.

You want to make sure that as soon as the sell-off period is over, you know about any sales still being made, so that you can act quickly to ensure the licensee stops selling now-unauthorized product.

To avoid such situations, it’s safe to say that having a system helps you stay on top of information to validate royalties against sales and flag unauthorized sales. It saves you from headaches and the fear of missing out on information, slipping through your fingers.

Royalty due date/ past due:

Most brand owners receive quarterly royalty payments from their licensees. No brand owner likes to receive overdue payments. It becomes a huge  burden for licensors to keep track of every royalty report received from every licensee.

Following up on licensees to ensure their royalties have been reported and paid or chasing down the ones who didn’t pay on time causes a headache for licensors.

Licensees are also faced with the risk of paying penalties because their royalties or payments are past due. Brand owners can get ahead of things and send email blasts with the help of a system.

This reminds licensees of their upcoming royalty due date or past due dates to help head off late payments and make following-up easier.

Minimum guarantee commitments:

Licensors are eager to keep tabs on their minimum guarantee commitments and make sure that they are coming in a timely fashion from their partners.

The fear of missing out on the revenue that was promised can be managed if licensors didn’t have to track down every single payment over hundreds of licenses, if not more.

It becomes easy and efficient for brand owners if they are enabled to know beforehand when the minimum guarantee payment is due, who missed a scheduled payment, and see it all in a solution at the tip of their fingers.

Insurance certificate renewals:

Your licensees are responsible to hold insurance, and often to provide you proof with an insurance certificate. They are also accountable to renew their insurance certificates. This is a significant way to protect your brand and intellectual property.

If you are receiving, all that information via long email chains, it’s next to impossible to keep track of every insurance issue and renewal date over multiple licensees.

With an automated solution in place it’s much smarter and easier to send reminders to your licensees if their insurance is getting outdated. Once the reminder is set, you can send these notifications as needed, without having to put in the information over and over.

Manufacturing certificate renewals:

Licensees often need to provide manufacturing certifications or factory compliance documentation.

While you have multiple licensees operating all over the globe, it becomes essential for you to ensure that the licensees are complying by the health and safety rights of their factory workers, employees, environment and local community.

Brand owners must ensure that manufacturers or factories being used have met all regulations and provide certification.

To help keep up to date with all required compliance documents, a comprehensive software solution could help brand owners send licensees reminders before certification gets expired. It in turn facilitates the brand owners’ processes and protects their brands’ reputation.

Even without the pandemic at hand, FOMO has grown in most of us which is causing difficulties in managing our expectations versus reality.

As our idea of business as usual continues to evolve, it is possible to adapt new technologies to control the constant fear of missing out on better chances to manage your licensing program- without causing confusion and instability across your licensees.

As long as we can manage FOMO, we can leverage the opportunity to reinforce value and commitment to our partners and consumers.


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