Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 8

LICENSING EXPO PREVIEW

Power Players

Social media influencers are carving out their own lane in the licensing industry.
BY BIANCA HERRON

Social media influencer Doug the Pug has more
than a billion YouTube views, and over 9 million
followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The use of licensing as a marketing and brand extension tool has increased rapidly over the last 30 years. This
includes new media over the past decade, which has sent
shock waves through traditional media, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
According to the International
Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA), licensed merchandise
sales grew more than 4 percent last year
to $262.9 billion. Licensable properties
come from a variety of sources, including fashion, sports, music, celebrity,
corporate/brand, and entertainment and
characters, which is the largest segment
of licensing.
Entertainment and character licensing, which includes primarily films,
television shows, videogames and online
8

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entertainment, accounted for 45 percent
of licensing sales, or $ 118 million, in
2016, according to LIMA.

Feeling Success
What makes all licensing successful,
however, is the brand's ability to tap
into consumers' emotions, says LIMA's
Senior Vice President of Industry
Relations and Information Marty
Brochstein. "Licensing is only effective
if it plays upon an emotion that's generated in a target audience," he explains.

Volume 58, Issue 2

"For example, it might be a really cool
celebrity, a favorite sports team, trusted
brand, or a cute character."
This is why nontraditional licensing
brands stemming from new media,
especially today's social media influencers - a user on social media who has
established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a large audience and
can persuade others by virtue of their
authenticity and reach - are "products of
their time," Brochstein notes. "Ten years
ago we didn't know what a social media
influencer was, an app, or a streaming
service," Brochstein explains. "It's logical
that an increasing number of properties
are coming from places we consider to
be non-traditional. In 20 years, something coming from a streaming service
or a social media influencer will be
considered old school."
He cites YouTube sensation Jake
Paul as an example. Paul rose to significant fame on the now-defunct video
application Vine. He began posting
videos in 2013 on the platform and
by the time Vine was shut down, Paul
had 5.3 million followers and 2 billion
video plays. He was later cast on the
Disney Channel series Bizaardvark.
"Paul has turned himself into a brand
by doing wacky things in his daily
video blog on Vine and then Youtube," Brochstein says. "So these quote
unquote unconventional sources for
licenses are unconventional for the moment, until they become mainstream."

Pug Love
You don't get more than a billion YouTube views and over 9 million followers
on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 7
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