Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011 - (Page 6)
The synergy between retail and major brands – including the BBC and Star Wars – will be on full display at Brand Licensing Europe 2011 at The Grand Hall Olympia in London.
Following on the success of Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2010 – which was the most successful show in its 12-year history – the 2011 BLE is planning to attain even greater heights on Oct. 18 to 20 at The Grand Hall Olympia in London. Show organizers expect their activities and programs will help BLE exceed attendance records set at the 2010 BLE, which hosted 236 exhibitors and 5,634 retailers, manufacturers and sales promotion professionals from 63 countries – a 16 percent increase over BLE 2009. Among the successful licensors at BLE 2011 will be BBC Worldwide. The licensor of iconic brands – such as Doctor Who, Planet Earth, Life, Lonely Planet, Top Gear, In the Night Garden, Strictly Come Dancing and Walking With Dinosaurs – has attended the BLE since its inception 13 years ago, maintains Neil Ross Russell, managing director of children's global brands and licensed consumer products. “They practically built it around our stand over the years,” Russell jokes. “We go into a show like BLE first and foremost with an element of reminding people who we are and the scale of our business. We are home to some of the very best known brands in the UK and Europe. It’s obviously an opportunity to meet up with a lot of our existing licensees.” The strategy for the BBC at BLE is to fill in any gaps in its demographic appeal. “We’re going in with our list of brands, and internally, we have a pretty clear idea of what deals we are looking for,” Russell explains. “Our guys will have a list of gaps that they are looking to fill and meetings to set up. Retailers will come along as well to see what big new brands are coming through the pipelines both in terms of retail itself but also in terms of your manufacturing and getting product designed.” He points out that retailers will be working on their plans for Christmas 2012. “In terms of signing up new licensees, we’re in 2013, so it’s an opportunity for the retailers to have an early peek about the sort of things they’re going to see over the next three or four months, and then have a really early sneak peek about what’s coming through next year,” Russell says.
The BBC has concentrated in the last few years on helping retailers move their products off the shelves. Russell says when he came to the BBC three years ago, the or-
ganization felt “slightly reactive.” “When it came to licensing, we sat in our very nice BBC ivory tower and assigned the licenses to the various licensees, but left the onus of effort and everything on their shoulders, while we sat back and waited for the checks to arrive,” he remembers. “As you know – particularly in retail these days – that’s not enough.” Some changes have been made during his tenure. “We are making sure we work closely with the brand managers to make sure our product range will develop over time,” Russell pledges. “Our ability to nurture brands in particular is what sets us apart.” The company understands the importance of special retail display. “We’re very keen to work directly with the retailers, so the products we are designing fit in with retailers’ overall look and feel of their store,” Russell emphasizes. “We don’t want a product that is going to jar and is not going to look appropriate and not fit in with the store.” One example Russell gives of how the BBC aids retailers is for “Strictly Come Dancing,” the television program that led to the U.S. version called “Dancing With the Stars.” As part of promoting a line of make-up and accessories branded by the program and being sold at a major chain of drug stores in the United Kingdom, the BBC arranged for some of the professional dancers to attend the drug stores’ staff Christmas parties. “We got the salespeople enthused about the product and then understand-
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011
Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011
Will mCommerce Make Black Friday Green?
Ho, Ho, Ho!
Back to Business
Kathy Ireland Worldwide
Ludorum - Chuggington
Monopoly - Hasbro
Coast Guard Exchange System
University Book Store Inc.
U.S. Cavalry Store
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Chino Valley Ranchers
Freeman Beauty Labs
New & Noteable
Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2011