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The power of licensing, by BrandTrends

The power of licensing, by BrandTrends

The BrandTrends Group unveils some major findings from its most recent

research, and some key facts can be extracted on how to boost sales quickly.

In the highly competitive world of consumer products for children, licensing of entertainment brands

has emerged as a powerful strategy to drive sales and capture the attention of young consumers.

How to boost sales quickly

There are numerous strategies available on how to boost sales quickly and capture the attention of

potential customers. From implementing limited-time promotions to leveraging upselling and crossselling

techniques, social media marketing, collaborating with partners and influencers, one highly

effective method stands out: incorporating well-known entertainment characters into your products.

This strategy holds particular appeal for children, making it a powerful tool for driving sales..

By featuring popular and favorite characters, you tap into the strong emotional connection children

have with these familiar figures. This association can instantly capture their attention and pique their

interest, increasing the likelihood of a purchase. Whether it’s a toy, clothing, or any other

merchandise adorned with a popular character, children are often drawn to them like magnets.

The presence of a well-known entertainment character not only attracts kids but also appeals to their

parents or caregivers. Many parents are familiar with these characters through movies, TV shows, or

books, and they understand the joy and excitement they can bring to their children. Consequently,

they are more likely to view products featuring these characters as a desirable and worthwhile

investment, leading to increased sales.

Additionally, leveraging well-known entertainment characters can enhance brand recognition and

visibility. Characters that are already established in popular culture come with built-in fan bases and

dedicated followings. By aligning your products with these characters, you tap into the existing fan

base and benefit from their enthusiasm and loyalty. This can lead to greater exposure for your brand,

as fans of the character become aware of and interested in your offerings.

But the key question is: does it work? And if so, the follow up question is by how much?

According to a recent survey conducted by our company, BrandTrends Group, in December 2022, it

was revealed that an overwhelming 67% of parents globally would choose a product featuring a

well-known character or entertainment brand over another product of equivalent quality,

packaging, characteristics, and price.

Preferred across all categories

The influence of licensed products extends across a wide range of product categories, making them

highly sought after by both children and their parents. From toys and games to stationary, clothing to

food and drinks, and even personal care products, licensed merchandise consistently outperforms

generic alternatives. The survey results indicate that 73% of respondents prioritize licensed toys and

games, followed by clothing (71%), food and drinks (67%), stationery (59%), and even kids’ meals at

fast-food restaurants (66%). This overwhelming preference for licensed products underscores their

market dominance and highlights the crucial role they play in shaping consumer choices.

Captivating all audiences, with a strength on the younger ones

Licensed products possess a universal appeal that transcends age groups, captivating the hearts and

minds of children across the spectrum. However, the survey data reveals that younger children,

particularly those aged 3 to 6, exhibit a stronger attraction towards licensed products, with an

impressive 72% expressing interest in them.

As children grow older, their interest in licensed merchandise remains extremely robust, but

gradually wanes versus as they were younger. Indeed, they become more drawn to direct corporate

brands in various sectors, such as fashion (Nike, Adidas, Lacoste …), cosmetics, and electronics

(Apple, Samsung …), and therefore a go a little bit the Entertainment licensed products. This natural

shift in preferences highlights the need for continuous adaptation and innovation within the licensing

industry to maintain engagement with older age groups.

The influence of household income

While licensed products hold immense appeal for children across different income levels, the

research findings demonstrate a notable correlation between household income and the propensity

to purchase licensed merchandise.

The survey reveals that 61% of respondents from the lowest income quintile of households would

opt for a licensed product when presented with an equivalent alternative, whereas this percentage

jumps to 76% among the highest quintile of incomes. This indicates that even though licensed

products enjoy widespread popularity, price considerations still play a role into consumer decisions

and therefore the distribution of these products. As household income increases, the willingness to

invest in licensed products becomes more pronounced, emphasizing the economic aspect that

influences consumer behavior. The correlation between household income and the propensity to

purchase licensed merchandise underscores the economic dimension that factors into consumer


Furthermore, it is important to highlight that parents often exhibit a greater willingness to make

personal sacrifices in order to satisfy their children’s aspirations for specific brands, and even more

on Entertainment products and on fashion. This further underscores consumers’ perception

regarding the pricing of licensed products.

Three key factors

To thrive in the highly competitive market of licensed products, licensees must adopt a strategic

approach that enables them to capture their target audience’s attention, engage them across

multiple platforms, and cater to diverse income levels. By focusing on three key factors, licensees can

position themselves for success:

1. Dynamic alliances:

Building strong alliances with well-known and popular entertainment brands is essential.

Licensees must prioritize collaborations that provide a laser-like focus on their target

audience and enhance the overall appeal of their products. Additionally, maintaining high

quality standards and creating attractive packaging that effectively showcases the licensed

characters or brand will help differentiate their products in the market.

2. Targeted engagement:

Licensees must stay at the forefront of trends and developments to understand the evolving

interests and preferences of different age groups. This knowledge, which by the way is

provided by BrandTrends Entertainment, can guide them in creating marketing strategies

that specifically resonate with each target segment. Customizing marketing efforts,

leveraging digital platforms, and developing interactive and immersive experiences, such as

licensed mobile apps, games, and online platforms, will help to effectively engage tech-savvy

children and adolescents.

3. Inclusive value proposition:

Recognizing the influence of income levels on purchasing decisions, licensees should ensure

their pricing and benefits are optimized to cater to a wide range of consumers. This can

involve implementing tiered pricing structures, forging partnerships with retailers that cater

to various income levels, and emphasizing the unique experiences, durability, and added

features of licensed products compared to generic alternatives. Communicating any

educational or developmental benefits associated with the licensed characters or brands will

also contribute to developing a compelling value proposition.

In order to thrive in the ever-evolving market, licensees must demonstrate agility and adaptability,

constantly seeking innovative approaches to engage consumers, broaden their product offerings, and

harness emerging technologies. By embracing these strategies, licensees can effectively navigate the

competitive landscape, seize the attention of their target audience, and generate increased sales in

the realm of children’s products.

To achieve this, licensees can greatly benefit from the expertise and support of BrandTrends Group.

With its wealth of information and insights, BrandTrends Group is well-equipped to assist licensees in

developing robust strategies. Through their comprehensive understanding of market trends and

consumer preferences, BrandTrends Group can provide valuable guidance in formulating effective

Unit 103, Building A2 – Dubai Silicon Oasis – Dubai – UAE P a g e | 5

marketing approaches, identifying emerging opportunities, and capitalizing on the latest

advancements in technology.

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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