Exclusive: English Heritage’s Kingston Myles on upcoming Licensing for Retail event
Kingston, Head of Commercial Development, English Heritage is one of the speakers at the upcoming Licensing for Retail event
Kingston Myles, Head of Commercial Development, English Heritage is one of the speakers at the new Licensing for Retail event organised by the BLE team and Licensing International. It takes place 19 April at Convene in London with over 140 retailers in attendance. Kingston will be leading a session called Brands with purpose: A showcase of brand licensing as a force for good.
How is brand licensing a force for good?
When you look at the number of touchpoints a brand licensed product can have, its limitless. You’ll see licensed products in almost every environment there is a consumer and very few industries get to engage with consumers so broadly. If you combine that unparalleled reach with purpose and a story – there is a huge opportunity for licensed products to stimulate positive change and behaviour among consumers.
The real advantage comes from the length and breadth of consumer engagement opportunities that exist – you’re not just stimulating users that might already be engaged with a brand or IP, but you’ve got an incredible opportunity with licensing for brands (and we’re really seeing this at English Heritage) to be present in new and exciting spaces – we can surprise and impress whole new audiences with licensed product. When you back that surprise and delight with a great purpose – you’ve a real force for good.
How can it help a brand to have purpose?
In the simplest of forms, I look at the purpose of a brand as the ‘why’. I love the Simon Sinek book ‘Start with Why’ and the video summary is also great. I hate to paraphrase the book, or indeed Simon’s words, but most brands know what they do, and many have a methodology by which they deliver but so few are clear on why. The book (and I firmly believe in it and echo its sentiment completely) really touches on the fact that if you don’t know why you do something then how will a consumer connect with your brand on an emotional level. I guess the importance of that emotional connection varies but one thing is for sure – people trust gut instinct, how something feels and if it’s a fit for them – and if you don’t have a purpose how can you leverage those thoughts or feelings into action? You can’t.
Why’s it so important for brands to have purpose?
Consumers are inundated with choice and in the current climate products and brands need to have a differentiating factor that engages and inspires consumers to make a purchase. I was reading an article recently about how different pen portraits of consumer make choices, in particular I was interested in “Gen-Z consumers”. This emerging generation of buyers is not necessarily fixated on price or quantity but brand values and wider social values – in essence they care about a brand’s purpose – they care hugely about the why. It’s gone from being just something that enables you to connect to being the deciding factor for so many consumers that its critical.
We’re a conservation and stewardship charity and every penny we generate from brand licensing goes to keeping the story of England alive for future generations – when we work hard at channelling that into product, we can create something that resonates with consumers’ desire to do good and feel good – we create sales. The fundamental principle of our programme is that it supports what we do, and we need sales to do that so its hugely important to have a purpose which drives that.
Why are you looking forward to attending Licensing for Retail?
There have always been stand-out leaders in the culture and heritage sector when it comes to brand licensing but now, more than ever, as cultural institutions’ funding models shift, there’s an ever-growing need to diversify income streams. I’m excited to attend Licensing for Retail because across the cultural sector licensing is really starting to take-off and so many institutions are waking up to how their IP and brand can generate a steady, off-site income stream. Licensing for Retail 2023 is going to be the first show where we’re really all clear of thinking about COVID and fully focused on the future, so what better place to meet other culture sector experts, licensing industry experts and retailers to think ‘how can the incredible purpose the culture sector possesses drive consumer spend and inadvertently great work at our institutions?’
Licensing for Retail takes place on 19 April at Convene in London and is free to attend for qualified retailers. A limited number of non-retail networking passes are also available to buy from just £85.