There is widespread recognition among tv producers that income from tv programme sales is seldom enough to cover production costs. So brand licensing is often centre stage to increase revenue and extend intellectual properties beyond the tv screen. But to truly extend and set your offer apart, new consumer driven and brand strategy tools are needed.
The Current Brand Licensing Model is Flawed
The process is typically an auction. A producer makes a show. It’s then sold to broadcasters and aired. A ‘style guide’ is produced containing a synopsis of the show, the key characters and design elements. It’s usually an impressive tome, a wonderful work of art, and often produced at massive cost. This is sent to potential licensees with a brief asking them to come up with new product ideas. The product rights are then effectively sold to the highest bidder.
Label Slapping Risks Undermining Value
But the current model often leads to little more putting a new tv series label on a product. While there are a few bucks in adding tv series logos onto a pair of pyjamas, pencil-case or rucksack rarely will this add value and support for the tv series. Sure the tv series linkage will enhance recognition and interest but rarely will it truly differentiate. More often it will limit competitiveness to the commodities that can be found in cheap and cheerful stores. Moreover it risks undermining the brand if the product or place is inappropriate.
Out-Smart Your Competitors
Thinking from a supply push point of view alone isn’t enough. It’s akin to throwing mud at a wall – and hoping it will stick.
Everyone is a potential competitor for your consumer’s time and money so watch the world around you. Competitive media and retailers, and particularly consumer goods companies are among the most sophisticated product development organisations in the world. Learning from and out-thinking potential competitors will enhance offer appeal.
Invest in Getting Genuine and Timely Insights
Invest in obtaining genuine consumer understanding to make better decisions.
Consumers make choices based on their needs, whether an offer meets their needs, and by weighing up the benefits of competing offers. They buy if their needs become wants. The trade buys and stocks-up similarly – based on what sets them apart, drives store traffic and meets their customer’s needs.
Invest in audience research to understand what engages and sets your tv series apart. Look for unusual character and personality quirks. All can have a profound bearing on your licensing programme.
Invest in obtaining meaningful insights on consumers’ needs, wants and behaviours. Also think about this at the same time as programme production to maximise both programme development and brand extension opportunities.
Create Stimulus to Explore and Define Brand Differences
The product stimuli visualised is reproduced courtesy of BBC Worldwide. They are just a handful of some 70 plus ideas created and used to explore new product and brand extension opportunities for The Secret Show.
Extending programmes beyond the tv screen to create brands requires the programme’s unique essence to be truly understood. Do this by seeing through the audience’s eyes and then pushing creative boundaries.