There is widespread recognition among children’s 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. Here are some ideas to help you raise your game.
Current Brand Licensing Model
The current process is typically an auction. A producer makes a show. It’s then sold to broadcasters and aired. Production of a ‘style guide’ follows, with a synopsis of the show, the key characters and design elements. It’s usually an impressive tome, a wonderful work of art, though often produced at not insignificant cost. This is then sent to potential licensees with a brief asking them to come up with new product ideas. The product rights are then sold to the highest bidder.
Label Slapping Risks Undermining Value
But the current model often leads to little more than putting a label on a product. While there are a few bucks in adding a logo to a pair of pyjamas, pencil-case or rucksack, the benefits seem marginal. Does the label aid brand recognition, stand-out or interest? More likely it relegates your brand to a commodity found in cheap and cheerful stores. Thus undermining the brand.
Out-Smart Your Competitors
Therefore thinking from a supply-push product development mindset alone isn’t enough. It’s akin to throwing mud at a wall – and hoping it will stick.
Moreover, markets are increasingly competitive. Media owners compete against retailers, and consumer goods companies. These businesses are some of the most sophisticated product development organisations in the world. So, learning from, and out-thinking them reveals new opportunities.
Invest in Consumer ‘Insights’
Consumers choose 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 retail trade also buys and stocks-up similarly. Based on what sets them apart, drives store traffic and meets their customer’s needs.
So invest in audience and consumer research to improve product development and brand extension decisions. In particular, invest in meaningful insights on consumers’ needs and behaviours. Also understand what engages and sets your tv series apart. Look for unusual character and personality quirks. Do this at the same time as programme production, in order to maximise both programme development and brand extension opportunities.
Create Stimuli to Push Boundaries
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. Also by using stimuli to explore, and push creative boundaries.
You may also improve programme development.
(1) Stimuli reproduced courtesy BBC Worldwide. They are just a handful of some 70 plus ideas created in order to explore new product and brand extension opportunities for The Secret Show.