How To Tell If Your Brand Is Ready To
Stretch Into New Categories
Strategic Criteria To Look At
Creative strategist Mark Di Somma and I wanted to build a framework brand leaders could use to determine whether, if and how they should consider licensing their brands.
When we looked around at all the literature, there were shelves of books on growing your company presence, plenty on how to buy, sell and negotiate for existing brands and businesses, quite a few on franchising, some on licensing. There was also plenty of publicity around the kinds of deals that were being struck. But what was missing, it seemed to us, was a framework that people in charge of growing brands could use to expand their marque methodically and responsibly into a broader phenomenon. What was also missing were the strategic criteria for knowing when to do that in order to meet growth targets.
New formats, new partnering arrangements, and new corporate extensions are breathing new vitality into how and where ideas are seen through brands, and the environments in which they are experienced. While these changes are innovating brand growth frameworks in new and exciting ways, they are also making it more complex and more fraught.
- How should a brand look to grow?
- When is the right time to do so?
- How and when can it best capitalize on opportunities to hit the daunting growth targets that are increasingly expected?
We wanted to find a framework and test that framework across various areas in order to compare and contrast the success factors. Does a licensed celebrity brand, for example, succeed for different reasons than a well-known not-for-profit brand? Does a corporate brand operate under different dynamics than one in the entertainment sector? Just as importantly, what might each learn from the other?
To find out, we sat down with people who are working for, or who have worked for, brands that we thought had done a great job. We asked them about their approaches, their beliefs, their experiences, and their disappointments.