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How to Find Best in Class Manufacturers

Pete Canalichio describes the techniques used by brand owners to find manufacturers to licensee their brands. This video illustrates Step 3 of his 8-Step Brand Licensing Process, [Scouting For Playmakers – Segment 1]. You can view more of my videos on the Brand Licensing Process on my YouTube channel or on my videos page.


Hi, I’m Pete Canalichio, and welcome to the brand licensing pre-launch. You may recall in the third video, Hugh Simpson and I talked about what we call scouting for playmakers, and that is finding those best-in-class manufacturers who want to license your brand. The first part of that process is actually prospecting those manufacturers. There’s lots of ways of doing that, and they can include everything from conducting research to actually doing store walks. And what do I mean by that? Well, that’s actually going in to your local retailer where that product is sold, identifying the different categories of product that are being made, and then finding the one that the prospective licensee is going to make on your behalf, then looking at who all are actually in that store manufacturing and selling that product. So the way to do that is literally walk the aisles, find that category, and then look at who are manufacturing. What are the different companies? How are they producing it? What’s their quality? What’s their messaging? And that way, you can quickly discern who are better, who are best, and you don’t make the cut. In addition, a second option might be to go to trade shows; sometimes trade shows actually give you a better glimpse of the potential number of companies out there that manufacture the product that you’re looking for. That’s because lots of these trade shows include companies that potentially don’t have product in the local retailer that you’re happy to be doing your trade walks in. So going to a trade show like the home wear show or the housewares show or whichever show that may be specific to the category that you’re thinking about licensing, walking those aisles and talking to the individuals there will give you a tremendous glimpse into the innovation that’s being produced the companies that are producing it, and who you might want to choose as your next playmaker. I look forward to our next video.