Market Dominance Through Licensing

A few days ago, while enjoying a pleasant stroll down the cereal aisle in the local grocery store, my eyes were suddenly drawn to a grey donkey and a giant green ogre staring at me from the front of a white cereal box. At once I recalled a preview I had seen heralding the release of Shrek III.

“Isn’t that cute,” I thought to myself. “Shrek’s clever marketers landed their message on a General Mills box of cereal.” As I was considering my discovery, I went around the corner and saw the green ogre on the front of a box of breakfast bars. All of a sudden, I began to notice the green ogre on virtually every product aisle right down to the shampoo department. Then the thought came “I wonder who is paying who?”

Most of the time the product company desires the license since it allows them to benefit from the temporary popularity of a mammoth occasion�like a major motion picture. A few companies such as John Deere, in contrast, are long-term companies. John Deere stands for American family values and has an entire division committed to getting the John Deere name to show up all over. John Deere licenses the use of their name for books, games, tools and clothes. Often, they co-venture the project.

While many large companies can start mass marketing licensing projects, little companies do not have the capacity. The question is, “How do we go about using large business marketing techniques in a small business?” Use these four ideas to put your brand name out there:

Get affiliates that agree to refer you � If your company is focused on providing a part of the value chain for numerous companies, it’s likely that lots of people will cheerfully send business your way, particularly if it reinforces your partner’s product or service. Referral fees fluctuate from a couple dollars, to as high as 20% of the sale. Although, 10 percent is the average for the majority of companies.

Permit other companies to license and sell your products as their own � Once more, if your offering adds a worthwhile component to the value chain, you will be able to authorize other businesses to sell your merchandise as their own. An example of adding a part to the value chain is having a company that provides ball bearings to auto manufacturers. Share a fee that is anywhere between ten and seventy-five percent of the sale price depending on the type of goods you provide.

Create and Share supportive goods that have your brand name on them � When you provide one product that’s beneficial to someone else’s customers, you can sell your product to the partner business’ customer base. For instance, one of our clients offered a training CD produced by an herbal supplement company as a free gift to customers of their health food store.

Co-Brand new goods � Develop goods and services jointly with other businesses in your value chain. If you are a patent lawyer, generate an information product about intellectual property rights that can be distributed by contract manufacturers. Companies who create shampoo for animals could co-produce a specialized product with a busy veterinary hospital.

How can a small company market the way a booming business does? Be a Shrek. Get your brand name visible all over. Hunt for opportunities to get your brand on things. Profile your customers. Know where they hang out. Be aware of what they purchase and where they shop. Figure out how to get your name onto their products. Make deals and share the proceeds. In the end, you’ll make a ton more money and noticeably improve your business.

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