Thursday, October 10, 2013

Christopher Ursin – Brand DNA

Not that long ago brand owners (Licensors) granted licensees carte blanch when it came to licensed products. These days brand owners recognize the need to have license products that are in line with the brands DNA. 

This article will cover the basics of brand DNA as well as outline the basic steps of developing or re-launching a licensing program. It’s intended for individuals that are new to the licensing industry. 

To begin the licensing process it’s important to identify the 6 Key brand attributes that make up a brands DNA. 

Commitment is what the brand owner is willing to contributing and support in terms of brand management, time and investment. This helps stakeholders develop marketing and licensing strategies. 

Differentiation is best described with a question. Is the brand perceived by consumers as having a differentiated brand positioning from its competitors? It’s important to understand why this brand is different from all the others in the category. 

Authenticity is one of the most important attributes. Does the brand have an established heritage and a well-defined value proposition? Does it deliver against the (high) expectations that consumers have of it? If the answer to both questions is yes then you have a brand that is likely to be accepted by consumer in other categories. 

Understanding sounds like it’s a given but many brands are recognizable by a logo but are only partially understood by consumers. Ask the question: Do consumers have full knowledge and understanding of the brands distinctive qualities and characteristics? Ironically licensed products can often tell part of that brands story to consumer and ultimately increases the consumers understanding of the brand. 

Consistency is very tough for brand owners/Licensors. Automotive manufacturers face this as they recall products due to safety issues. Same situation applies to any product consumer’s purchase.  Have consumers positively interacted with the brand for a great length of time without a quality or brand image failure? The brand must maintain its image and quality or consumers will defect to the competing brand. 

Relevance is one of the key attributes as a brand must resonate well across all relevant demographics and geographies. 

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