Freaky Friday: Flashback 2017

Last year, we had published as many as 48 stories (four Fridays a month) in our Freaky Friday column. While most of them were well received, we found out that were at least 20 stories that were praised.

Among these, we have short listed 6 best stories that appeared in our columns.

They are:

 

1) New wave in theme birthday celebrations

Do you like organizing theme parties? But you are handicapped as you do not have the expertise though you have the resources.

In comparison, let’s go back in time when we in our childhood, dreamt of celebrating our birthday with our favourite cartoon characters.

Many a times arranging a specific themed birthday party would be lot more of a task than mere fun as we didn’t have any source to get all the related theme birthday products of same characters under one roof.

This exact thought gave birth to Party Kingdom. ‘Party Kingdom’, one of the leading official licensee of themed party products and the only manufacturing unit with 100% original licensed cartoon characters, is now ready to fulfill the dream of every child’s birthday celebration in India.

Let us detail about three themes that Party Kingdom has in its kitty.

Frozen Theme:  Every Disney fan has loved seeing The Frozen movie. Going by its popularity, Party Kingdom has licensed many of the movie themed party products like large and medium sized plates, paper cups among others.

Minnie Theme: No one needs any introduction of Minnie Mouse, the funny animal cartoon character. Children specially are drawn to this character after Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The themed products of the character that Party Kingdom boasts of are big sized plates, paper glasses, eye-wear and masks and confettis.

Spider-Man Theme: Like the abovementioned characters, Spider-Man has been very popular among fans who like fictional movies. Some of the themed products of Spider-Man that Party Kingdom caters to are big-sized plates, paper glasses, party eye-wear and invitation cards etc.

Party Kingdom specializes in organizing Birthday parties, theme parties, team parties, angel birthday parties and special occasion parties. It also specializes in catering & disposables, balloons, decoration, Pinetas and lot many featured products.

Party Kingdom owns licensees of Disney’s Mickey & Minnie, Princess, Pooh, Despicable Me, Frozen, Planes, Cars, Avengers and Marvels. Party Kingdom’s products are exclusively available at all major Retail Outlets like Hypercity, Reliance Mart, Crossword, D’ Mart, SPAR, HAMLEY’s Metro Cash n Carry, Star Bazaar & Landmark. Having Licensing Partnership with Disney Consumer Products, and many more, Party Kingdom has become one stop solution of theme party celebration in India.

Party Kingdom assures of quality products, complied with child safety norms, Company is ISO certified and Socially complied audited company through Seedex Audit, every year. Mrs. Karishma Khanna’s vision with this company is to not only make the brand grow nationwide, but also, Globally and very soon the company shall be extending its arms to other countries as well.

 2) Merchandising and licensing must to improve Brand Equity

What do big companies have in common? Why does everyone continually warn ‘beware of imitations’? What exactly does it mean to be a ‘brand’?

The answer to all of the above questions is simple. Nowadays, the brand is a crucial factor in a company’s success. This concept is confirmed by the current trend for large companies to adopt an innovative view of marketing that centers on a specific strongpoint called total brand management.

Thus, product quality becomes a necessity though no longer a sufficient requirement. It is clear that a product’s intrinsic quality remains the ‘sine qua non’ for consumer acceptance.

There are no marketing, merchandising or licensing strategies that can make up for a lack of product quality. Everything revolves around the fact that brand awareness can be the true determining sales factor in a market which is increasingly characterised by product homogeneity.

First of all, a brand communicates a set of associated values that constitute the brand equity. Although there is certainly nothing more intangible than a brand, apart from how it is represented in terms of design, a brand cannot work effectively without constant reference to firstly, a reality that is physically experienced by individuals and secondly to the range of products available and finally, what such products can offer.

Just because it does transmit values, a brand is a fundamental part of the social, economic and human context of its time reacting quickly to the symbolic and socio-cultural phenomena which redefine that same context.

Today’s markets are characterised by over-supply, intense competitiveness in every sector, increasingly aggressive competition and product and market strategies which are open to imitation. Consequently, the brand and the values have become the truly critical competitive factor.

In order to overcome the wall of indifference or defensiveness presented by prospective purchasers, each company needs to develop an integrated communication campaign which includes different communication methods along with high-impact approaches like advertising. Such methodologies include company promotional activity, merchandising, licensing and sponsorship.

Each of these communication tools play their own important role in building and defending brand equity. Product quality alone is an indispensable but insufficient condition.

From the start, products and services should be of high quality, technologically innovative and in a continual state of evolution in order to satisfy the ever changing needs of the consumer. But even this is no longer enough.

Research into the competition, the ease with which information can be accessed from around the world, continual monitoring of market trends as well as product analysis and disassembly techniques means virtually all products can immediately be reproduced, leaving a company’s market share vulnerable.

Consequently, product success is played out at other levels based on a set of conditions that ensure the desirability of – not exactly the product in itself – but rather, the offer, which includes both the brand and the product.

Brand equity is nothing else but these set of conditions that represent the added value inherent in any given company’s offer the real competitive edge.

This set of values, associated with the product by potential consumers, must be constructed in a way which is consistent with the brand’s market positioning.

Thus, such values must be shared by the brand’s target people and should highlight the privileged relationship established with the consumers.

Only by following such a policy, can a company gain sufficient competitive advantage over its rivals to allow it to steer clear of price competition.

Increasing and maintaining brand name awareness is clearly one way to strengthen a product’s brand equity. We can define brand name awareness as the ability of a potential purchaser to identify a brand in sufficient detail to be able to recommend.

3) Seven companies that control almost every single beauty product

Whenever, we go into a shop to buy a certain brand of a beauty product, never do we give a thought as to how many companies sell such branded products.

And after due research, we could find out that 182 beauty companies fall under the massive umbrellas of seven huge manufacturers of beauty products.

These seven mega-companies are Estée Lauder Companies, L’Oréal, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Shiseido, Johnson and Johnson and Coty.

Taken together they employ thousands of people around the world and make billions of dollars in revenue every year. They are also responsible for controlling advertising and the way we all think about beauty every day.

Each of these seven companies are responsible for skin care (for both the body and face), hair care, perfume, and makeup.

Not included brands are those that only made products such as deodorant, toothpaste, suntan lotion or baby lotion

What remains is a compelling look at who controls the beauty products we’re buyingand what are the companies like.

A look-around

.Estée Lauder Companies

Estée Lauder Companies was responsible for 24 of the beauty brands on this list. Some of their holdings include the makeup and fragrances by fashion brands such as Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tory Burch each of which have their own cosmetics and/or toiletries lines.

They also have quite a few well-known beauty brands such as Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, La Mer, and MAC Cosmetics.

It is said that Estée Lauder as a whole made an estimated $11.3 billion in beauty sales in 2016.

L’Oréal

L’Oréal had the most brands on this list with a total of 39 beauty brands including major staples like Lancôme, Maybelline, Urban Decay, Garnier, Essie, and The Body Shop.

They also have very expensive skincare and haircare brands, including Pureology, La Roche-Posay, and SkinCeuticals.

In 2016, it was estimated that the company made $27.6 billion in beauty annual sales.

Unilever

Unilever has 38 total beauty sub-brands, and many of those are staples in drugstores in the US including Nexxus, Ponds, TIGI, Dove, Vaseline and Lever 2000.

Unilever also has quite a few brands popular outside the US, including Fair & Lovely, a “fairness cream” that’s marketed in India as a skin-lightening lotion for women. It’s worth noting that it has received backlash for promoting one shade of skin as better than another.

Unilever made an estimated $58.2 billion in corporate sales in the year 2016.

Procter & Gamble

Proctor & Gamble has 9 total beauty brands like Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Olay and Gillette.Thecompany made an estimated $76 billion from corporate sales in 2016.

 Coty

Speaking of Coty, it has come out as a new leader in the beauty industry with 33 total brands. After acquiring many brands from Procter & Gamble, Coty now owns numerous big name products including OPI, Rimmel, Covergirl, and is behind celebrity toiletries like Katy Perry, David Beckham, and Beyoncé, among others.

In 2016, Coty made an estimated $4.3 billion in beauty sales.

Shiseido

Shiseido itself a well-known skincare brand that has about 30 other beauty brands underneath it. Some of those are also makeup brands including bare Minerals, Nars and Laura Mercier.

The vast majority are brands that might not be recognized in the US, including Japanese brands such as Majolica Majorca, Ettusais, Maquillage, and Aqua Label, which also claims to whiten skin.

The Japanese corporation made an estimated $6.3 billion in beauty sales in 2016.

 Johnson and Johnson

And lastly, the last major brand we have included on this list is Johnson and Johnson on the smaller side with nine beauty brands but one thing is there to ponder that what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in name recognition.

The company is a bigger umbrella company that includes nine beauty brands, including Aveeno, Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, and RoC, in addition to a few others.

The company made around $7.1 billion in 2016 to be exact.

 

4) Ten benefits of Brand Licensing

Brand licensing is a well-established business, both in the area of patents and trademarks.

Trademark licensing has a rich history in business, largely beginning with the rise of mass entertainment such as the movies, comics and later television.

This process speeded up as movies and later television became a staple of American business. The rise of brand licensing did not begin until much later when corporations found that consumers would actually pay money for products with the logos of their favorite brands on them.

The brand licensing marketplace became much more lucrative as companies realised that they could make real money renting out their equity to manufacturers.

Instead of spending lots of money to create a new brand, companies are willing to pay a royalty on net sales of their products to rent the product of an established brand name.

There are ten key benefits of licensing your brand.

They are:

Brand managers to extend their brands with minimal investment

By way of a licensing arrangement, third party manufacturers are responsible for everything from product development to inventory management to store replenishment.

The brand to obtain supplementary marketing support

For the right to use the brand in his category, the manufacturer must agree to spend a percentage of his net sales on marketing. This marketing commitment, not only supports the category licensed, but can be significant to the overall brand.

Trademark protection in the category

For a brand to benefit from trademark protection in a particular category, it must be actively sold in that category. If the category lies vacant, others may claim rights to use the mark. Extending a brand into a category via licensing helps brand owners meet the commerce standard.

Increased consumer connections and insights in the categories being licensed. Extending a brand via licensing offers thousands of incremental opportunities to connect with consumers

By inserting a survey inside the licensed package or a toll free number on the exterior, a brand owner can gain many additional insights about the brand.

A brand to gain incremental shelf space

If a brand owner chooses to extend a brand via licensing into a new category, the brand gains tremendous additional exposure in those categories in every retail store the product is sold. When sold into major chain retailers, the brand can gain thousands of additional feet of brand exposure in each category.

Entry into new distribution channels

By licensing the brand to a manufacturer which currently sells into a retail channel where the brand currently does not have a presence, the brand can gain access to that channel via the licensing relationship.

The brand to enter new regions

Similar to new channel access, a brand can gain entrée into new regions via a manufacturer which has a presence in regions where the brand is currently not sold.

Access to patented technology

Many companies which choose to license brands offer proprietary innovation to the brand owner. When the patented technology reinforces the brand’s position, the new product offered can be met with tremendous consumer appreciation and pent up demand.

Knowledge transfer from the manufacturing partners who license the brand.

A licensing arrangement provides the opportunity for the brand owner and the manufacturer to share insights and knowledge across multiple disciplines including product development, marketing, R&D and sales.

The brand owner to capture royalty revenue through the manufacturer’s sales of licensed product

This symbiotic relationship helps to create new products for the marketplace that consumers crave. For every dollar in revenue generated by the manufacturer, the brand owner receives a percentage in royalty payments, most of which go straight to the bottom line.

 

5) Pros and cons of product licensing

Brand licensing is a well-established business, both in the area of patents and trademarks.

Trademark licensing has a rich history in business, largely beginning with the rise of mass entertainment such as the movies, comics and later television.

This process speeded up as movies and later television became a staple of American business. The rise of brand licensing did not begin until much later when corporations found that consumers would actually pay money for products with the logos of their favorite brands on them.

The brand licensing marketplace became much more lucrative as companies realised that they could make real money renting out their equity to manufacturers.

Instead of spending lots of money to create a new brand, companies are willing to pay a royalty on net sales of their products to rent the product of an established brand name.

There are ten key benefits of licensing your brand.

They are:

Brand managers to extend their brands with minimal investment

By way of a licensing arrangement, third party manufacturers are responsible for everything from product development to inventory management to store replenishment.

The brand to obtain supplementary marketing support

For the right to use the brand in his category, the manufacturer must agree to spend a percentage of his net sales on marketing. This marketing commitment, not only supports the category licensed, but can be significant to the overall brand.

Trademark protection in the category

For a brand to benefit from trademark protection in a particular category, it must be actively sold in that category. If the category lies vacant, others may claim rights to use the mark. Extending a brand into a category via licensing helps brand owners meet the commerce standard.

Increased consumer connections and insights in the categories being licensed. Extending a brand via licensing offers thousands of incremental opportunities to connect with consumers

By inserting a survey inside the licensed package or a toll free number on the exterior, a brand owner can gain many additional insights about the brand.

A brand to gain incremental shelf space

If a brand owner chooses to extend a brand via licensing into a new category, the brand gains tremendous additional exposure in those categories in every retail store the product is sold. When sold into major chain retailers, the brand can gain thousands of additional feet of brand exposure in each category.

Entry into new distribution channels

By licensing the brand to a manufacturer which currently sells into a retail channel where the brand currently does not have a presence, the brand can gain access to that channel via the licensing relationship.

The brand to enter new regions

Similar to new channel access, a brand can gain entrée into new regions via a manufacturer which has a presence in regions where the brand is currently not sold.

Access to patented technology

Many companies which choose to license brands offer proprietary innovation to the brand owner. When the patented technology reinforces the brand’s position, the new product offered can be met with tremendous consumer appreciation and pent up demand.

Knowledge transfer from the manufacturing partners who license the brand.

A licensing arrangement provides the opportunity for the brand owner and the manufacturer to share insights and knowledge across multiple disciplines including product development, marketing, R&D and sales.

The brand owner to capture royalty revenue through the manufacturer’s sales of licensed product

This symbiotic relationship helps to create new products for the marketplace that consumers crave. For every dollar in revenue generated by the manufacturer, the brand owner receives a percentage in royalty payments, most of which go straight to the bottom line.

 

6) Five Bollywood film merchandises that became a rage

Whether on-screen or off-screen, celebrities have always inspired fans (especially youngsters) with their fashion sense and these fans mimic the style of their favourite celebrity. In short, one can say that celebrities are trendsetters. So much so that fans seek inspiration from their favourite celebrities.

And that is why, movie production houses are coming out with movie merchandises as part of their promotional activity making this a way of connecting with the audience.

Ranging from apparel to video games, these film production houses release a wide range of products that appeal to a wide range of people.

Go through the under listed posts and see if you can add more.

 

Bajrangi Bhaijaan Pendant 

One must admit that Salman Khan grabs the most attention and becomes a talk of the town whenever his film hits the large screen.

Be it his rockstar aviators from Dabangg or his trademark silver bracelet, his style has been copied and admired by his numerous fans.

And just last year, the makers of Bajrangi Bhaijaan decided to include Salman’s club-shaped pendant as part of the movie’s official merchandise. And, believe it or not, his fans went helter skelter to grab a similar stylish pendant.

 

Chennai Express sarees

 

Ask any lady and she will say that she liked the 6-yards of beautiful fabric with a solid golden zari border beautifully drapped on Meenama (Deepika Padukone) in Chennai Expresss.

Popular saree house Palam Silk not only sponsored the sarees but it even organised contests related to the movie. Some exquisite sarees were also for sale in their showroom.

The Heroine apparel

 It is another story that Kareena Kapoor‘s ambitious project Heroine bombed at the box-office but her style was definitely a huge hit.

Apparel brand Jealous 21, teamed up with the makers of the film to create some of the stunning dresses inspired by Kareena’s glamorous lifestyle. They even tied up with online websites that allowed customers to pre-order some executive dresses.

Krrish Action-figure

India’s first superhero franchise, Krrish, raked in on the success of first two films, to create action-figurines!

The action figure, modeled on its lead character Krrish played by Hrithik Roshan turned out to be a big hit among children. Not just that, the Krrish 3 collection also included toys, apparel and publishing material as part of its merchandise line.

Ek Villain-black hoodies

The makers of this film had a simple marketing plan: selling the solid black apparel that marked the identity of the antagonist aka Ritesh Deshmukh.

Black hoodies and yellow smiley badges became a rage after this! And interested fans ran from store to store seeking their favourite black apparel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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