On Thursday, May 10, leaders of the licensing industry gathered to discuss important industry details and the upcoming Licensing Expo on June 12 to 14 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Tony Lisanti, editor in chief of License! Global, moderated the panel discussion with licensing industry powerhouses, who included Kevin Kern, director of public relations at Elvis Presley; Debra Joester, president and CEO of The Joester Loria Group; Robert Strand, vice president of licensing at IMG; Chris DeMoulin, president of licensing at Advanstar; and Charles Riotto, president of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA).
The panelists first discussed the trends in the market, which kicked off with a conversation about entertainment's role in licensing, noting the blockbuster movie The Avengers' great licensing success upon its opening weekend. Other entertainment brands and celebrity licenses such as Mattel, Sofia Vergara, Madonna and Kathy Ireland, who is the keynote speaker at the upcoming expo, were also mentioned.
One of the main points that the panelists highlighted is the importance of staying true to the brand. DeMoulin stated that properties must understand the consumer's emotional connection to the brand and realize that this is a brand they trust, and that is why they are loyal to it. "We must understand what licensing is," DeMoulin said. "Its a combination of brand extension, emotional connection and money that is developed thoughtfully and strategically." Other panelists agreed with this point, and Strand echoed this sentiment when speaking about carefully building up the X Games licensing franchise.
To learn more about the Licensing Expo, visit www.licensingexpo.com.