How Nordstrom, Macy’s, And Calvin Klein Are Making A Killing Even As Retail Is Crumbling

posted in media, news on 10/11/17

When I was young, when you got your driver’s license, your parents took you to the local dealership and bought you a used car. And that’s if you were lucky. Today, no one buys a “used” anything, which just sounds cheap. Instead, thanks to Madison Avenue, everyone gets treated to a “certified, pre-owned” vehicle.

Linguistic rebrandings like this have been so successful that they now permeate every industry. For example, say you’re at a restaurant and see “Patagonian toothfish” on the menu. Surely you’d be repulsed, which is why chefs have rechristened this cod “Chilean sea bass.” Yum, yum!  Ditto for “junk bonds,” which we now know as “high-yield bonds,” and “taxes,” which has been transformed into “revenue enhancements.” Marketers use such semantics not to deceive, but to emphasize a larger or more specific truth.

Ford’s Garage: New Car-Themed Eatery in Detroit

posted in media, news on 7/7/17

DEARBORN, Mich. – You’ll find craft burgers, beers and even some automotive history inside Dearborn’s newest restaurant.

Ford’s Garage celebrated its grand opening on July 6th in Dearborn, which is located at 21367 Michigan Ave, next to the John D. Dingell Transit Center.  The restaurant, expected to employ about 150 full- and part-time workers, is styled after a 1920’s automotive service station and will have vintage cars and memorabilia.  Blue shop cloths will be the substituted choice for napkins. In the restrooms in keeping with the theme, sinks are made of tires and the door handles are gas pump handles. The menu will include items like a 10-pound hamburger called “Henry Ford‘s Hub Cap” and more than 100 craft beers. The 250-seat restaurant is an official licensee of Ford Motor Company and has additional locations in Florida.

Restaurants Build Empires With Brand Licensing

posted in media, news on 6/12/17

How TGI Fridays, California Pizza Kitchen and Dunkin’ Donuts added significant revenue streams

Jane is a mother of three. She’s responsible for grocery shopping in her household. Since it’s Taco Tuesday, her shopping cart practically rolls itself into aisle seven — the Mexican aisle. Unfortunately, her main choices have been the same for years: Old El Paso and Ortego. The food is good, but uninspiring.

On one hand, most restaurant chains may see this situation and ask, “How do we get Jane into our restaurants?” But some chains see this situation and ask, “How do we get our restaurants in front of Jane?”

The smart guys recognize that Jane isn’t coming to them — they need to go to her. They recognize that the supermarket is where Jane spends her time. It’s convenient, her favorite cashier always accepts her coupons and she knows the floor plan by heart.

The Importance Of Common Courtesy In Business Emails

posted in media on 2/2/17

Five years into his career while working for the Detroit Free Press, Frank Bruni was flown in by the Chicago Tribune for an interview. They “put me through a veritable 12 hours of meetings and interviews and writing tests,” Bruni recalled. “Two decades later, I’m still waiting for any word.”

If you’ve ever interviewed for a job or pitched a prospect — or gone on a date — this story is painfully familiar. Your high hopes of landing a job, client or partner are dashed by a silence that’s deafening. In following up, you might as well be talking to yourself. You feel led on and strung along — and rightly so.

How Will President Trump Treat Licensing Entrepreneurs?

posted in media on 1/18/17

Whatever your politics, the forthcoming ascension of Donald Trump to the Oval Office is a momentous event in the world of brand licensing. Few people are as aggressive about slapping their name on products as the Donald—and few are as zealous in protecting their intellectual property as the Trump Organization. Clearly, this is a subject I had to address as I run a brand-licensing agency, and for the past month, my inbox has been piling up with questions about leveraging the Trump brand.

5 Case Studies to Get Your Client on Board With Retail and Licensing Partnerships

posted in media on 12/1/16

If you’ve seen the headlines lately, you know that this is the worst of times for retailers. Chains from Walgreens to Walmart are downsizing, while others, like Sports Authority and Loehmann’s, are shuttering.

Yet, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, these are also the best of times for retailers — if they know where to look.

If you’re looking to license your brand — if you want to develop genuine partnerships with the world’s leading retailers — then you need to think like a retailer. You need to understand the factors that matter most to their business, and then plan your pitch accordingly.

Few brands have pulled off this balancing act better than Ford. When the company’s beloved Mustang turned 50, Ford teamed up with five of America’s top retailers to create new channels for distribution, and thus new customers. Let’s study how they did it.

The Real Reason It Feels Tragic When Your Favorite Brand ‘Sells Out’

posted in media on 11/23/16

Do you remember when your favorite band “sold out”? That’s the term of disparagement my friends and I used when musicians scored a big record deal and then proceeded to disavow their indie roots. For some, such growth is the measure of success. But to fanboys like me, when a whale ingests a minnow, that’s not a cause for celebration. It’s a sign that the minnow’s glory days are numbered.

The 3 Reasons Why Food Licensing Can Be Your Next Meal Ticket

posted in media on 8/18/16

Good marketers know a secret. They know that if you can license your brand, you can unearth new customers and mint money. They know that licensing is one of the surest, steadiest way to lift profits.  Yet great marketers know a secret that’s even more lucrative. They know that of the myriad industries in the licensing space, food and beverage are the soundest.