The $30 Billion Industry No One’s Heard Of, And Why Every CMO Should Know About It

posted in media, news on 2/22/18

One of my colleagues loves Arnold Palmers. She’s no golfer — she just enjoys iced tea mixed with lemonade. Indeed, until recently, she had no idea who Arnold Palmer was, even though she’d been imbibing his namesake drink for years. To me, this kind of no-fingerprints branding is ingenious. After all, does the customer really need to know that the King won 62 PGA Tour titles in order to appreciate the flavor of his beverage? Sometimes a drink is just a drink.

 I mention this example of celebrity licensing because it’s a memorable entree to the world of brand licensing. (Licensing, by the way, is the process of allowing others to use your name and reputation in order to market their products.)

Like many, when I first heard the term “brand licensing,” I didn’t quite know what it meant. But as I’ve learned over the past 20 years running an agency that specializes in this field, such innocence isn’t necessarily a negative. What ultimately matters isn’t what someone knows or doesn’t know — it’s what happens when they’re asked to open their wallets.


posted in news, press release on 2/20/18

New York, NY (February, 2018)- Global Icons, a leading brand-licensing agency, has been appointed by international toy companies Sunny Days Entertainment and Haschel Holdings Ltd. as its exclusive brand licensing agent for the award-winning collectible doll line, Cupcake Surprise™. Global Icons will launch a cohesive licensing and merchandising program based on the award-winning, 2-in-1 collection. This will include apparel, accessories, plush, games, social expressions, back-to-school, interactive, food & beverage, home furnishings, publishing and more. The new Cupcake Surprise™ branded products are set to be released, fall 2018.

Global Icons and Turtle Wax To Put a Fresh Shine on Licensing

posted in news, press release on 1/10/18

Global Icons and Turtle Wax To Put a Fresh Shine on Licensing

Turtle Wax looks to expand its reach with licensed merchandise that complements best-in-class car care product lines

 Los Angeles (January 9, 2018) – Leading brand-licensing agency Global Icons is pleased to announce its exclusive worldwide representation agreement with Turtle Wax, the automotive industry’s most innovative brand in car care.

Global Icons will expand the current portfolio of licensees and leverage the Turtle Wax brand into strategic categories that will deliver to the consumer the same trust, quality, and performance of the core product line up. With distribution in 90 countries, Turtle Wax produces innovative interior and exterior products to meet the ever-changing needs of car enthusiasts.

Land, Sea and Air: Luxury Auto Brands Extend Themselves in All Directions

posted in media, news on 12/5/17

As seen on LIMA’s Inside Licensing on

Luxury automakers are increasingly traveling new routes to reinforce their brand image and attract new consumers.

Luxury automotive brands traditionally have used upscale apparel and fashion accessories (along with less exclusive categories such as die-cast and model cars) as the basis of their lifestyle efforts. But in recent years, they’ve also been layering on a diverse collection of less-than-obvious extensions.

“You define luxury by quality and experience so automakers are trying to take that same process and expand into other areas which are why residences and other experiential categories make so much sense,” says Global Icons’ Jeff Lotman, whose firm represents Ford and its luxury Lincoln brand. “Those people that are going to buy an Aston Martin or Porsche condo probably don’t have the cars. It is about the style and design and it may make them think about buying the car.”

How Chefs Go From Restaurant Kitchen to Grocery Store Brand

posted in media, news on 11/30/17

Inside the world of licensing your name to Big Food

Jeff Lotman has tried for years to get to Nobuyuki Matsuhisa to license his name. “I don’t believe in ‘no,’” the brand-licensing executive says. “I only believe in ‘No, right now.’ I have chased people for years before they’ve said yes. Chefs are often afraid they can’t get control. They can.”

Where Matsuhisa, the world-renowned chef behind Nobu, has refrained, other household-name chefs have done the opposite, signing over their names to restaurant operators, manufacturers, and retailers, lending their image to everything from sauces (Bobby Flay) to spatulas (Alton Brown), chilled ready-made meals (Jamie Oliver) to pressure ovens (Wolfgang Puck), knife sets (Rachael Ray) to K-cups (Emeril Lagasse).

Lotman, the founder and CEO of Global Icons, a Los Angeles-based licensing agency, has been consulting and acting as a middleman in the business of branded goods and services since the early aughts. His agency works more closely now with corporate rather than personal brands, but he remains an opportunistic observer of the market.


posted in news, press release on 11/21/17

New York, N.Y. – Autodromo, the New York-based watch and accessories company inspired by the golden age of motoring, is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Ford Motor Company to create watches for the Ford GT, the fastest production car ever to wear the Blue Oval.

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.

University of Oxford and Bahoma Limited Announce Candle & Home Fragrance Deal

posted in news, press release on 10/5/17

EUROPE–The University of Oxford has partnered with the international company Bahoma Limited to create a range of candles and home fragrance collections for the European and U.K. markets.

The five-year deal was brokered by Global Icons, the University’s licensing agent.

The initial product lineup will feature a mix of branded and content-driven themes inspired by the historic University–such as college bops, hushed libraries, dreaming spires, misty mornings and college scarves. In addition, Bahoma is currently working on a collaboration with the University’s Botanic Garden.