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Licensed To Thrill: Meeting The Global Demand For Merchandised Products

What do Star Wars, M&Ms and The World Cup have in common? They are all part of the US$263 billion global licensed product industry in 2017. Check out the 3 tips to succeed in this market.

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This article originally appeared on fedex.businessinsights.com

Star Wars, M&Ms, and The World Cup might seem like an eclectic mix but they share one commonality – product licensing. The licensed product industry, ranging from movies to fashion labels to global sporting events, was valued at US$263 billion globally in 2017[1]. This is a marketplace that has no plans to slow down, with each passing year more prosperous than the last.

The entertainment and character category dominates licensed product retail sales. This segment, largely driven by box office hit movies, accounted for US$118.3 billion[2] in 2016, making up 45 percent of the total value of the licensed product market2. We have witnessed its wild success through films like animated hit movie, Frozen, which accumulated $1.3 billion at the box office and pulled in approximately the same amount in merchandise sales[3].

Related: Going The Extra Mile With Neil Robinson Of Relate Bracelets

The growth and popularity of the licensed product market come with its own set of challenges. Tight deadlines for product launches that sync with movie releases and the short life cycle of certain licensed products can prove to be a logistics challenge.

Adapting to consumer behavior worldwide is another challenge when marketing licensed products. The e-commerce and m-commerce boom is an important trend to consider. A secure e-commerce platform will give rise to consumer confidence, which will help bolster the sale of licensed products. Consumers want the ability to purchase online anywhere and at any time.

Further, entering different markets can be formidable. Geographic and customs requirements are examples of hurdles that licensees could face that would significantly hinder the distribution of licensed products. A common issue that arises is the requirements on the transport of lithium batteries, which proves to be a concern when distributing battery-operated toys. Transportation on a global scale is made easier when you have access to a logistics provider that can offer support from understanding customs policies to safe transportation solutions for lithium goods.

To overcome these pain points, here are some tips to succeed in the global licensed product market:

  1. Have an effective global distribution system. Collaborating with a reliable global logistics provider that offers the necessary logistics management of ordersdeliveries, and returns. For instance, logistics providers can align product distribution with movie release dates by managing cart integration and fulfillment with marketplaces and websites.
  2. Integrate a reliable global payment platform and e-commerce system into your online shop. When it comes to online shopping, consumers want secure payments and reliability. Partnering with a well-known third-party provider that specialises in global payment platforms and e-commerce sites is key to operating a borderless, online business that strengthens customers’ confidence.
  3. Stay abreast of the regulatory environment. Keeping up with the global demand for licensed products requires a strong understanding of a market’s customs policies. Free online solutions are available to help with understanding customs requirements and proper documentation for international shipping, and streamlined offerings allow you to submit customs documentation electronically so they can be quickly processed.

Related: The Make Up of Makeup: How One Entrepreneur is Changing the Cosmetics Industry

A strong supply and distribution chain strengthens licensed product sales to ensure continued growth going forward.  A reliable and efficient logistics provider plays a key role in supporting the global licensed merchandise market.


[1] LIMA annual global survey of licensing industry reveals 4.4% growth from 2016, Licensing.biz, August 8, 2017.
[2] LIMA Study: Global Retail Sales of Licensed Goods and Services Hit US$262.9 Billion in 2016, LIMA, May 22, 2017.
[3] Why Disney’s ‘Frozen’ is the hottest toy of the year, Fortune, December 23, 2014.

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories.  FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.

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How Lexus Is Emphasising Quality And Taking Craftsmanship To New Heights

The seventh generation Lexus ES is crafted to the last millimetre and is the essence of comfort​.

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The seventh generation Lexus ES ushers in an era of performance, mirrored by design that stirs the soul. The exceptional body rigidity allows for incredible design freedom, resulting in design that has the confidence to stand out. The brave new design that is lower, wider and sleeker, giving this sedan a coupé-like silhouette.

The 2018 Lexus ES range has no space for mediocrity – every vehicle excels and provokes. The petrol ES 250 EX and hybrid ES 300H SE set a standard of excellence with unparalleled levels of sophistication, elegance and performance. The Lexus ES range places all available performance in the driver’s hands for an intimate experience. It is performance that can be heard and felt.

The new Lexus ES has a profile that is impossible to ignore. The striking signature spindle grille is a significant feature, a sculpted form that speaks of inherited architecture and meticulous craftsmanship. It is the embodiment of provocative elegance, of finesse and sophistication.

Every curve builds from the grille. Athletic headlights flow from the spindle grille, emphasising the sleek lines of the three-dimensional front-end while tracing the outline of the lowered roofline.

The Lexus Takumi craftsmen embody the quest for perfection by carefully refining design elements. Boldness is balanced with elegance, and innovative design characteristics are made possible by the new chassis platform that allows the New Generation ES to be longer, wider and more spacious than ever before, but with a sleeker and lower silhouette. The fastback roofline captures the glamour of a coupé and emphasises the low stance, while the interior roominess is all premium sedan.

Related: 10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing

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The meticulous attention to detail of the Lexus Takumi craftsmen is evident in every inch of the Lexus ES interior. In a physical manifestation of Omotenashi, the Japanese philosophy of warm hospitality where your every need is anticipated and catered for, the Lexus ES offers a personal comfort zone, an escape from the ordinary.

The ES seduces you with details such as embossed stitching on semi-aniline leather-trimmed* seating and real wood trim*. The door panels flow into the instrument console, creating a sense of spaciousness, and at the same time placing all controls of the navigation*, Multi-information and entertainment systems within your grasp, while all driving related functions, as well as those for communication, are controlled from the leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Define your own personal climate with automatic dual zone climate control. The innovative nanoe air-purifiers cleanse the air and moisturise your skin, which is why stepping out of the new Lexus ES, is just as invigorating as stepping into it.

For further individual comfort, the front seats of all ES models have adjustable lumbar support, with standard heated and ventilated seats.

At Lexus safety is of paramount importance, which is why the new Lexus ES features the most advanced passive and active safety and driver support systems available. This is the most technologically advanced Lexus ES ever, with traditional measures of comfort merged with cutting-edge technology for all-encompassing driving pleasure.

* Available on ES 300H only

Read next: 10 Dynamic Black Entrepreneurs

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Rethinking Learning In The 21st Century

The changing world of work has disrupted the three elements of the traditional ‘career’: Expertise, duration, and rewards.

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Traditionally the concept of a ‘career’ was considered to include three elements:

  1. A career represented our expertise, our profession, and ultimately our identity.
  2. A career was something that built over time and endured. It gave us the opportunity to progress and advance.
  3. A career gave us financial and psychological rewards. It made life meaningful and paid us enough to live well.

The changing world of work has disrupted all three elements: Expertise, duration, and rewards.

A career can now be as long as 60 years; at the same time, due to rapid advancements in technology and the changes that bring about in the workplace, skill sets can become obsolete in as little as five years.

Increasingly, companies need to rethink the way in which careers are managed and learning opportunities are delivered, and many have already begun to overhaul their career models and L&D (Learning and Development) infrastructure in line with the digital age.

Related: Your Investment In Knowledge

Employees’ learning behaviour is also changing. In the past, employees were able to obtain the skills required for their career early on and as a once-off; now, the career itself is a journey of learning, up-skilling, re-skilling and continuous reinvention to remain relevant and to thrive in the changing world of work.

Older employees who studied at a time where most of one’s learning occurred prior to entering the workplace, find themselves working alongside millennials who place greater value on learning and progression rather than on earning potential as a first priority.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents surveyed in Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey say their organisations are shifting to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences rather than a static career progression.

However, in today’s fast-paced business world, even if companies are restructuring L&D delivery, no one is going to make you engage in a strategy that is essential to your future success – continuous learning. You will have to take the initiative yourself.

Noted self-help expert W. Clement Stone, in his many writings on this topic, recommended that one spends anywhere from a half-hour to two hours a day in study and thinking time. This tireless dedication, combined with an insatiable curiosity, will equip you to excel in the future world of work. What’s more, learning new skills and knowledge can be fun!

The good news for both companies and for employees is that an explosion of high-quality content and digital delivery models offers employees ready access to continuous learning. The Wits DigitalCampus offers a range of accredited and fully online short courses to support your continuous learning.

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Your Investment In Knowledge

When you understand the value of knowledge, in this world where technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to constant learning!

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Most people spend their lives collecting, spending, and worrying about money — so much so, in fact, that they say they “don’t have time” to learn something new.

However, some of smartest and busiest people in the world — Barack Obama, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates — all spend at least one hour a day on deliberate learning. They see what others don’t: That learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. As Benjamin Franklin said long ago, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

When you understand the value of knowledge, in this world where technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to constant learning!

One of the very benefits of ongoing technological advances is that it empowers an accelerated and personalised learning experience that puts the learner in the driver’s seat. Modern learning harnesses the speed, power and ubiquity of digital capability. Online platforms, software and mobile devices means that the traditional hurdles to learning — such as income, status and location — have just about disappeared. Knowledge can now be gained by anyone with the passion to pursue it and the commitment to stick with it.

Related: Building Customer Relationships

We are only at the tipping point of what future learning technology can deliver. Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform all aspects of human capital management, including learning. Technology-enabled learning will be immediate and directly relevant to the task, for example:

  • personally tailored learning content and experiences delivered to you as and when you want or need them
  • chatbots and virtual assistants can source and categorise the information that you need for optimal decision-making
  • augmented and virtual reality simulations can provide a multi-sensory experience to speed up and embed learning.

Additionally, social connectivity already enables user-generated content to outpace and outstrip what traditional education and learning institutions can deliver.

Knowledge may be the new money but, unlike money, you don’t lose it when you use knowledge or give it away. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free and instant. It’s fun to acquire and it makes your brain work better. It helps you think bigger and beyond your circumstances. It puts your life in perspective by essentially helping you live many lives in one life through other people’s experiences and wisdom.

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