direct-to-retail

Carol Spieckerman Talks Private Branding, Digital Marketing and More with Iconix COO, Yehuda Shmidman

In September, I had the pleasure of sharing the podium with Yehuda Shmidman, Chief Operating Officer of Iconix Brand Group, at LIMA’s inaugural Retail and Branding Conference in New York. Iconix is the second largest licensor in the world and, in the aggregate, the company generates over $12 billion in annual retail sales by managing and marketing a diverse portfolio of more than 25 consumer brands including PEANUTS/Snoopy, London Fog, Royal Velvet, Mossimo, and Joe Boxer. Mr. Shmidman also heads up global business development for Iconix and this year he was included in the “40 Under 40” list by Crain’s New York.

In this second of two parts, Shmidman discusses the role of private branding, digital and event marketing, and how Iconix is breathing new life into its more mature Iconic brands.

Read Part I

Spieckerman: One of the licensing community’s big concerns is direct-to-retail or DTR deals. Of course, you guys have set the standard there, but the other big concern is private branding. Do you see private brands as a threat to your model or as a complement? And where in general do you see the brand mix going forward?

Shmidman: A big part of our model is trying to displace private labels. When you have private label brands that retailers create, oftentimes they offer a great product, and definitely at the right price, but when they stick a name on it that has no meaning, it’s really not a private brand, it’s just a private label. So in many cases, our positioning is to use our brands to replace that. For us, it’s about marrying our great brands with retailers who have great execution. In a way, when retailers use our brands to the fullest, we are their private brand and they get the best of both worlds: exclusivity, control through their sourcing, and at the same time, the value of the brand. In that way, I see private brands and our model as complementary concepts.

Read the rest of the interview

 

Carol Spieckerman Talks Lifestyle Branding, Acquisitions, (and Mad Men) with Iconix COO, Yehuda Shmidman

In September, I had the pleasure of sharing the podium with Yehuda Shmidman, Chief Operating Officer of Iconix Brand Group, at LIMA’s inaugural Retail and Brand Conference in New York. Iconix (NASDAQ: ICON) is the second largest licensor in the world and, in the aggregate, the company generates over $12 billion in annual retail sales by managing and marketing a diverse portfolio of more than 25 consumer brands including PEANUTS / Snoopy, London Fog, Royal Velvet, Mossimo, and Joe Boxer. Mr. Shmidman also heads up global business development for Iconix and this year he was included in the “40 Under 40″ list by Crain’s New York.

In the first of two parts, Shmidman discusses lifestyle branding, Iconix’s diversification strategies, and the company’s recent brand acquisitions. The following is an excerpt

Carol Spieckerman: You’ve certainly been busy since I last saw you in New York in September. Just in this last week, we’ve heard about another exclusive deal with JC Penney, as well as the big announcement that you’re acquiring Sharper Image.

Yehuda Shmidman: That’s right.

Spieckerman: I think that’s a good place to start. Sharper Image is following Borders and Linens ‘N Things as the latest retailer to go from being store-based to more of a pure intellectual property model, and now you guys own it. In the old days, these brands would have just faded away. If the stores went away, the brand went away. What do you see as the possibilities today?

Shmidman: I believe that brands are valuable. So, regardless of whether a brand started as a retailer at one point, or as a shoe brand, like we did with Candie’s, or started in some other form, the intellectual property behind it has tremendous value and that’s what we look to leverage, to grow, and to continue to market. So for us, it’s not so much where a brand came from but where it can go, what it means to consumers, and what the emotional connection is.  Read the rest of the interview...

Read Part II

The Rise of the "RTR" in Retail. Carol Spieckerman's Latest for LIMA

The Q&A and sidebar discussions after my presentation at last month’s LIMA Retail & Brand conference in New York showed that the future of DTR (direct-to-retail) brand deals is a burning issue in the licensing community just as it has been for national brands – and for good reason. “DTRs” not only diminish or, in some cases, eliminate the role of licensees, they often favor pure brand marketing firms over traditional licensors.

But as threatening as DTRs may seem, retailer-to-retailer deals (which I call “RTRs”) have the potential to become a far greater menace, as retailers become more determined than ever to see their private brands proliferate and their owned brand investments pay off. RTRs allow retailers to expand and control distribution of their private brands, which actually monetizes their brands’ equity while building it at the same time. What’s not to like?

Read the rest of Carol Spieckerman's latest article for the International Licensing Industry Merchandiser's Association (LIMA)

Are you a supplier, brand, licensor, agency, or retail consultancy? Want to learn what these and other retail and brand dynamics mean to your retail positioning? Contact Carol Spieckerman directly.