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How to License Your Brand?

Feb 24th 2020 at 8:03 AM
The Clean Boot Blog

How to License Your Brand?

Chad Madill - The Clean Boot - Monday, 09 Dec 2019

Brand License

Brand licensing is an important tool that enables corporate brand owners to expand their product into new categories and regions. In addition to generating consistent streams of passive income, licensors can also fortify brand values and reach out to new consumers. However, establishing a foolproof corporate licensing program isn’t as easy as it may sound. It takes a great deal of planning and continuous efforts to set up a program that can ensure long-term benefits.

So how does a brand owner get to work on issuing licenses to third parties in an organized and diligent manner that reduces risk and optimizes the returns?

How to Get Started?

As a brand owner, it’s your responsibility to first evaluate whether and to what extent your brand is capable of being licensed. Is your trademark linked with positive impressions? Also, assess whether or not your brand has a strong emotional connection with customer’s needs.

Keep in mind, the decision to license your brand mainly depends on brand awareness. In addition to brand awareness, licensed products must reflect ongoing market trends and possess a unique selling proposition.

When considering these elements, you must use resources to conduct qualitative and quantitative market research that should measure the brand’s ability to penetrate the anticipated markets for each category and region.

Apart from that, the brand owner should also take market dynamics and customer feedback into account before developing a brand licensing program. Your established program must be fully supported by top management and concurrently approved by your marketing team. Also, make sure to take your sales, finance and legal departments into consideration, in order to establish support in the respective departments.


To establish a firm foundation for your brand’s licensing program, you should invest some time in reviewing the trademark’s history, brand features and emotional associations of the brand. From that point, a comprehensive evaluation process should be initiated to develop a strategic brand licensing plan.

The strategic licensing program should embrace proposed categories and regions based on their capacity to strengthen the brand and fulfill strategic brand goals and objectives.

Apart from these basic things, the strategic licensing plan must include price positioning, suitable channels of distribution, target customer demographics, inventory, and marketing prerequisites.

Instead of developing a static document, try to build a dynamic process that is revaluated and improved on a regular basis to evolve and adapt to the varying market conditions and customer demands.


Once you have established a long-term licensing plan, now it’s time for implementation. This step involves organizing internal and external organizational resources devoted to licensing sales, licensee and the retailing channel.

Every legal, financial as well as administrative issue should be addressed including royalties and audits. It must also resolve and develop the relevant tools and materials needed to make your plan a success. These tools include style guide, formal agreement, sales material, and a welcome kit.

Why It’s Important to License Your Brand?

  • It generates passive income for the brand owner;
  • It reduces risk and helps the brand to enter new territories;
  • It creates new business opportunities;
  • It provides self-employment opportunities;
  • It encourages a unique marketing approach.


The pros and cons associated with brand licensing can only be managed when there’s a solid agreement between both parties. The licensing contract should be drafted by an expert in intellectual property or be a trademark licensing lawyer who is capable of effectively outlining all the relevant elements in the agreement.

All in all, brand licensing is competitive and should be considered if your brand is ready to reach new heights of success.

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