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Licensing has emerged as a major brand communications strategy.  It has quietly become integral to many major organizations’ marketing efforts, motivating consumers to invite a brand into their lives and to become brand loyalists.  Unlike in the recent past, when traditional advertising dominated, today brand owners have more strategic options available and a significant one is licensing.  The accelerating pace of change in brick and mortar and online retailing combined with ecommerce, data collection and social media, have re-defined brand messaging and retail. 

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In his book, “The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity”, Michael Stone positions brand licensing in the context of today’s communications and retail landscape as an effective tool to connect brands and consumers and thereby drive purchasing.  Every chapter features case studies and illustrative examples of brands that have used licensing effectively, with a variety of objectives, from Stanley Black & Decker to P&G’s Febreze to Diageo’s Baileys, Weight Watchers, Energizer, Briggs & Stratton, Coca-Cola, Polaroid and more.

Stone discusses the benefits and risks of licensing, how to avoid pitfalls, and the nuts and bolts of strategy development and program management.  He also examines the pros and cons of a retail exclusive strategy, the considerations required for licensing outside the United States, how celebrities become brands and how to revive dormant brands through licensing.  The final chapters examine the intersection of licensing with the opportunities presented by today’s inter-connected shopping journey.  Stone examines, in the context of licensing, the many paths available to deliver a brand message including balancing broad and targeted marketing, communicating with different generations, social media opportunities, among other messaging tactics.  “The Power of Licensing” is essential reading for any savvy marketing professional.

Michael Stone has over 30 years of experience consulting, developing, implementing and managing brand licensing programs for Fortune 500 companies, celebrities and other institutions.  He is a co-founder of The Beanstalk Group, the leading global licensing agency, where he served as President and CEO and currently serves as Chairman.

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