Forbes: Top 10 Licensed Brand Extensions of 2012

January 23, 2013

By Michael Stone

From products based on the heart-pumping novel 50 Shades of Grey, to Band-Aid’s use of an app to create augmented reality featuring the Muppets, to HGTV-branded live plants, 2012 was chock-full of innovative brand extensions. So, before 2013’s brand innovations steal the limelight, let’s take one last look at last year’s best licensed partnerships.

 Angry Birds' Partnership with Star Wars

In a mere 2 ½ hours following the release of its new Star Wars version, Rovio’s Angry Birds rose to the top of the U.S. app charts. Angry Birds has employed a successful strategy of releasing new versions of its popular game to keep the brand fresh and to maintain popularity, such as its Rio and Space editions. Its partnership with Star Wars, one of the most iconic brands in popular culture, is a brilliant move for both brands.

Justin Bieber's Someday/Girlfriend Fragrances

Someday was a huge success in 2011, recording over $3 million in sales within the first three weeks of its launch. This year, the scent won the 2012 Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity Award for its unique approach of targeting female consumers with a male celebrity-branded fragrance. Follow-up scent Girlfriend arrived in the summer and was promoted extensively via digital channels to Bieber’s droves of female fans.


HGTV HOME (full disclosure: a Beanstalk client) has developed full circle engagement with its consumer, using its trusted television channel to deliver home and garden improvement advice and give consumers the tools to make those improvements using HGTV licensed products. Last Spring, HGTV launched its HGTV HOME Plant Collection at garden centers nationwide just in time for Mother’s Day. The line offers a fresh take on gardening solutions, taking the guess work out of plant selection with carefully chosen mixed varieties.

Band-Aid Magic Vision Featuring Disney's The Muppets

Through augmented reality, the Band-Aid® Magic Vision app transforms any Band-Aid bandage featuring Disney’s The Muppets into a stage to entertain away the hurt. After the bandage has been applied, children can point their phone or tablet over it, and a Muppet character appears to emerge from the bandage to serenade the child. What an innovative way to distract from a boo-boo!

Victoria's Secret Partnership with the NFL

Partnering with the National Football League to create the PINK NFL Collection, Victoria’s Secret is appealing to the fastest growing fan demographic of the sport – females. Lingerie and other women’s clothing, such as hoodies, sweats, tank tops, underwear and sports bras, will bear each team’s officially-licensed logos and were made available within Cowboys Stadium in September – the first pro sports venue to offer such branded clothing. Since then, M&T Bank Stadium and MetLife Stadium, among many others, have also started offering the line for their teams.

BISSELL & Febreze Carpet Cleaning Products

Procter & Gamble (full disclosure: a Beanstalk client) licensee BISSELL HomeCare, Inc. launched several carpet cleaning products with Febreze® in 2012. As one of the most trusted brands in floor care, BISSELL is taking floor cleaning to a new level by introducing a line of co-branded and branded Febreze-scented products including carpet cleaning powder, carpet cleaning high-traffic foam, carpet deodorizing powder, carpet stain wipes, and vacuum bags and filters.It’s a “Febreze Inside” concept.

Jessica Simpson's Collaboration with Destination Maternity

There’s no doubt Jessica Simpson knows clothing and accessories. In fact, her products in those categories put her at an estimated worth of $100 million, according to Forbes. With consumers clearly wanting more of Jessica Simpson, her new line of maternity wear in collaboration with Destination Maternity is a natural extension of a brand already in high demand.

Food Network Kitchens at Airports

In partnership with hospitality giant Delaware North, the Food Network Kitchen launched as a fast-casual restaurant and gourmet market that takes on-the-go dining to a whole new level. Opened first at Fort Lauderdale’s local airport in the JetBlue terminal, and inspired by the actual test kitchens at the Food Network studios, this delicious concession option is a welcome alternative to the often subpar food options found in most terminals. Another Food Network Kitchen is scheduled to open at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by the end of 2013.

Cake Boss Cakes by Dawn Foods

In June, TLC star "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro gave his unique cake recipes to the company that supplies his Hoboken, N.J., bakery to help create a line of cakes to be sold in grocery stores, bakeries, and warehouse clubs nationwide. A natural brand extension for the baked goods maven, this move was one of many licensed brand extensions in the burgeoning food licensing space during 2012.

50 Shades of Grey Product Lines

Capitalizing on the monumental success of 50 Shades of Grey, author E.L. James announced her first licensing agreements in August for a range of products in North America. Official “Fifty Shades” board games, lingerie, underwear, pajamas, robes, T-shirts, knit tops and hoodies will be the first to hit store shelves with more likely to come, especially with talks of movies in the near future.