Every business, from small mom and pop corner shops to international corporate behemoths, have a dream of possessing one of the most recognized brands in the world. Few business managers or leaders have a solid sense of when their brand is ready to license, however, and even fewer know where to begin when it comes to delivering your business’ message to a global audience.

So how should CEOs and shop owners alike build positive brands, and how do you know when that brand is ready to license? By following these tips, you’ll be generating recognition for yourself and your business with a world renowned brand in no time.

Know what you’re seeking

The first step when it comes to knowing if your brand is ready to license is figuring out what exactly it is you’re seeking. International fame, local renown in your target market, or national media buzz centered on your product are all great, but there are different pathways towards each of these end goals. Before your brand can be established, you’ll need to answer some preliminary questions.

First and foremost, who do you want representing you? From Ronald McDonald to Papa Johns, plenty of businesses exist out there where a certain figure or character – fictional or otherwise – represents their business. Others, like Nike or Coke, get by with a mere symbol or slogan. Before your brand can get off the ground and on its own two feet, you’ll need to come up with an appropriate figurehead for your specific business operation, one that captures the spirit of your workplace and inspires consumer zeal.

Depending on the scope of your business, for instance, your brand may be too narrow or too broad. Most food or beverage companies may not be well known enough to emblazon their logos on clothing, for instance, but certain behemoths, like Coke, are so well known they can market off of apparel which has nothing to do with their central business. Don’t be overly ambitious and get in over your head; start your brand off small, and gain some recognition before you begin the licensing process.

Knowing what you’re seeking ahead of licensing your brand is useful to avoid tricky legal situations, too. Every business hoping to license a brand should expect potential legal disputes in the future, and would thus be well advised to brush up on how to protect their brands before they even foray into the marketplace.

A crucial part of this is following a licensing checklist as you plot out your brands future; how involved is your owner, how well protected are you legally, and what’s your broader marketing strategy? All of these questions must be considered before your brand takes off if you ever intend for it to succeed long-term.

Avoid foolish pitfalls

Perhaps the most vital aspect of any new business endeavor, whether it’s opening up a new branch or preparing to license your brand, is going over what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t. Countless companies have gone before yours, many of them onwards to success, but even more towards failure. The parental control app Kidgy is a perfect example of a company avoiding the obvious pitfalls. Seeing how well they did in the market will help your executives make the decision on whether they’re ready to pull the trigger on licensing or not.

Nonetheless, many in the business world don’t know what examples they should turn to for guidance. A plethora of common branding mistakes continue to lure companies into financial quagmires to this day, so be sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew and sinking your prospects early on in the process of licensing your brand. Without doing your homework ahead of time, you’re setting yourself – and your brand – up for failure.

Once you’ve established the legal team, agents, and marketing squad that you’ll need to successfully market your brand, you’ll be much closer towards making licensing a reality. Be sure not to rush this process – a brand’s image can be ruined overnight if you’re not careful. Yet by starting off slow and looking to what’s worked in the past, your company will find itself with a successfully licensed and financially lucrative brand in no time.

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Matthew Davies
Matthew Davies is a creative and passionate HR Director with 15 plus years proven experience up to board level in international and world-class corporations. He has had the privilege of working on a wide range of projects that have enabled him to apply his leadership and technical skills and he have proven expertise in managing change, business integration and outsourcing.

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