This article discusses how the use of licenced characters on food packaging can greatly increase sales but asks will your own branding get lost as consumers focus on the character only? This was written by Bobby Patel, CEO of awarding winning British FMCG company, Appy Food and Drinks and was featured on the www.thedieline.com blog. We have summarised key points of the article below.
Large Increases in the Use of Licencing
Patel begins by explaining the reason for the recent massive increases in the use of licencing in food packaging (particularly in the area of children’s food products). He cites the reason as “the instant recognition of well-known licensed characters and the familiarity them, rewarding the new product and brand”.
Patel’s own company, Appy has used licencing to promote his children’s juice range, including the Peppa Pig character and the characters from the “Despicable Me” movie.
It is a well-known fact that consumers are more likely to buy products or brands with which they are familiar. The presence of a well-known licence character provides this familiarity.
New products or brands that are unknown to consumers will of course benefit greatly – especially in the case of products aimed at the children’s market. This review from a UK parenting website gives an indication of the effect that the use of license characters have on children… the review states that the use of the characters on the packaging was the over-riding reason why the child wanted to try this product.
“Dylan loved them after an activity when he needed a good long drink – they are quite thin as they have a high percentage of water in each pouch. They are nicely packed and handy to carry round. Dylan was obviously more interested in the fact that they have a ‘Minions’ theme and ‘Despicable Me’ theme – his favourite !”
“Frozen” movie licenced products
The author gives us an idea of the market value of licencing by stating that the amount generated by the Disney film “Frozen” was $1.3 billion at the box office compared to a massive the $107 billion revenue generated from the licenced products.
Other benefits of licencing
Challenges of Licencing
Naturally there are challenges from adopting a licenced character – chiefly that it has to be managed carefully in order that the companies’ own brand is not eclipsed by the character. Patel says that consistency is the key to building a brand’s reputation because “consistent, desired experience … builds trust, and trust is the foundation for customer loyalty and promotion”
Bobby Patel’s Advice
Achieving a Balance
Patel feels he achieved a successful balance between his own brand and the licenced characters by having images of whole fruit on the front of the packaging. This is in keeping with Appy’s message that their products are natural and don’t contain any GMOs, preservatives or chemicals. The use of the green colour also reinforced the Appy’s brand message.