“I don’t want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies,” stated Paula Deen, cook, cooking show host, restaurateur, entrepreneur and author. Deen is known for her love of home-cooked, Southern-style foods, and taste always plays the primary role in whether she deems a recipe to be successful. But Deen is much more than a creator of recipes, and regardless of which of her businesses she is focused on, quality rules supreme.
“The most important thing is everything has to have quality and the food has to taste good,” says her agent, Barry Weiner, owner of Artist’s Agency. “Paula wants to offer the best products for the money, and never take advantage of the public.”
Read more: Paula Deen
After more than 90 years, KitchenAid stays successful by keeping focused on its end-users, Global Business Unit Director Michael Huie says. “No one knows our consumer like we do,” he says.
The Saint Joseph, Mich.-based KitchenAid is a brand of Whirlpool Corp. and specializes in products for the kitchen. These include small appliances like its stand mixer; major appliances, such as dishwashers; kitchenwares; cookware; bakeware; tools; and gadgets. KitchenAid’s history goes back to 1919, when an executive for a commercial appliance company created the Model H-5, the first stand mixer for use in homes.
Read more: KitchenAid
Some companies are resistant to change, but not AB Electrolux. Instead, the Stockholm-based company has found success by evolving along with the business environment, according to Head of Electrolux Global Brand Licensing Matthew Young.
To the point, in the last few years, Electrolux started focusing on licensing its brands, for selected categories and with the right partners. The brands include Electrolux, Eureka, Frigidaire, Tappan, AEG, Zanussi and Kelvinator. Young says it is searching the United States and Canada for licensing opportunities.
Read more: Electrolux Global Brand Licensing
Creating, designing, producing and selling licensed products around the world are Calego International’s specialties. The company has become well known in licensed and branded products, and it is able to provide a higher level of expertise from conceptualization to final production.
“We are committed to coming up with products that consumers know will last,” President Stephen Rapps says. “We want to make a quality product that has value because the consumers and retailers will come back to us for doing that. We will not produce an inferior product that has no value.”
Read more: Calego International
With regular appearances on TV including an upcoming reality show, a new book slated for this summer and successful launches of bedding and furniture lines, Jennifer Adams is becoming a household name in more ways than one. But the kind of success Adams has experienced doesn’t come without a lot of strong partnerships, and she says All-American Licensing & Marketing Group (AALMG) has been an important one for her.
“All-American has been phenomenal,” Adams says. “It was just an instant connection, I could tell that they just get me.”
Read more: All-American Licensing & Management Group
When Pac-Man launched in Japan more than 30 years ago, no one could have foreseen the lasting impact of this pellet-eating maze navigator. But today, Pac-Man stands as one of the most recognizable animated characters on the planet. 41 Entertainment, Namco Bandai Games and Arad Productions are all confident that the retro strength of the brand – along with its ability to win over new fans – will propel Pac-Man forward for more decades to come.
“Pac-Man is the ultimate good guy, and the game takes only a minute to learn but a lifetime to master,” explains Avi Arad, president of Arad Productions and executive producer of the upcoming “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.”
Read more: Pac-Man
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has always held a lot of international appeal – one of the league’s charter teams was the Toronto Huskies – but the league’s global profile has never been larger than it is right now. Thanks in part to hosting some of the greatest international players in history, the NBA has become the premier professional basketball league not only in North America, but throughout the world. The league broadcasts games in more than 200 countries and territories in 47 languages, and has offices in cities including Hong Kong, Mumbai, London, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.
With this kind of global penetration, the NBA enjoys licensing opportunities greater than any of the major North American sports leagues. Senior Vice President of Licensing and Business Affairs Vicky Picca says this is thanks in large part to how relatively easy it is for people anywhere in the world to pick up a ball and imagine themselves as Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. “I think the success comes down to accessibility, at the end of the day,” she says. “All you need is a ball to play.”
Read more: National Basketball Association
Brand building is all about credibility and protection – mainly gaining credibility and then protecting it. So more than 20 years ago, when Greek fraternity and sorority organizations nationwide began seeing an increasing number of manufacturers using their names in unwanted and unauthorized fashion, the Greek community responded with a resounding “no more.”
And why shouldn’t they? Coca-Cola doesn’t let anyone make and sell spinoffs of its name without approval, so why wouldn’t these organizations – founded with specific missions and some more than a century old – do the same? Their credibility was built over decades and today they are using their resources to protect it – no official shirt, sweater, coffee mug or jewelry hits the retail stands that falls short of the quality benchmarks or criteria specified by the licensor. Only credible merchandise is allowed, which makes sense since credibility is one of Greek life’s main draws.
Read more: Affinity Consultants
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