“When you have a tremendous 170-year-old equity, you need to ensure that every licensed product is returning more to the equity bank than it borrows,” says Tammy Talerico-Payne, director of licensing at Church & Dwight. “Our goal is to deepen our relationship with our core consumer by providing products that delight and deliver on their promised benefit.”
Church & Dwight drives cross-promotion through retail-driven displays and coupons, the goal being to gain incremental merchandising, which is a benefit to its core brand and to our licensees.
But it’s not without its challenges. As the retail experience continues to evolve, shelf space is contracting, the overall number of retailers is shrinking and many retailers are putting forth SKU reductions. Not to mention the increase in players in the categories in which Church & Dwight competes.
But this doesn’t deter Talerico-Payne. “We are able to win,” she says, “because we have great brands, a consistent formula and a commitment to innovative products.”
Talerico-Payne manages all of the outbound and inbound licensing for Church & Dwight, from strategy to execution. In addition to licensing out the company’s portfolio of brands, she is responsible for securing all of the kids’ properties, such as Marvel, Hasbro and Nickelodeon. “It’s an interesting world for me because I really sit on both sides of the desk,” Talerico-Payne says.
According to Talerico-Payne, Arm & Hammer is the “crown jewel” of the company’s portfolio. It dominates more aisles in retail stores than any other brand, and licensing is a significant contributor.
She takes a two-pronged approach to licensing: fully-branded or co-branded. For example, the company licenses vacuum bags that seamlessly brand Arm & Hammer, but Hefty Ultimate with Arm & Hammer Odor Control trash bags is a co-branded product.
This co-branded product even won the Best Corporate Brand Licensee at the International Licensing Awards this past June at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
When Talerico-Payne started at the company in 2004, Church & Dwight didn’t have many licenses. Although there was a realization that equity could travel, it wasn’t among the company’s core focus. Through numerous opportunities, however, the company was able to expand its portfolio of brands across multiple product categories by partnering in mutually beneficial relationships with many companies.
Wins early on in her career at Church & Dwight allowed Talerico-Payne to expand into new categories in licensing. But she is most focused on expanding the Arm & Hammer franchise.
“You think about the versatility of Arm & Hammer baking soda and its variety of uses, from cooking to balancing the pH in swimming pools to laundry products, cat litter and toothpaste – I can’t think of a brand that has that expansive of a range of diverse uses,” Talerico-Payne says. “Another benefit of the brand is that it has strong functional and emotive equities. Consumers know the product is going to do what it says it’s going to do.”
She emphasizes the fact that consumers truly trust the brand, especially moms because of its variety of baby offerings and pet owners with its expansive pet solutions. There’s even a generational quality to it, considering it’s been around for so long, where a grandmother could tell her child, “I used to brush my teeth with baking soda.”
Church & Dwight is committed to innovation, both in its product development and with whom it chooses to partner. By working together, it can create a brand that is both unique and innovative, while also fulfilling consumer needs.
“I have one of the best jobs in the world to be able to work on such a trusted and beloved brand,” Talerico says.
Some of its most successful licensing partners are Petmate, Munchkin and Dutch Boy.
Petmate makes litter boxes, scoopers and other litter accessories, so it has teamed up for a lot of cross-marketing and promotion. One of the first things a new cat owner does is purchase a litter box. And vets recommend being consistent with the type of litter purchased since cats are picky creatures. Therefore, Church & Dwight tries to get in at that initial point of entry with coupons for the Arm & Hammer branded litter on Petmate litter boxes and accessories.
Munchkin has a long-term licensee relationship with Church & Dwight for various baby products. Munchkin designed an innovative, easy-to-use diaper pail, but was missing the odor control factor. And that’s where Arm & Hammer came in with its odor-eliminating equity. Every time a consumer opens and closes the diaper pail, it sprinkles Arm & Hammer baking soda on the diapers.
Church & Dwight spent three years with Dutch Boy to develop Refresh Paint with Arm & Hammer. It delivers as a paint brand with one-coat coverage, an assortment of colors and ease of use, but it also has an odor-eliminating ability that gives it an extra edge in the market.
“The goal is to solve real consumer needs with unique product offerings with licensing, reaching consumers in every element in their life,” Talerico-Payne says. “Part of that winning formula is executing with excellence. Entering the right categories, finding the right partners and innovating the right products.”