license to thrill

Downton Abbey Set to Capitalize on Popularity with Licensed Merchandise

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 30, 2013 04:27 PM

When you’re working for public broadcasting, it helps to have an entrepreneurial spirit.

So the producers of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning TV drama Downton Abbey are going all out to bring in some extra revenue by expanding from DVD sales to creating a whole line of clothing, homeware, furniture, wallpaper, beauty products and stationery around the show that will go on sale later this year, according to CNBC.

After all, who couldn’t use an extra cape, cravat or pair of elbow-length gloves?Continue reading...

celebrity designers

Matthew McConaughey Puts a Shirt on for New Clothing Line

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 22, 2013 01:38 PM

When many people think of actor Matthew McConaughey, it isn’t his work in such films as Boys on the Side, Dazed and Confused and Magic Mike that comes to mind, but rather his penchant for being half-naked all the time. After all, the actor was hauled away in 1999 for resisting arrest after officers came to his Austin, Texas home to deal with complaints of him loudly playing bongo drums while nude.

These days, though, it looks like McConaughey has found some motivation for keeping his shirt on. He has partnered with Canadian apparel manufacturer Grand National Apparel—manufacturer of Perry Ellis, Pacific Trail and Savane—to launch his own active sportswear collection, JKL. While the duds will be available on JKL’s site, consumers can also find them at Dillard’s stores and dillards.com.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Condé Nast Extends Magazine Brands into Bar and Restaurant Scene

Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2013 11:53 AM

Condé Nast is used to long lead times and attention to detail with the publication of its high-end titles including Gentlemen's Quarterly, Glamour and Vogue. But in those regards, printing a magazine is nothing next to rolling out an entirely new strategy of brand extension and enhancement in businesses that have little to do with publishing.

Still, Condé Nast has been plowing ahead with its plans to add bars, clubs, restaurants and even a fashion school in various high-profile locations around the world in order to provide completely new sources of revenues, to exploit its magazine and corporate brands in profitable new ways and to produce an ever-more-valuable offset to a traditional magazine-publishing business that—while still comprising a majority of Conde Nast's revenues—isn't a growth industry anymore.

"Our business can no longer be defined strictly as publishing, but takes the form of brand management," Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and CEO of Condé Nast International, told Business of Fashion. "We want to bring the experience of the publishing brands to end users in new forms in order to strengthen the brands and their relevance. Of course, we aim to do so profitably."Continue reading...

brand battle

JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson Out as JCP-Macy's-Martha Stewart Trial Resumes

Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 07:12 PM

Ron Johnson has been ousted as CEO of JCPenney as the retailer's board of directors voted on Monday to turn to his predecessor to pull the company out of the death spiral (it lost $4.3 billion in sales last year) on Johnson's watch, rather than give the former Target executive and Apple retail head the extra time he wanted to see his radical vision through to fruition.

Mike Ullman, who had been CEO of JCPenney until 2011, before Johnson, is returning to take the helm again at least for the time being, according to a JCPenney press release:

"The Board of Directors of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced that Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III has rejoined the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. Ullman is a highly accomplished retail industry executive, who served as CEO of jcpenney until late 2011. He succeeds Ron Johnson, who is stepping down and leaving the Company."

The stock market appreciated the move, which comes on the same day that JCPenney resumed its courtroom clash with Macy's in Manhattan over rights to field the Martha Stewart product lines that Johnson maintained would be crucial to turning around JCPenney's fortunes.Continue reading...

retail

JCP Tries to Turn the Tide with Markdowns, Chic Home Designers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM

J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue. 

"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.

That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.

“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...

brand partners

Dude Process: PBR, O'Neill Avoid Trademark Scuffle By Partnering

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2013 02:37 PM

Hipsterrific U.S. beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon and surfing powerhouse O’Neill could have had a legal battle, but the chill brands instead decided to pound it out and make some money together. 

O’Neill turned out a new surf look recently that caused someone in the Pabst legal department to give them a call to note that O’Neill was getting a little too close for comfort to the logo for Pabst, which is owned by the enterprising bunch at Metropoulos & Co., the company that just linked up with Apollo Global Management to buy the rights to Twinkies for $410 million.

But instead of a brouhaha, the two companies decided (no doubt over a cold one) to chill out and partner on a co-branded line of clothing.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Reddit Sensation Grumpy Cat Readies for Trademark Battles

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 02:28 PM

You want to make Reddit sensation Grumpy Cat really grumpy? Try using her name on a product without prior authorization.

The owners of the cat that took social media by storm five months ago have filed for a trademark for the name "Grumpy Cat" as well as the cat’s likeness. After all, their little kitty, whose name is actually Tardar Sauce, has since gotten her own website, Facebook fan page, retail space, an appearance on the Today Show and her own commercial for Friskies cat food, according to SmallBizTrends.com.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Headed to Malibu? Don't Forget Your Branded Volleyball

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 11:01 AM

With its most famous resident putting a "For Sale" sign in her front yard, the city of Malibu, California, is looking for new ways to attract tourists and boost income. 

CNBC reports that Malibu has signed a deal with Excel Corp. in order to start “licensing apparel, active wear, and even things like sunglasses, watches, and volleyballs” with the extra money going to “fund special projects.”

The city is forking over $90,000 for Excel to design a logo and find licensees.Continue reading...

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