Our recent visit to BLE (Brands Licensing Europe) was a bit like falling down the rabbit hole… It was decidedly odd and full of quirky characters. We were interested in meeting our clients, seeing what was new and generally soaking up the fun.
It was great to see so many IPs from around the world in one venue – the scale of the merchandise, broadcast and themed entertainment opportunities were vast. With so many different IP’s how do you create a partnership that works for both brands? In this blog we want to give you some help in choosing the right IP for your leisure attraction.
Here’s our top tips to a brilliant IP partnership
- Question your strategy. Is an IP partnership the right way to go? Does your venue need one, or just a super-strong brand presence of its own? Some sectors work really well with an IP, like a theme park, whereas others may have a different agenda, like a gallery or museum.
- Educate yourself. Which IP’s are desirable to your target audience? Which ones are upcoming vs. established? Who owns them? What other licensing deals are they committed to? How much is it going to cost your business and what is your expected ROI?
- Stay open-minded. A new IP might be a great bet if you want to create an edge, or re-introducing a traditional IP might be perfect if you have a nostalgic attraction.
- Recognise that it is a partnership. This means its an exchange of value for both parties. Find a business you can work well with.
- Define the requirements. What is expected of you? In terms of investment, marketing, brand rules, timings etc? The IP will be strict, that’s what makes it desirable, so don’t think you can cut corners!
- Not now doesn’t mean not ever. If an IP relationship is not right, how could you explore this for the future? Maybe look at a pop-up event or trial campaign.
- Build a great relationship. Your IP is looking for a return too. Make sure you carefully maintain the relationship so you have options at the end of your deal term.
- Collaborate with experienced design partners who can bring the IP to life. Obviously, we are one of them, but working with a design team used to navigating the operator/IP relationship is a must, it saves time and money and delivers outstanding results.
- Maximise the reach of your new IP. Ensure it takes the lead in your marketing and in your guest flow around the site. How and when do you launch for maximum impact?
- Research the success. Has it worked? How do you know? What are your measures? What does your core target audience think? Has it extended your reach? How can you improve on this?
Taking on an IP relationship is not just a gimmick or quick fix. Like any business strategy, it requires commitment and hard work. It may seem just like fun but it is a real business strategy, treat it like one and you will succeed.
If you have a leisure attraction, if you are thinking of working with an IP, or creating one, then talk to us to see how we can help.
About the author: Kelly is the Strategy & Development Director at Katapult – A Creative England, Top 50 Company that creates physical and digital guest experiences that amaze and engage your visitors.