Brandar Consulting, LLC

  • Coffee's For Closers

    Summer’s almost over. Soon Fall wiil be in full swing so it is time to work our butts off again. People laugh at me, but I always say the busiest time in the US service economy always seems to be from Labor Weekend to Thanksgiving and from January 2nd to Memorial Day Weekend. It is really those 8 months out of the year that drive most of our productivity. Well now that I am about to be in the stretch run of busy mode again, I thought I would make another post of this year. It has to do with following up my Be A Closer Post.

    As a corporate licensing professional, you can be the best closer in the world, but if you are not in the right place organizationally in your company, you have only a small chance of success. If you have ever seen the movie Glengary Glen Ross, you will remember the infamous line from the all-time classic 5 minute cameo of Alec Baldwin: “Coffee’s for Closers Only.” You can click on the link if you have not seen it; I warn you it has some very graphic language. Why do I bring this harsh scene up, well Alec Baldwin waltzes into a realtor’s sales office and says he is from the “downtown office” and he is firing all the sales agents in one week, denying them access to the best leads and to even a cup of coffee until they start closing deals. The sad reality of this movie is that this sales office is set up to fail because they are not aligned well with the downtown office. And this is the parallel that I can draw to your Corporate Brand Licensing Function. If you are a Director of Brand Licensing and setting up a new licensing function, you need to make sure your new organization is aligned in the best possible corporate department for success.

    You need to take time to survey your company at the very start-up of your function and think about where your licensing organization will have the strongest support and air cover to succeed. Without it, you are doomed to fail before you even have your first prospective licensee meeting. Why do I say this, well because when you engage in brand licensing you are licensing your company’s most valuable asset. And while Brand Licensing done well can be a great brand building tool; Licensing done poorly can damage your brand badly. (See post “Why Good Brand Licensors Sleep at Night”) And people in your company will have a tendency to focus on the brand risks much more than the brand rewards, particularly if the rewards are not flowing back to them directly.

    So how do you figure out where the best organization is for Brand Licensing to report to? Survey your company and pinpoint the organization that will be most threatened by your licensing function. It could be the area where your licensing deals will have the most overlap in the marketplace, or the area where most of the brand equity has been created that you are trading off of. Another possible landing spot could also be an organization that is already charged with managing your Brand companywide, trace back where that group reports to. Typically, you would want to align brand licensing with the senior most levels possible in your company so you have the air cover you will need. It is also at those levels where the decision authority will exist to actually sign a licensing deal for your company.

    And THAT is really the hardest part of closing Corporate Brand Licensing deals: getting your Senior Management to “sign on the line which is dotted.” More on that next time…

    Mike Slusar

    Managing Director & Owner

    Brandar Consulting, LLC

    “Helping Brands Reach for The Stars”


    copyright © 2014 Brandar Consulting, LLC All Rights Reserved


Best Practices in Brand Licensing Blog

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Our Blog is intended to provide Licensors with unique insights about successfully managing a Corporate Brand Licensing Program. It is written from the perspective of someone who managed AT&T's Brand Licensing program for many years and has consulted in the Licensing Industry for the past 5 years.

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