Even if your company has an in-house licensing director or staff, there are several reasons to hire a licensing agency to develop and manage your licensing portfolio.
Experience and Expertise
An agency immediately delivers the benefits of a full staff of experienced licensing professionals, individuals capable of supporting every aspect of the licensing program with years of specialized industry knowledge and extensive market contacts. An agency will often also have greater leverage over licensees and better, long-term working relationships with them.
An agency knows who to call to meet your program goals. If it is an innovative product or a quality manufacturer for an existing product that is needed, an agency will have some good ideas of who to call to find the right partner. If it is a strong distributor for a new idea that is needed, an agency will know what some of the strongest players are looking for either to meet their own strategic goals or to meet a need of a retailer. Knowing where to start in relationship development is more than half the battle.
Using all the strengths of an agency is less expensive than building an equally strong in-house licensing department. Because support needs will vary over time, an agency’s support can scale up or down as the job requires, supporting the brand’s strategic licensing goals rather than an internal budget.
An agency does one thing and one thing only – build successful partnerships, primarily through licensing. Its employees are not distracted by other corporate agendas or goals but instead bring an independent perspective to support strategic portfolio development. Such focus can also faster speed to market with new products and stronger and more profitable contracts.
An agency can advise on key deal elements that can make the difference between a good idea and a great financial return for all parties. For instance, ensuring the right due diligence is performed, particularly on start up companies and newly capitalized initiatives, can improve licensors’ chances of realizing the full economic value of the licensing deal. Knowing how to negotiate the right ranges for royalties among specialized product categories gives the licensor an advantage in capturing the long-term return.