One of IMC’s most deliciously licensed products is Kellogg’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory cereal. The coco-brown box features the names of both companies, marking it as a co-branded product. While the concept of partnering with others is deceptively simple from an outside perspective, there is a lot of complex work that goes on behind the scenes before any licensed product is offered to consumers in stores.
It is this work that makes agencies like IMC so necessary. The reason these agencies exist is because relationships between companies are difficult to create, and even more difficult to maintain. It can be a challenge to know which category it would be the best to expand into, and, beyond that, which companies within those fields are trustworthy and would have their same ideals and goals.
It is true that its possible for companies to seek out partnerships on their own. Hypothetically, a representative from Kellogg’s could have called a representative at RMCF, offered to start a partnership, and created a successful strategy. However, that Kellogg’s representative would first have had to do extensive research on multiple different companies, and work their way through corporate bureaucracies to find the decision makers. They would then have to make calls and offers to many of them who would not be interested, and waste a large amount of Kellogg’s money and time before a company would respond with an offer.
Licensing agencies like IMC have years of expertise in navigating these waters. They are connected to numerous companies, and are well versed in their ideals and practices. They know how to directly contact influencers and decision makers who are able to make deals happen. They can provide insight into market trends, trademark legalities, and strategies. Essentially, IMC can complete the process of finding a partner and creating a business plan with them with far more efficiency than two companies acting on their own.
Once the initial contact and business plan are created, the licensing savvy of an agency is even more essential, particularly for companies who have never licensed a product before. IMC provides benchmarks for royalties and deadlines in order to ensure that a deal is fair and profitable for all parties.
If their job is done correctly, the average consumer will have no idea of the work of the licensing agency. The companies which they worked with will have seamlessly come together in the form of a new product they see in the stores. However, those in the industry recognize the importance of utilizing licensing agencies in order to bring out the full potential in their brand, and create the best possible results. In the case of these particular companies, the best possible results are a cereal baring the trusted name of Kellogg’s and the chocolate equity of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Deepest gratitude to author and summer intern, Eliza Coleman, who is on her way to great things at GWU this fall!