June 24, 2016
Be your own Harry Potter
By: Cherie Oswald

Launching a new product into the marketplace is fraught with many risks and unknowns. Yet, to be competitive, successful companies must continually evolve their products and their brands. Sometimes this evolution involves completely new markets, where the brand’s unique characteristics add value, but the brand owner has no expertise. A licensing arrangement is often the best solution in this situation.

Consider the Harry Potter book series. J. K. Rowling licensed the Harry Potter book series to Warner Brothers Studios. In that negotiation in 1999, Warner Brothers received movie, merchandise, and other rights to the Harry Potter stories. However, Rowling did not give Warner rights to the characters; they were restricted to the stories themselves, so Warner would not be able to change any of the stories or create new stories for themselves. Because it was such a large franchise, and the brand had so many possible applications, Warner sublicensed to toy manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel, candy manufacturers like Jelly Belly, and theme park builders like Universal Studios. Between movies and merchandise alone, Harry Potter has racked up over $15 billion in sales.

Do you want to be your own Harry Potter? For this, you need to know the nuances of pursuing a licensing strategy. You need to be able to determine if a brand is appropriate for a particular licensing opportunity, identify how to pursue a licensing strategy, compare the goals and motivations of licensors and licensees, and identify ways to negotiate licensing contracts.

For J. K. Rowling, protecting her brand by insisting that none of her storylines could be altered proved to be an extraordinarily important decision that actually made the franchise even more valuable.

How ready would you be if your company wanted to evaluate a licensing strategy? Do you want to propose a licensing strategy? The Accenture Academy courses Finance’s Role in Assessing a Product’s Licensing Potential, Ways to Pursue a Licensing Strategy, Goals of Licensors versus Licensees in Brand Licensing, and Negotiating Licensing Contracts will demonstrate significant facts about how licensing works, helping you become knowledgeable about a new strategy that could add economic value to your company’s portfolio and increase your shareholders’ value.

About Accenture Academy

Accenture Academy offers proven, cost-effective learning solutions for a more versatile workforce and a more agile organization. We provide a flexible learning approach that helps your people be more versatile and your entire organization be more agile in the marketplace. Curriculum includes Supply Chain Management, Finance, Procurement, Analytics, Leadership & Management and Specialty Skills.


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