Money and Success

AMBITION Is Not A Dirty Word

Dr. Debra Condren

AMBITION Is Not A Dirty Word – LICENSE UP: The Ins and Outs of Licensing Your Sexy Brand

One night in an Aspen ski house Icebreaker Entertainment President & Founder Christi Scofield realized she was bored with traditional board games and decided to make up her own. That night the idea for a new company was born. What started out as a company that created and sold one board game has become a multi-faceted consumer products company with products ranging from t-shirts to books, school supplies, greeting cards, iPhone apps, board games, beauty supplies and more. Christi was putting together her business plan and getting ready for game production when she met Ted, her future husband, a Southern gentleman charmer who also happened to be a rockin’ attorney and biz dev pro. It wasn’t long before Ted was on board and they became the Icebreaker Entertainment team. The first game, Sexy Slang was a hit! Soon they had a popular brand, hot-selling products and great slogans. Fans were asking, “Where can we get stuff with your message on it?!” They think, “Time to put our cool catchphrases on t-shirts, notebooks, beverage coolers, and novelty lighters. A mind-bending slew of conundrums ensued: “Do we manufacture products ourselves and put our slogans on them?” “But multiple t-shirt styles come in five different sizes and ten different colors, so doing it ourselves means going from a two- to a several-hundred-products company. Now what? Is licensing the answer? What the heck is licensing anyway?” Tune in as I talk with Christie and Ted about what to do when you realize that if your designs and slogans work and sell well on t-shirts, they’re going to work well on any number of other products. But you don’t know anything about the apparel or magnet or coffee mug or beauty products businesses. You’re not manufacturers, you don’t have warehouse space, you don’t have manufacturers making those products. Still, your fans love your “sexy slogans” and want them on their stuff, so how can you extend your brand – and give your customers what they want? What are the pros and cons of licensing? How do you build a platform? Fend off naysayers? Get an agent? What are the challenges of international expansion? If licensing is the answer, what do you do first? Today’s show is a sexy primer on the ins and outs of licensing.