Marketing: Brands expand their horizons: Companies are cashing in by extending their famous trademarks to different products

FAMILIAR trademarks are now appearing on an unusual range of products, from Pepsi-Cola clothes to Camel watches and Cadbury jewellery. As companies seek to generate additional revenue and increase awareness of their brands, so corporate licensing is becoming big business.

A number of British organisations have developed licensing programmes. The Club (formerly Club 18-30), which specialises in holidays for young people, recently launched a range of branded clothes created by the fashion company Joe Bloggs.

Meanwhile, Pepsi-Cola has unveiled fashion ranges developed with another manufacturer, Smith & Brooks. Their product, Pepsi Max-wear, cashes in on 1950s Americana. A different Pepsi-Cola range features the 'Done It, Loved it' theme from the company's current advertising campaign.

JCB, the British construction equipment company, is also developing branded goods outside its core activities. And in the US, Caterpillar is as well known for its rugged fashion boots as its construction vehicles.

Anthony Temple, joint managing director of Design Rights International (DRI), believes corporate licensing is poised for take-off in Britain. tremendous growth. It is already big business in the US, where many companies have long licensed their trademarks and brand names for products outside their core areas, he says.

In the US, the companies behind the Millers, Coors and Budweiser beers all have comprehensive licensing programmes. Coors Brewing Company says its beer brands 'have come to symbolise the heritage of the American West, romance and the natural splendour associated with the Rocky Mountains'. Many American companies are now looking for brand opportunities in Europe.

Sales of licensed merchandise in the US last year amounted to dollars 66.6bn ( pounds 44.4bn), of which 19 per cent was down to trademark and brand licensing, according to EPM Communications, which collects figures for the industry. Trademark licensing in the US continues to grow more rapidly than other sectors of the business, and a similar pattern is developing in Europe, although accurate UK sales figures are not available.

'In many respects, corporate licensing in this country lags a long way behind the US, where licensing is a common and regular way of developing activities beyond a company's core business,' says Mr Temple. However, he adds: 'There is undoubtedly great interest in the potential for developing corporate licensing here.'

Clothes are a potentially promising area for brands whose advertising promotes a 'high life' image. Marlboro markets a Marlboro Classic range of outdoor wear which, says its advertising, 'fits the man'. Meanwhile, Cadillac has a big licensing programme in the US, which is being exported to the UK by DRI. Mr Temple explains that the focus will be on California beach life in the 1950s and 1960s, with products that include stationery and clothing.

Nostalgia is also an important element in the licensing activities developed by Cadbury, which has changed its strategy.

'At one time, the Cadbury trademark could be found on mashed potato, savoury snacks and canned meat products - but not any more,' says Chris Wood, managing director of CLK, the brand development company. Cadbury is now focusing on the core brand values for a range of products that includes greetings cards and limited-edition prints, while franchising its name for other food and drink products.

Jackie McAllister, international franchise manager for the company, says: 'We are getting more involved in this area than previously, and with growing interest in the Cadbury brand name, we realise we have a powerful property. This comes down to the Cadbury brand name heritage, as well as individual brands and the characters (from advertising campaigns) associated with different products.'

Companies get involved in corporate licensing for a variety of reasons. Some do it purely to make money, some to alter or update their corporate image, and some - notably tobacco companies - to protect themselves from any future restrictions on advertising and sponsorship.

'Licensing into other areas undoubtedly has the effect of subliminal advertising and promotion,' says Mr Temple. Corporate licensing can generate interest in a company's core business through exposure in markets for other products. But activities must be controlled carefully.

'Traditionally, people look at this as a licence to print money; it's not,' says Mr Wood.

Companies should take care to protect trademarks when they diversify. They must ensure they understand the nature of the trademark - both its strengths and weaknesses - and have a clear idea of what they want a licensing programme to achieve. 'It's surprising how many companies don't do this,' adds Mr Wood.

A corporate licenser must also be able to prove that the association between trademark and product can generate added value and promote a consumer purchase.

Businesses also need to understand that even if they succeed, corporate licensing offers no fast returns. ''Normally a company will share with the licensee the cost of building the brand through marketing,' Mr Wood warns. 'These associations should be viewed as genuine joint ventures, and so often require joint funding.'

As companies become aware of the potential in this field, they are keen to seek ways to capitalise on their brand names. But time will tell how many expanding British trademarks have the potency of a Cadbury, Camel or Caterpillar.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
tvMark Wright and Bianca Miller fight for Lord Sugar's investment
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick