A new Brand Jam column from research geek, Gavin Brown, highlighting strategies in innovation and consumer engagement.

This edition highlights a couple of examples of licensors innovating their business model to harness influence and shape affinity for their respective brands.


Playboy White Label

The licensing industry is turning on its head. As well as adapting to a broad shift towards interstitial, campaign-style activation, new opportunities to engage directly with consumers is causing many property owners to question whether licensing is still their most profitable course of action.

On 8 August, Playboy launched Playboy White Label – a new eCommerce platform featuring its first-ever in-house apparel line, with accents provided by the risqué hype brand, Anti Social Social Club. Only a matter of months ago, Playboy was helping its client brand be edgy and remarkable by licensing its imagery.

Now the roles are reversed, promising the publisher sales, margin, and a tangible signal of the brand’s renewed cultural positioning.

Liberty x Richard Quinn

As an institution that mixes retail with fabric wholesaling and art licensing, Liberty of London has a long history as both a giver and receiver of creativity.

In a climate where many other historic, high-genre labels are regenerating their archives for contemporary tastes, Liberty’s launch of an on-going collaboration with ascendant designer, Richard Quinn, via a collection of thirty-four accessories was dramatic and impactful.

Juxtaposed prints, big logos, light subversion and avant-garde presentation… how better to remind the market of a venerated institution’s continued relevance?