Iconic food brands seems to have more and more success in licensing industry, especially if they can provide their licensees with a huge iconography with a touch of nostalgia.
Kellogg’s is one of the best examples that perfectly mix those ingredients. That’s why, during the last edition of Brand Licensing Europe, we took the chance to talk with Richard Pink, licensing expert and Managing Director of Pink Key Consulting – the agency that manages the rights of Vintage Kellogg’s – to discover the secret of this success.

Brand Jam: Kellogg’s brand is for sure one of the most iconic food brands around the world. When and why did the Company decide to start a licensing programme?

Richard Pink: The Kellogg licensing programme started in the US over 15 years ago. Pink Key Consulting has been running the Kellogg Vintage programme in Europe for 6 years. The programme allows Kellogg’s to utilise their huge archive into a programme that appeals to anyone who has a sense of nostalgia for the brand. It also means that Kellogg’s have the opportunity to get their brands and characters into retail stores where you wouldn’t normally see them

B.J.: When you started working with Kellogg’s, which was the biggest potential and the biggest challenge you saw in the brand?

R.P.: We started the programme just as the trend for heritage and food brands was at its peak, since then through creative design we’ve been able to expand the programme by using the artwork in a creative way that has kept it fresh and modern. The biggest challenge has always been how to deliver the vast amount of available art in a way that would make sense to the licensees and constantly remind them of what is available

B.J.: From your point of view, which are the product categories that have the biggest business potential for Kellogg’s Vintage and which are the closest for product affinity?

R.P.: Apparel is always a huge category for us because of the amount of usable art and our flexibility in its use, however the biggest business potential seems to be coming from gifting and particularly food gifting as we have had enormous success with this in the UK that I would love to replicate in Europe

B.J.: Could you tell us about the licensing strategy you built-up for expanding Kellogg’s Vintage in non-food categories?

R.P.: We have done it slowly – choosing our categories and licensees very carefully. We don’t’ want to flood the market with product, we like to go for high quality, creative product because this matches the longevity of the brand itself

B.J.: You already achieved several deals. Which had the greatest success in terms of communication and retail reaction?

R.P.: Our most influential deal was undoubtedly the partnership with Anya Hindmarch – the style has heavily influenced other licensees and the media surrounding it was truly astonishing. Within hours of the launch in London it was reported on the fashion pages of the New York Times!

B.J.: Food brands with a strong heritage are gathering more and more attention from the licensing industry. In your opinion, which is the reason behind this success?

R.P.: I think that licensees and retailers are beginning to appreciate that food brands are a huge source of great art that has fantastic awareness and a deep resonance with consumers. They are brands with longevity and are not under some of the timescale restrictions that you find with entertainment brands

B.J.: Which are the tips to successfully manage a food brand?

R.P.: Its all about communication with the brand and all the stakeholders, get a good understanding of what they will and wont allow you to do, but don’t be afraid to challenge as you build the programme

B.J.: You are planning to further expand the licensing programme in other countries? Which are in your opinion the ones with the greatest potential?

R.P.: We’ve done a lot in the UK but in the past year we’ve seen a lot more happening in Europe, we think France, Spain and Italy could be the big places for us in the coming year

B.J.: There are new project upcoming?

R.P.: We’ve just taken on SLUSH PUPPiE which is taking up a lot of time, but we also had a number of very interesting conversations at BLE which we think might give us new brands to work on this year too