NEW YORK, NY: June 15, 2016—Here are some of the questions I’ll be thinking about as I walk Licensing Expo in Las Vegas next week:

  1. How will Disney replace the incredible revenue stream that Star Wars, Marvel, and Frozen merchandise have generated in the past three years? (Notes: If historic trends hold, the second Star Wars film in the current series is not likely to generate the same merchandise sales as the first. As for Marvel, superheroes are cycling out in a natural pattern. It will be another generation before that genre is ripe for the next go-round. Superheroes won’t disappear, but they won’t have the same impact on merchandise sales for a while.)
  2. Which new digital celebrities or other properties will still be popular when their licensing programs hit retail?
  3. Which ones that were hits last year are having an impact now?
  4. What are the success factors for digital properties vs. those that emerge from traditional media? Toys? Brands? Art? Sports? Fashion?
  5. Will more niche properties get a foothold, thanks to the fragmented media and retail environments? Or is “the long tail” a mirage?
  6. Does the celebrity-based capsule collection trend have legs? (I expect to see more and more of these. Good differentiators for retail, and good testing ground for broader programs.)
  7. Which agencies will raise the capital to acquire brands (or stakes in brands) of their own, reversing the business model of Iconix, Authentic, Sequential and the not-so-little engine that does…PVH?
  8. What would brand ownership do to the agency business model, which is already under pressure to add services outside their core expertise, not to mention to compete for consulting revenue by representing manufacturers?
  9. Speaking of Iconix/Authentic/Sequential: Is that business model viable long-term (again, works for PVH, which has been at it for years)? Where are the fault lines, doubters?

And my questions for you:

Need competitive research for your licensing program? Looking to benchmark against comparable brands, products, or properties? Seeking valuations for banks or legal proceedings? I can help. Email me at and we can set a time to meet Monday (the day before Licensing Expo), Tuesday or Wednesday morning in Vegas.

Need to educate new employees or upper management about licensing? I’m teaming with licensing consultant Karen Raugust to offer executive briefings and training workshops for corporations and other organizations involved in licensing. Content is customized to suit your needs. Visit for details, or contact me as above to set up a meeting at the show (or after).

Want to know how to work with licensing agents and consultants? Attend the LIMA-sponsored Licensing University session I’m moderating with Gary Caplan (Gary Caplan, Inc.), Carole Postal (CopCorp and Knockout Licensing), and Ilana Wilensky (Jewel Branding & Licensing). The session is Tuesday, June 21, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Tradewinds F at the Mandalay Convention Center. (Registration required.)

Or just be in touch so we can say hello, clink waters in the hall, and you can let me know what your questions are!

Have a great show — and watch this space for my reports from the floor.