Why This Entrepreneur Is Betting High On Brand Licensing
"When it comes to the gender, girls have a better aesthetic sense than boys."
The brand licensing industry is so young in India, that you can literally count the number of players involved in the industry. And as pointed out during a recent India Licensing Expo, the industry is also guilty of restricting itself to the kid's domain.
Bhavik Vora, the Founder of Black White Orange, is among the few who have inched up from the kid's segment while sticking to the entertainment vertical as his core industry. He is busy creating experiences. In a conversation with Entrepreneur Media, Vora shares his brand licensing strategy for Universal Studios along with why Bollywood branding is yet to pick up.
When Bhavik Vora founded Black White Orange in 2015, one of his vision was to do something for the Licensing Industry. He believes that the domestic industry has limited itself to kids segment. With one-third of the country population below the 20s and 60% of the population below 35, Vora is eying a huge potential in the youth-cum-adult segment.
Explaining his bullishness, Vora says, “The advantage with the youth and the adults is that they will be spending their own money, unlike the kids. Additionally, with retail growing and moving towards online market space, taping youth-segment is a better model than just kids.”
Black White Orange’s portfolio includes a perfect mix for the kids and adult segment. They have the licensing rights for Game Of Thrones, Bahubali, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Emoji, and certain movies under Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures Company, and Dream Works.
Walking us through his Universal Studio’s strategy, Vora shares his agency is planning to set up a Universal Experience Space in the retail segment. “Instead of working on their movies, we wanted to create brand Universal and fit in as many properties as we can. So today, if Minions is getting released and tomorrow, when Jurassic Park will be released, we can change our priorities with the movies.
However, Vora stresses on improving the reputation of your company as the brands are more interested in your credibility than your scale.
Hollywood V/S Bollywood
Drawing a key difference between Hollywood and Bollywood, Vora points out that unlike the later which has a fixed schedule, the local film industry doesn’t meet its own deadlines. Furthermore, the Indian film industry considers merchandising a marketing strategy to promote.
Another problem with Bollywood-related licensing is rights. In case of franchise movies, there is high chance that each movie’s rights are held by different producers.
Giving an example of the recent blockbuster – Bahubali, he says, “We worked on the movie’s merchandise for more than one and half year. Ultimately, if you are expecting your customer, be a fan or non-fan, to pay INR 800-900 for a t-shirt then it has to look good.”
The founder, who has worked in the licensing industry for more than a decade and has worked with giants like Viacom 18 and Cartoon Network, feels consumer today have a great aesthetic sense.“When it comes to the gender, girls have a better aesthetic sense than boys. If a boy likes a character, how good or bad the product is – he will buy it. But girls do not negotiate,” he concludes.
I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.