3 strategies for licensing a cartoon character

On Behalf of | May 15, 2021 | Licensing |

For well over a century, business owners have used cartoons to sell products and services to customers. This approach makes sense, as cartoon characters are memorable and help a business stand out from the competition. Of course, unless a character is part of the business’s intellectual property, the business owner typically must secure a license.

Licensing world-famous cartoon characters is prohibitively expensive for many business owners. Likewise, some owners of popular characters simply do not want to license them for commercial purposes. When a business needs to license a character for a marketing campaign, three strategies may be helpful.

1. Prioritize the look of the character

While it may be tempting to try to piggyback on the fame of a television or movie character, these characters may not be effective for business growth. Savvy business leaders prioritize the overall look of the character over its existing popularity. Ultimately, before licensing a character, business owners should be certain it enhances the company’s brand and complements the product or service.

2. Find a new artist

Just as licensing famous characters can be expensive, doing so may also dilute the uniqueness of a business. That is, if a business owner licenses the same cartoon that many others have licensed, it may be difficult for consumers to link the character to the business. While new artists often have compelling character designs, they may also agree to license their cartoons for a fraction of the cost of in-demand artists.

3. Understand customer demographics

Sometimes, business executives put the cart in front of the horse by licensing a character without understanding customer demographics. Cartoons that appeal to children may not appeal to young adults or seniors, however. Spending some time analyzing the market may help business owners license the character that provides the most benefit to the bottom line.

While businesses often achieve great success with using characters to market their products or servicing, licensing is critical. After choosing the right cartoon character for the business, negotiating a licensing agreement that protects the venture’s interests is equally important.

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