Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. To that end we’re happy to answer your marketing questions. Today we hear from Kate, a business reporter for National Public Radio in Rochester, New York who asks this on brand licensing strategy…
“Kodak cameras and related products will be back in the marketplace this year, but they won’t be made by Kodak. The photo pioneer stopped making digital cameras about a year ago. Now it is licensing its brand name to another camera maker. Please answer a few brand licensing questions for me.”
1. What if any concern should Kodak have in licensing their brand?
As with all brand owners, Kodak should be aware that JK Imaging or any other licensee will have certain rights to the Kodak brand and through their licensing relationship, JK Imaging could adversely impact Kodak brand equity. This could result from the sale of poor quality products, the sale of the Kodak licensed products in an unauthorized channel or region, or from not ensuring the manufacturing facility used by JK Imaging complies with safe international working standards. To mitigate this risk, Kodak should have first vetted JK Imaging through a rigorous due diligence process to ensure JK Imaging can deliver against the Kodak brand promise in all products they manufacture. Second, Kodak should ensure they have a thorough approval and auditing process to affirm that all products sold in the marketplace meet their standards and that all facilities are compliant with government and trade guidelines. By picking a best in class brand licensee, Kodak will continue to reinforce their brand equities as they engage with
consumers across all channels and regions where the brand is licensed.
2. What is the implication for the Kodak brand that, despite financial difficulties, was able to license it to JK Imaging LTD?
The fact that Kodak was able to license their brand name on various digital cameras, pocket video cameras and portable projectors says to the marketplace that the Kodak brand is still strong and that consumers have a preference for Kodak branded products. This should bear well for Kodak in the future as they look to license their brand in other categories. Moreover, the continuity of selling Kodak branded products in the licensed categories gives Kodak the ability to take those categories back in-house in the future without having to reintroduce the brand.
Thanks for your question Kate, we wish you much success with your story and Kodak much success with its brand licensing program.
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