Licensed merchandise refers to any situation where a company licenses another company's protected imagery or trade dress (e.g., logos, cartoon characters, color systems) to appear on or with the licensor's offerings. The licensed elements typically provide no performance benefit, but are purely decorative or aesthetic in nature.
The relationship with traditional target audiences can be strengthened with the addition of licensed trademark elements (e.g., Disney® characters, the NASCAR™ logo) by leveraging their equity and related loyalty in connection with the host product.
In addition, licensed merchandise can target specific audiences, pique interest and appeal to various groups that otherwise might not be considered a target market, but could influence purchase decisions.
For example, Scotch® Transparent Tape with Disney® characters can attract children. Children are not the primary target market for purchasing tape, but they would now influence the purchase decision.
- The licensed elements may either be dominant or subordinate to the 3M identity or host product. This choice is dependent on the licensed brand's policy or brand strategy, as well as 3M's intent for licensing the trademark.
- It must be clear who is the manufacturer of the product.
- Licensing agreement and design standards are required.