Fill a profitable design niche.  A common element of all successful licensing programs is good product, which meets an unfulfilled lifestyle niche.  Licensor should bring something special to the table in terms of design, marketing or brand equity.

Increased placement.  License should allow us to open more doors, increase square footage on existing floors, or bring us new customers (Example: a younger demographic or a new channel of distribution).

Support higher prices and margins.  Margins must increase by a minimum of the licensing fee plus 20% to cover extra costs. 

Extend a product life cycle.  Licensed brand should be of an enduring nature which allows us to add products and extend a product life cycle.   

Be consistent with our brand  positioning.  For example, if you stand for fashion leadership, licensed brand should be of a design nature, or its ability to enhance displays.

Have a strong Social Media following. Social media is continuously evolving, and each medium has its own special audience.  The partner must have a strong following, and a contractual agreement and plan to promote the products on an ongoing basis. 

Increase exposure and awareness via PR opportunities and special events.  The licensing agreement and ongoing relationship should generate press coverage and should be noteworthy and newsworthy.  Offer the opportunity for special appearances and specific marketing support for our dealers specifically outlined in the contract.

License should appeal to each of your constituencies.   Interior Designers, Buyers, floor design associates and end consumers.  There needs to be a reason why everyone can get excited by it.

Have a clear value added benefit.  Products with the license should be demonstrably superior to the end user than the product without it.

Generate web traffic  by associating interest in your brands.

Be a logical and believable fit.  Be an easily understandable authentic connection.

Be a promotable concept.  In some way be different and better in a way that can be meaningfully advertised or promoted.  

Licensed brand should be better known than yours.  You are licensing the equity in a brand which has already been built, vs using your marketing dollars to build their brand.

High Quality Partners.  A stable staff of counterparts who are intelligent, creative, available and responsive, who help us to grow our business as a partner.

Assume Design & Inventory Risk.  A new form of co-branding couples the prestige and distribution clout of an endorser brand (Your brand) with a partner brand.  In this instance, the partner designs, manufactures, and holds inventories of products.  When the product is sold, the endorser brand pays a percentage of the selling price to the designer/manufacturer.

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Following is a checklist of the key issues to consider in assessing co-branding & licensing candidates for the your brand.  Licensing agents should come prepared to demonstrate how it's co-brand will fill these requirements.