To Be or Not To Be... Evergreen?
Every year at Licensing Show, I walk the aisles of the Mandalay Convention Center and marvel at the multitude of brands on display. As we prepared to launch three new promotional programs for Crayola last week, I started to think about the power of the brand versus the many that I saw this year (but might not see in the future). Crayola has been around for over 113 years. It is truly the definition of an evergreen brand.
Many potential partners ask us what new and exciting things are planned for the brand and while we are consistently introducing new products, I personally think what is exciting about the brand is that there are no surprises. When you license the Crayola brand, you pretty much know what you are getting – a safe, top-quality product and a mom-approved, kid-loved brand association. No, we might not do $135MM in opening weekend box office like Finding Dory, but I can assure you that no matter what retailer you visit in August, Crayola will greet you at the door. Compare this with some of the “hot, new” brands that have come and gone over the years.
When I was young, Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage, so in demand that parents were hurting one another to obtain one for their child. Thirteen years ago, when I started calendar planning for Burger King, it was thought that Shrek would be popular forever. Yet, the latest film in the franchise was clearly a disappointment and IMDB shows no indication of a final chapter…
And while all indicators point to Trolls being a HUGE hit this November, one can never predict how movie-goers are going to respond until after opening weekend. Just look at The Good Dinosaur, Pixar’s first box office flop! Which brings me back to my original question. Is it better to “borrow” the power of an evergreen brand or take a risk on something new, exciting and with potentially large upside? Personally, I am a proponent of the idea that strong and steady wins the race, but perhaps you disagree.