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Asian Licensing Conference underway in Hong Kong

The Asian Licensing Conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is being held this week. 

The event, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), focuses on the latest market trends and opportunities in the region through the lens of some of the industry’s top licensees and project owners. 

The 18th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show and the ninth Asian Licensing Conference opened on Monday, discussing the latest market trends and sharing licensing success stories.

“As an increasing number of businesses explore licensing as a way to move up the value chain, Hong Kong will have a key role to play in facilitating the growth of the industry,” said Margaret Fong, executive director at HKTDC.

The first session, Asian Licensing Market Outlook, featured Lisa Reiner, Beanstalk MD in Europe & Asia Pacific, who offered three key points of advice for brand owners: be open to products that are relevant to local consumers; be active in protecting trademarks; and be willing to explore other routes to consumers, such as e-commerce and multiple distributor networks.

During the event, VP of Asia Pacific and Middle East at National Geographic, Mark Coleman and Claire Gilchrist, VP in Asia Pacific of Hasbro Consumer Products discussed how brand stories can provoke consumer interest. 

At the second plenary session of the Asian Licensing Conference, several enterprises shared their licensing success stories, including Royal Selangor Marketing, a Malaysian company with a 135-year history that specialises in quality pewter.

Robert Goodchild, head of licensing at Aardman Animations, said: “We work with many brands all over the world and it is all about bringing colour and character to campaigns. By bringing character to a campaign we can reach new audiences and build commercially successful partnerships.”

Aardman collaborated with premium British lifestyle brand Joules last Christmas, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of both Joules and Aardman’s hugely popular Wallace & Gromit animation. Aardman also created a bespoke photoshoot with British retailer Harvey Nichols, and used its characters and humour to bring a lifestyle brand to life in a collaboration with British sofa brand DFS, emphasising the fact that both brands produce everything in the UK.

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