CES Day Three: Companies Fine-Tune Licensing Brand Strategies
Pantone, Sketchers, U.S. Army Take on CE Market
Brands not traditionally in the electronics business were on the CES floor via their licensees.
ESI Cases and Accessories will launch Pantone headphones/earbuds in March in pink peacock, aspen gold and living coral and update the line every six months with new colors, says the company’s Mark Weinberger. The company also plans to market wireless headphones under the Skechers brand that incorporate the brand’s hallmark memory foam; the line will also include a wireless speaker and earbuds, and initially be sold through Skechers stores and online.
CJ Global showed camouflage-designed U.S. Army gaming headphones, backpacks and rifle cases, as well as a storage product designed for all-terrain quad vehicles.
“With so much competition in the electronics space, having a brand that potentially gets you front of a new customer is absolutely critical these days,” says CJ Global’s Coby Cohen, whose company also fields Corona products, including new beer can and bottle products featuring three-speakers that were introduced at CES.
Hisense Sorts Out Brand Strategies
Hisense, having settled its licensing dispute with Sharp Electronics, will focus on its own and licensed Toshiba brands, the latter for markets outside the U.S., a company spokesman said.
Hisense will “continue to honor” a licensing agreement with Sharp that expires in 2020, said the Hisense spokesman, declining to disclose details. Hisense signed a license with Sharp in 2015. But Sharp sued Hisense in 2017, alleging the company “cut corners” on Sharp-branded LCD TVs and failed to meet the quality required under the license. Hisense demonstrated new 4K TVs at CES, including a 100-inch laser-based model.
Hisense purchased Toshiba’s TV Division in 2017 and signed a 40-year licensing agreement for the brand. The company is selling Toshiba TVs in Europe and Southeast Asia. Compal Electronics has the rights for U.S. rights for Toshiba TVs via a 2015 deal.
Electrolux Readies Frigidaire Licensing Plans
Electrolux is readying new plans for its Frigidaire brand, including its first licensing for kitchen electrics, says Electrolux’s Ciaran Coyle. Curtis International, which already has a license for Frigidaire mini-refrigerators, will ship a collection of products (pizza and panini makers and other items) that will supplement Electrolux’s core Frigidaire toasters, blenders and mixers. Curtis also is developing a retro line of Frigidaire kitchen electrics.
Meanwhile, Comfort Home USA will ship Frigidaire ceramic and oscillating heaters and one-gallon humidifiers, replacing products it had previously sold under the Sharper Image label, says Comfort’s Howard Green. While Frigidaire’s history as a refrigeration brand might appear to be at odds with heaters, the brand carries weight with consumers, says Green. “Consumers walk in knowing the name and it is more associated with quality than anything else,” says Green.
Craig Electronics Readies Dual Strategy with Magnavox Brand
Craig Electronics is deploying a dual strategy in pairing the licensed Magnavox brand with its own label for audio accessories (wireless speakers, headphones, ear buds) and dropping previous plans to totally shift the business to Magnavox, says Craig’s Jerry Simons. The two-pronged approach was adopted after Craig found continued loyalty for its own brand, largely with consumers age 40 and up, says Simon. As a result, in a new retail display for developed for CVS, Magnavox ear buds and headphones are in brightly colored packaging labeled “snug fit,” “shuffle+” and “SportsMax” and aimed at younger consumers, while the Craig label is applied to portable DVD and cassette players, says Simon. “There was just a lot brand loyalty” for the Craig label “that we underestimated,” says Simon.
CJ Global, Coby Cohen, CEO, 646-415-9056, email@example.com
Comfort Home USA, Howard Green, VP Sales, 732-692-5154, firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Electronics, Jerry Simons, VP, 305-622-9505, email@example.com
Electrolux, Ciaran Coyle, Global VP and Global Head Brand Licensing. 980-236-2829, Ciaran.firstname.lastname@example.org
ESI Cases and Accessories, Mark Weinberger, VP Licensing and Business Development, 973-586-0055, email@example.com