The Licensing Blog

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What’s in a logo?

logosNews from not one but two major organizations that they’ve redesigned their logos. I’m wondering what it all means.

First is SURTEX, which has overhauled its brand image to “confirms its leadership role in the cutting-edge world of art and design licensing.” To that end, they’ve updated their logo, website and marketing campaign. They call it “a moxie makeover, reflecting the very industry that SURTEX fosters: the hip, fast-paced world of commercially-successful art and design.”

Next is JPMA, which has redesigned its certification seal for the first time since it was introduced in 1976. According to the press release, “it was important to keep the familiarity but create an improved, updated and more modern version of the current seal. The new logo accomplishes this goal while keeping up with the demands of the industry and today’s parents,” and said the colors and shape ensure “continual product label placement.”

We work in the business of branding, so we understand how important it is. We remember the Tropicana debacle. Mostly we just like looking at new logos, though.

Taylor Swift Is Unstoppable

On the heels of the news that JAKKS Pacific is expanding its Taylor Swift line of dolls, fashions and playsets for 2010, it’s time to stop and acknowledge one fact: Taylor Swift cannot be stopped. At the ripe old age of 20, she outsold every other musical act in the United States in 2008; her embrace of MySpace pretty much changed the online music medium; and on top of that, she hosted what was almost universally acclaimed as the best Saturday Night Live of the year.

The best way to describe this is that Taylor Swift has “it.” The “it” is a combination of intelligence, empathy humility and grace that has nothing to do with age. Most people learn to balance these things at a high level as they get older, and a lot of musicians Swift’s age have rough, fairly predictable adjustment periods to fame. Swift seems completely beyond all this: she knows who she is, and she has no problem moving ahead. She may not have an alter ego like Miley—but she doesn’t need one, either.

Cyber Monday Sales Up 14%?

CNN Money is reporting that Cyber Monday sales were up 14% from last year, which is a good sign for the economy—though how good is unclear the moment. With total Black Friday and Saturday sales up .9%, according to ShopperTrek (via the Chicago Tribune), the 14% jump in online purchases certainly shows that sales are high enough not to cause too much of a panic, in the industry as a whole. The question is how much of the online shopping has permanently replaced in-store shopping. Were Black Friday sales up .5% because the economy was bad, or because people preferred to shop online? This is one of those cases where we’ll know more next year. If in-store shopping returns to a healthier rate of growth (at least 3%, and that’s modest) and online shopping continues to grow at around 14%, it’s a sign that the main factor was the economy. But if online shopping grows by less than 14% (within a few points) next year, we can be sure that people used Cyber Monday to replace Black Friday, not supplement it.

Make no mistake, though—this is good news.

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