This week Flowhaven took over New York City, hosting its inaugural U.S. Morning Meetup and attending Salesforce World Tour New York. New York City is an important hub for the licensing community, serving several of the industry’s leading agencies, brand owners, manufacturers and many of the country’s leading media companies. The city’s importance made it the perfect place for Flowhaven to test the pulse of the industry with the help of the brightest minds in the business.
Ten licensing professionals joined us at The Terrace at Yotel for an intimate breakfast event to celebrate and discuss the changes taking place in the licensing industry. Our attendees came from a variety of backgrounds including publishing, fashion, sales and law, among others. In addition to career diversity, the group ranged in age, offering unique insight into the industry’s past and where both senior and junior professionals would like it to go.
Below, find highlights from our Morning Meetup and our important takeaways from Salesforce World Tour NY:
Our trailblazing CEO Kalle Törmä opened the event by recapping Flowhaven’s rapid growth over the last year. The audience was reminded that since 2018, Flowhaven has grown to include nearly 20 employees and has established offices in Finland and the U.S. The company has also become a key player in the development of the Nordic licensing industry. “When I began using Salesforce, I thought what a great idea it would be to have something that was licensing specifically, that would help management, the creative folks and more to get the best value out of licensing,” said Törmä.
The importance of transparency
Transparency was the word of the day. “It feels like in the age we are living in now transparency is often mentioned but not followed through,” says Aimee White, a management consultant, and industry veteran. According to the group, modern consumers are interested in clarity, as knowing who and where their favorite products were made helps them to decide if the company’s values align with their own. Transparency is also paramount between licensing partners. Constant updates and insight into the goals and ideas of a brand owner will benefit licensees or manufacturers who wanted to translate those ideas into profitable consumer products.
Riding the wave of change
In the last decade, licensing has seen many significant changes—most of which have come with the advent of technology including e-commerce, demand for experiential brick and mortar, and the closure of several major retail channels. As a result, the licensing player structure is more flexible than ever with roles changing quickly and many vital positions now being eliminated.
“The buyer is quickly becoming the seller, and the definition of what an agent or licensee is and how they fit in is rapidly changing,” said Sharon Weisman, vice president, global business development, LIMA, who has been instrumental in helping licensing’s governing body to redefine licensing for a new generation. “You have to take the fear element away from change if you want to move forward,” added White.
The group insisted that language was the key to change and hoped to see new terminology created and standardized to reflect the new licensing workflows. The group also expresses excitement at the recent proliferation of licensing technology, which has helped licensing managers to identify accounting mistakes, recuperate royalties and convert currencies in a more time efficient manner. “It’s not a generational change it’s a personality change,” concluded Weisman.
Our inaugural U.S. Morning Meetup brought together empowered, forward-looking individuals from across licensing. We believe that familial, affirming (and food-filled) conversations are the key to fostering a licensing community that is centered on change and support.
“I love technology, and I love innovation, so I want to help my clients’ lives easier. I think this [event] gave me something that should be broadcast to other licensing companies,” said Ellen, Lukovenko, founder and CEO, EKFB Enterprise.
Salesforce World Tour NY
Salesforce World Tour NY was only a short walk away from the Morning Meetup. Located at the Jacob K. Javits Center, the large-scale event attracted sales and customer relationship managers from all walks of life who descended on the upper floors of the exposition center to learn all about Salesforce and the many ways the platform is helping its customers.
The floor was decorated in accordance with Salesforce’s trailblazer theme, complete with guides in park ranger-like attire and camp-themed snacks like s’mores and apple pie on a stick.
Instead of traditional booths, Salesforce gathered interested parties around giant screens in a campfire-like manner.
As a Salesforce partner, we are always interested in finding new ways to support our client base. We attended a session at the Customer Success Platform that walked us through the ways in which apparel company Lacoste and car company Audi are to enhance their customer relationships. For example, Lacoste is using data collection to personalize its e-commerce experience. In the case shown, a customer who has a history of buying short-sleeved shirts with belts, will automatically be presented with belt options at check out any time they browse shirts on the Lacoste platform.
In the words of the presenter “To some, it may be creepy, but it shows you how far technology has come and how we can build better relationships with our customers.”
Audi is using Salesforce technology to shape its relationships with its network of dealers. Salesforce is assisting the company with agreement management, customization updates and more.
Our major takeaway from Salesforce World Tour New York was that customer success is a holistic process that relies on engagement, enablement, e-commerce, marketing, service, communities, industries, analytics, integration—all part of Salesforce’s Intelligent customer 360. For the licensing community, that means developing strategic licensing programs that benefit everyone from your licensing partner to your end consumer.