Road to BLE: The Trends That Can Change Your Business Forever

Brand Licensing Europe, the premier event for licensing professionals on the continent, is only a few weeks away. Taking place for the first time ...

Brand Licensing Europe, the premier event for licensing professionals on the continent, is only a few weeks away. Taking place for the first time at London's Excel, BLE promises to highlight the trends shaping the European marketplace. Understanding what gets consumers excited in a given market can help you refine your existing programs and build a blueprint for your extensions. As the sponsor of the BLE Matchmaking service, we are committed to helping attendees find opportunities for growth at the show. Below, we explore the trends that can help you take your licensing business to the next level.



With 30 million dollars or more in prize money on the line at each tournament, it seems as if the world has turned its attention to esports. For licensing professionals, that should come as no surprise. Esports has set the world and the licensing community on fire, amassing over 285 million viewers around the globe, more than doubling its market value in less than five years, and changing the way people think about sports merchandising.

With the advent of the internet and other societal changes, consumers have found comfort, and even joy, in having a wide range of interests. As a result, Esports has gained the attention of everyday people of all backgrounds and incomes including ones with with great influence. New England Patriots' Robert Kraft, Los Angeles Rams' Stan Kroenke, New York Mets' Jeff Wilpon and rapper Drake have all put money behind esports teams.

Right now, there is no centralized esports body. Any video game publisher with enough of a fanbase and enough money to rent out an arena (or even just a bar) can organize a league. That has benefits. Publishers can create their own rules and are not saddled with onerous regulations about merchandise and licensing. Even better, the players have greater autonomy, meaning that they can sign deals without the team, and license themselves as they see fit.

Because esports is a relatively new licensing category, anticipating and measuring success in it can be difficult. Adaptable software can help. Because such tools can grow and change the way your business does, you’ll have the confidence to move forward with partners whose businesses are new and scaling quickly. 



It's time to throw out the phrase “publishing is dead”. Amid the digital revolution, publishing companies have redirected their interests to digital reading tools, shorter periodicals, and taken some titles completely online.

For IP owners, such as big entertainment houses, traditional publishing still has merits. For example, movies based on popular titles are often repackaged and sold as new books. Meanwhile, films made for children are often extended into picture books, easy readers and junior magazines, to keep children engaged with the brand.




Lifestyle magazines have extended into licensing to deliver the experiences they once sold through photos and articles, into the lives of their readers. Leading titles have tapped into fragrance, furniture and fitness gear among other products to increase revenue.

Because publication licensing is so varied, you may want to know how well each new extension is performing. Data-first software can provide real-time updates about your products--from idea to distribution and beyond, making it easy to see what works and what you should turn the page on.



Nostalgia has been top of mind for businesses of all sizes for the last few years. Rooted in an emotional attachment to childhood comforts, the nostalgia trend has revived old properties and introduced new audiences to storied content. Heritage brands, like nostalgia, rely on memory for success.

The ability to say that a brand has been around for a significant number of years still means something in the minds of customers. This year, the Heritage x Interior Pavilion will showcase how authentic brands and institutions like national museums and art collections are tapping into licensing to present their assets in new and interesting ways.




Technology has helped numerous heritage brands transition into the modern era. Because modern software solutions can process and sort through years of information, they can make it easier than ever to find old-style guides and identify periods of growth to help you shape your new programs.



No matter what the climate, sports will always have fans and move merchandise. Guided by hometown pride and a love for competition, more and more teams are entering licensing to give their fans as much of a connection to the sports they love as possible.

This year, football clubs from across Europe and other sports organizations are expected to make an appearance at BLE. The world's most popular sport has made great strides in licensing. In addition to video games and soft drinks, the industry was one of the first to dive into the athleisure trend and pop up activations, a win-win for fans, players and franchises.

Sports licensing can be as competitive as the games themselves. Intuitive software solutions can help you get ahead of the competition with easy to use dashboards that give you a 360-degree view of your program and allow you to plan your moves from start to finish. Think of it as a playbook for your licensing program.

Interested in engaging with new trends? Book a free demo with Flowhaven today to learn how to our software can propel you forward. 




New call-to-action

Want to see Flowhaven in action?

Learn how Flowhaven makes managing and scaling your licensing program easier - through effortless partner collaboration, royalty management, and an easy-to-use cloud-based interface.