Licensing: 6 Inspiring Brand Stretch Examples

Whether you’re in FMCG, service or retail, licensing can enable your brand to stretch into completely new markets. Jumping into a new market can increase brand awareness, help change brand perceptions and recruit new customers to the brand.

Licensing is often looked down upon and incorrectly associated with diluting brand equity. Done properly, it can be a very powerful tool in the innovation arsenal.

To inspire you, we’ve rounded up some examples of brave brands who’ve made the category leap.


Crayola & ASOS

2 packs of crayola face crayons, 2 photos of models, 1 black, 1 white with bright coloured crayola makeup on, 1 photo of crayola make up brushes
Image source: ASOS

Crayon brand Crayola has just launched a cosmetics line with online retailer ASOS. Leveraging their colour expertise and tapping into the nostalgia trend (a huge driver for millennials) they have extended their reach to a whole new audience. This move is not out of the blue. Consumers have, to the brand’s dismay, been using their crayons as makeup and have been crying out for a range just like this. The fact that the line is vegan, cruelty free and suitable for all skin tones is the icing on the cake. Crayola have launched themselves into the hearts and minds of a whole new audience. Or perhaps they have reconnected with an audience who grew out of the brand years ago?


Joules & DFS

screenshot of the Joules website showing the floral "Cambridge" sofa
Image source: Joules

Since opening their first store in 2000, Joules has become a retail destination for alternative, essentially outdoorsy and quintessentially British clothing. The brand has already licensed designs out to companies such as Bedeck to offer a range of linen, but last year they took a bit of a leap. Partnering with DFS, they have created a range of sofas, armchairs and footstools that capture the spirit of Joules. Jumping into furniture, the brand brings their heavily floralled vision of an idealised rural Britain to a whole new raft of customers who while they may not want to wear florals, may love a floral sofa or two.


Jack Daniel’s

1 pack of Jack Daniel's wood smoking chips and some loose chips ona white background, 3 bottles of Jack Daniel's cooking sauces on a grey background
Image source: Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s are well on the way to turning a 150 year old whiskey brand into a bonafide lifestyle brand. They’ve licensed out the Jack Daniel’s name and the distinctive taste of the Tennessee whiskey across everything from clothing, confectionery, and crisps, to cooking sauces and wood smoking chips. The cooking sauce and wood smoking chips are particularly clever. Whilst this stays true to the American heritage, and rather manly feel of the brand, this pushes them in front of a completely different audience. Consumers who may never drink the whiskey might be tempted by the smoky flavours of a honey barbecue glaze or smoking chips made from Jack Daniel’s oak ageing barrels.



EasyGym - orange walls, grey gym equipment
Image source: easyGym

EasyGroup, the company that owns easyJet, has created a veritable licensing empire. The various brands that use the “easy” prefix include: easyHotel, easyBus, easyCar, easyMoney and easyCafé (complete list here). All the licensed brands stick to the original easyJet brand values and the strapline ”more value for less!” easyGym offers a no-frills, contract-free gym membership for £18.99/ month. easyHotel offers Sunday stays from £19.99. Easy brands may not inspire gushing tales of brand love from consumers, but people know where they stand, they trust easy brands to deliver on value across the board. There may be people who’ve never flown easyJet, but would access an easyGym or an easyHotel.


Volvo LifePaint

3 cyclists in the dark on a street. 2 with glowing LifePaint patches on clothes and bikes
Image source: Volvo

Volvo LifePaint is a water-based reflective safety spray. It can be sprayed onto textiles to create reflective patches. Volvo have lent their name to a product that taps into an essential aspect of their brand: safety. But, LifePaint is not for motorists, it’s for pedestrians and cyclists. Immediately, Volvo are talking to a whole new audience. Ironically, it’s the fact that an automotive brand is endorsing a product which is focused on pedestrian safety which brings such weight and believability to the product.


AT&T Baby Monitors

Lady using an AT&T baby monito with the caption "seeing is believing"
Image source: AT&T

AT&T started out life as a phone manufacturer, in the days when the company who made your phone was the same company who provided your phone line. They’ve now come full circle back to hardware, with their licensing of the mHealth baby monitor. The product has a unique internet viewable camera. Leveraging on consumer trust in good service and connectivity, AT&T have just opened the door to a raft of new consumers and the possibility for many more consumer gadgets.


If you’re thinking of making a leap in brand stretch, get in touch.


Further reading: Ensure Brand Stretch Success with Our 17 Point Checklist