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What is a Licensed Brand?

What is a Licensed Brand?

Can You Leverage the Power of Great Branding for Your Own Gains?

Brand licensing is one of the best marketing tactics that a business can adopt. And what is a licensed brand, you ask?

Brand licensing is defined by the Business Dictionary as the act of leasing a brand name to another company. The leased brand is then used in a particular manner, in a defined territory, for a specified time. It is, however, one that many companies and brands are not taking advantage of.

The company that rents the brand is known as the licensee, while the one giving the brand is the licensor. So what is a licensed brand? It is that brand that has been given to the licensee by the licensor.

The licensor gets royalties while the licensee uses the name of the brand to market their product or service.

The licensee benefits by reaching a wider audience because they are able to tap into the customers of the other brand. With a licensed brand, a product or service is able to break into a new market and grow strategically.

Brand licensing also helps small brands to increase their revenue while the big brand diversifies on the revenue streams, and the licensee is able to build a strong relationship with the customers interested in their brand.

When trying to learn what a licensing brand is, a study of the following questions is helpful:

  • What Companies Use Licensing? Now that you know what a licensed brand is, it is helpful to know which companies use licensed brands. Brand licensing can be used by all types of companies, big and small, in different industries: Entertainment, consumer products, sports, and corporate entities all use licensed brands to grow their customer base and increase sales.

Some of the biggest global licensors include; Disney™ consumer products, PVH™ Corp, Mattel™, Warner Bros™, Iconix™ Brand Group, and Nickelodeon™, to mention but a few.

  • What Is A Manufacturer Brand?A manufacturer brand results from when a manufacturer markets their goods under their own name. Examples are Toyota™, Ford™, Intel™, Apple™, Sony™, Canon™, Budweiser™, Kraft™, and millions more of such brands. 

Manufacturer brands are more trusted than retailer brands because they offer great prices and quality; the manufacturers want to maintain brand loyalty, so they ensure the high quality of the items before they put their name on it. 

  • What Is A Mixed Brand?A mixed brand occurs when a product is marketed under its own name and the name of the reseller, or when a manufacturer produces two products for market segmentation. A good example is Toyota and Lexus; the Lexus brand was introduced by Toyota into the US market because in that market, the Toyota brand was viewed as a value brand. Another example is where a manufacturer will allow a store, such as Walmart or Sears, to have their name on their product.
  • What Are Licensing Fees?A licensing fee can either be money paid by an individual or business to a government agency to practice certain trades or run certain businesses, or fees paid by the licensee to the licensor of the brand to give them the rights and abilities to use their brand as agreed.

Now that you know what a licensed brand is, you can incorporate brand licensing to grow your business and expand your customer base.



Are You Confident Your Recipe is Confidential?

Can a Proprietary Food Recipe Be Protected?

Are You Confident Your Recipe is Confidential?

Holy smokes, you came up with the best chili recipe in the world! Your friends are going crazy over it. So, you decide to sell it and share it with the world, but then a question pops into your head: “Can recipes be plagiarized?”

This is a common concern among food entrepreneurs. In an age where information is freely shared, plagiarism is running rampant.

Next question: “Can recipes be legally protected from being copied?” The good news is that any proprietary food recipe can be legally protected. This prevents anyone from trying to make a quick buck off your hard work, but it’s not always easy. Food recipes can be classified as intellectual property. As such, you have some options to protect yourself and your delicious chili.


A patent is a legal certification that you are the owner of a particular invention. This means that no one else can sell that invention without your express permission. Patents are pretty standard in the scientific and technology spaces.

So, can food be patented? Can you patent a drink? Few know that patents can apply to proprietary food recipes. This is because Patent Law doesn’t discriminate between edible and inedible objects.

The main problem with patents is that you need to prove the product is something new and novel. This is easier said than done. After all, how can you say that your chili is different from all the other chilis before it?

Verdict: If your proprietary food recipe is something that no else has done (and you can prove it), then a patent might work for you.

Can a Proprietary Food Recipe Be Protected?

Trade Secrets

A trade secret is a process or technique that only your business knows. Think of KFC’s “11 Secret Herbs and Spices” or the Coke formula. All of these are trade secrets.

Once protected as a trade secret, no one else will be able to use the exact recipe legally—but (and it’s a big BUT), someone else CAN try to replicate the recipe itself based on your product. This is called reverse engineering, and it is totally legal.

To make a trade secret work, you need to enforce it with everyone you do business with.

Verdict: Trade secrets are an effective way to protect your proprietary food recipe – if you’re careful


Trademarks are less about protecting the recipe and more about protecting the brand itself. In this case, you reserve the right to use the name and logo that will represent your food product. Think of Paul Newman’s “Newman’s Own” line of salad dressings. You can try and replicate their recipes, but can’t sell them using the same name.

This is useful if you have a unique tasting product and savvy branding. Yes, it won’t prevent anyone from copying your recipe, but it WILL prevent someone else from ripping off your “Mark’s Best Southern Chili” and selling it as their own.

Verdict: If you have the marketing chops to create a valuable food brand, it doesn’t matter if people copy your recipe. Sometimes, a brand is much more powerful.