Brand Licensing - looking for significant new growth?

Brand Licensing

What if a strategic partnership strategy could drive $100MM-$200MM USD in
retail sales or more?

Brand Licensing - looking for significant new growth?

Our Philosophy

What if a strategic partnership strategy could drive $100MM-$200MM USD in retail sales or more? Answering these types of questions is how we assess, manage and consult with our brand licensing clients and partners about the opportunity. 

The Valen Group has significant experience developing and managing brand licensing programs globally that drive multi-million dollars of royalty and are brand enhancing.

What is Brand Licensing?

It is quite simply the legal right to use your brand or trademark with specific terms of use as agreed to by licensor and licensee. Those terms are spelled out in trademark agreement, also known as a brand licensing agreement.
We call this, uniquely, Strategic Brand Licensing, and we want to work with executives who are like-minded about significant growth projects.

We are a top 35 brand licensing program according to License! Global Magazine. We build long-term sustainable programs that generate multi-million dollars of royalty revenue. We target brands where we can build programs that have at least $50MM-$100MM in gross product revenues.

We take a strategic approach to bring significant impact in brand enhancement and revenue. We will not put your brand through a “mass production” process where many licensees are called with little thought as to positioning or reason a licensee is a good fit for both sides. By providing great plans, deep critical market insight and a bias for action without skipping good business management steps, we increase your probability of success in a brand licensing venture.

What is Strategic Brand Licensing?

Strategic brand licensing is a strategic partnership model that allows the use of an organization’s brand, know-how and/or other IP that drives both significant revenue and brand equity enhancement. A strategic brand licensing program requires senior level sponsorship to be successful and so the opportunity must be large enough to warrant the prioritization for success.

Strategic Brand Licensing may be a very valuable growth strategy via brand partnership if:
  • The brand or portfolio of brands has clear equity
  • The culture of your company is to collaborate and innovation outside your organization or this is a goal in which to improve
  • There is a significant revenue and brand equity enhancement

Representation Services

We work with:
  • Brand owner who are considering starting a licensing program
  • Existing brand licensing program leaders who are looking for growth or program optimization
  • Manufacturers or producers who are seeking a brand and/or IP to license
Brand Owners Who Want Help   Producer or Manufacturer

Start New Program Grow Existing Program To License A Brand
Would you like to Explore Utilizing a Partner to Develop a New Brand Licensing Program for your brand or portfolio of brands?

We love startup programs and have developed several major startup programs for Red Robin, IHOP and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt brands.

We provide Representation services to startup, develop and manage your program. This includes:
  • Program Strategy Development
  • Partner Outreach
  • Contracting
  • Partner Management
  • Royalty Collection & Management
  • Contract Management
New to Brand Licensing?

For Brand Owners Considering a New Program

Are you looking for significant revenue growth opportunities? Looking to extend your brand further in the market place? Or Looking for ways to keep your brand relevant to strategic target consumers? Answering these type of strategic questions is how we assess if a licensing program is right for you as a brand owner who may consider brand licensing as a growth strategy. We begin our process by determining the value that a program might bring your organization. One major difference about The Valen Group is that we realize that we do not know if brand licensing will drive significant revenue for you. We will readily approach you with what our hypothesis is and then conduct the strategic analysis to analyze strategic options and determine what the opportunity might produce. Why are we so transparent? Two reasons. One, it is our culture as strategists to seek the truth and we know that this type of partnership strategy may not be a good fit with every brand or corporate strategy. And two, if you as the brand owner do not find this a significant, strategic program it likely does not fit our criteria either.

Read our Letter to the CEO to understand how we think about how we assess Strategic Brand Licensing for your brand portfolio.


Case Studies

Contact us to learn more how we help leaders achieve growth in strategic brand licensing.


Extending Equity from Rust Protection to Surface Protection  

Leveraging Brand Experience in the Food Space

Expanding Consumption Occasions Through Licensing

Leveraging Seasoning and Flavor Equity in Retail


Brand Licensing Consulting Services

Many of our consulting clients manage their program internally or would like to maintain their current brand licensing agency but are seeking benchmarking or best practices improvements to optimize or growth their program into a long-term sustainable strategic asset.

Brand Licensing is a Partnership Model

When assessing brand licensing as growth strategy for your organization, it is important to consider that it is a particular partnership model. There are implications with partnerships that can be good or bad depending on situation, strategy and your organizational culture. Successful brand licensing partnerships are no different than other successful partnerships where there is a willingness to share insight with the partner and each party works to maintain trust because, while control is spelled out in the brand licensing agreement, partnerships last based upon the depth and quality of the relationship. When leveraged properly, partnerships give you the ability to do things you couldn’t do, it allows you to expand the capabilities of your organization to innovate, grow and brand licensing extend your portfolio of brands into exciting new areas.

The Valen Group roots came from strategy consulting and through our focus on growth and strategic partnership work led us into strategic brand licensing. You can read more on our Strategic Partnership Services.
We provide management consulting services for your partnership program including:
  • Strategic Planning - Annual and Multi-Year Goal Setting
  • Growth Assessment or Growth Strategy Roadmap (include prioritized product categories)
  • Opportunity or Concept Assessment
  • Partner or Program Assessment
  • Program Best Practices or Process Improvement
  • Licensing Partner Targeting Plans, which can include initial outreach, contract negotiation and more
  • Partner work-out resolution/exit consulting

Brand Licensing Consulting Case Study Example

We conducted a strategic assessment of a major restaurant brand owner’s long-term licensing program. New management had concerns for security in the future of current, significant revenue streams, and questioned if they could grow the program. We identified some major challenges that, with proper negotiation, could unlock significant benefit to both parties (win-win). We also helped dimensionalize upside opportunities and the realistic effort and timeline to achieve them. The outcome was a clear set of choices and subsequent actions which the client can execute, or utilize us to execute, over the years.

Are you unsure if Brand Licensing is right for your organization?  So are we. Read on.

The Art of Saying No is Just Good Strategy – CEOs Perspective on Growth Opportunity Choices
There are limited resources in an organization and not every growth strategy or opportunity is worth your time. We will help you determine if this is the right opportunity and provide a transparent, fact-based approach so you can clearly decide for yourself it is worth pursuing and determine if it is a “Yes or a No.” We utilize our Valen Group strategy consultants to help lead the business case development and decision process to ensure senior management can make decision. Our strategists manage bias and frame the conclusions and recommendations so that you have a “board-ready” document to present the opportunity.

We will not waste an executive's time with an ideation-based business case, we are fact-based and additionally we provide the data so we can determine together what the opportunity is. Why? Because that opportunity depends on the strategic choices you make as to what you will consider in a brand licensing program.

Read our Letter to the CEO to understand how we think about how we assess Strategic Brand Licensing for your brand portfolio.

Fees and Services – Brand Licensing Representation versus Consulting 

The typical provider in the industry is a brand licensing agency that represents a brand owner and provides solicitation, negotiation and management of the overall program including licensee, royalty collection and contracts. Representation is typically compensated with a monthly retainer fee as well as a percentage of the royalties earned and collected.

The Valen Group provides those representation services; however, because we are part of a strategy and innovation consulting firm, we also can provide these and other services on a consulting basis, fee for service.
Consulting services are priced at an hourly rate and typically are scoped with based upon fixed-fee project basis. This allows clients to access strategy and management consulting services with a high degree of expertise from our consultants because we active manage large, strategic brand licensing programs.

Our Approach to Strategic Brand Licensing

We approach brand licensing as a strategic growth venture. We have several advantages that makes us a unique choice when you think about critical elements of success: strategy, outreach, product development and program management.

Critical Insight for Better Decisions - Brand Licensing Strategic Growth Assessment

In strategic growth assessment, it isn’t that there is a lack of ideas but rather a lack of insight to make a good decision. Much data that is presented is biased and what we call a “default go” bias. We are uniquely suited to this type of engagement because we provide integrated services at The Valen Group across strategy consulting, innovation and brand licensing practices. We staff an integrated team to help you make better decisions and develop an innovative program strategy including a:
  • Growth-Focused Strategy Consultant
  • Innovation Consultant
  • Brand Licensing Consultant


We offer strategy and innovation consulting services so when we say we do strategy, there is not one agency we know that can say they match our capabilities to drive clarity in strategic purpose and assessment of market opportunities. To develop a compelling program and attract major licensees requires a well thought out fact-based plan with consumer insight.


We use strategic, pinpointed partner outreach and team selling, leveraging our network to ensure we give clarity to potential partners to consider the significance of the brand in their portfolio.

Product Development

We leverage significant experience in branding, product research and innovation. We have an innovation consulting group so we know how to coach licensees on delivering great products and solutions that are positioned uniquely against needed consumer benefits.

Program Management

We run the business as a business – annual planning, forecasting and periodic business analysis; financial management and royalty collections; and partner management techniques honed by years of client service consulting and excellent program and project management skills.
When we assess a program or develop a growth plan, we provide a unique team mix which includes a brand licensing strategist, an innovation strategist as well as business strategy consultant to help size opportunities and assess feasibility in market access.

Brands We Represent

Below are current licensing partners who benefit from our strategic licensing program management –

We took over a program that was managed internally by Rust-Oleum and grew it tenfold with multiple partners and a sustainable long-term program that enhances the retail relationships with major retail partners in home, mass and automotive channels. Where there is a surface there is Rust-Oleum has been true for almost 100 years. This iconic brand helps licensees compete using name-brand quality in hardware and surface protection. 

We developed a new strategic program for IHOP at a time when retail grocery breakfast food category was underdeveloped allowing for innovation that drove significant brand awareness and revenue for IHOP. IHOP is brand known to kids and families globally where an IHOP breakfast gives you a smile no matter where you are!

By coordinating core restaurant marketing programs and licensed product grocery store marketing, grocery sales are exceeding plans by 30%! The steak fries and onion rings program along with Red Robin seasonings and sauces are a major driver of brand awareness with national distribution where grocery shoppers see and are reminded of Red Robin every week. Red Robin is the gourmet burger authority brings a touch of magic to classic American fare. 

We manage and develop the Treetop brand licensing program globally across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia in all categories.  We are actively seeking partners to develop new products in drinkable yogurt, snacks and other related licensing opportunities globally. We are also actively exploring expanding to global juice and beverage producers who will license the brand and produce and distribute in strategic territories for us including South America, Middle East, Israel and India. This program drives significant value and awareness of the Washington State company brand across the world with significant beverage and snack programs in place. Treetop is about wholesome, goodness from fruit and is a major fruit ingredient supplier and packaged goods producer of fruit juice and fruit-based snacks and foods.

We worked with Biltmore to develop their brand licensing program taking the elegance and gracious hospitality of the Biltmore into your home and kitchen. 

We worked with a partner to develop innovative Italian-inspired appetizers and snacks to build a regional program for Fazoli’s. Fazoli’s is Italian done easy.

Menchies is the leading global frozen yogurt shop. We recently partnered with a national toy manufacturer to bring Menchies into the home of kids everywhere. Menchies brand purpose is We Make You Smile.

Strategic Brand Licensing
  Representation Services  
      Consulting Services      



10250 Alliance Road, Suite 226
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 USA
Phone: +1 513 842 6300
Fax: +1 513 842 6301

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