Angry Birds & Toothpaste: A Match Made in Business
In the third quarter, Dr. Fresh will release the first of nine new products it has been allowed to sell under the Angry Birds brand - the FireFly Angry Birds Squirt 'N Brush Tooth Foam.
Dr. Fresh is calling it a "new genre" of toothpaste, because it's not a paste but a foam that is literally squirted into the mouth and not on a toothbrush. It allows for easier cleaning of hard-to-reach places and is very user-friendly for kids, especially those with braces. The company says it expects the Angry Birds association and colorful graphics to broaden the product's allure.
And it seems that the fever has already begun. The products are still under production, yet "I probably have more orders
It's an odd combination at first glance - toothbrushes and toothpaste don't naturally come to mind when one thinks of Angry Birds. But brand licensing can be a powerful tool for small businesses if it's done right.
"Brand licensing is tricky. It all relates to the power and the image of the license," says Lonny Strum of Strum Consulting Group, a marketing consulting firm. "It's kind of like star presenters on TV commercials. You borrow the equity of that brand and you hope it to imbue qualities into your brand. To the degree that those qualities are positive and there's great awareness of it and it has some meaning, it can be a good thing. If it's purely borrowed interest and doesn't have any
Strum says the toothpaste/Angry Birds connection may not be obvious, but kids are the key to the equation.
"There's high awareness of Angry Birds and I think there is a benefit from a kid's perspective for sure," Strum adds, particularly in a space like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Products are not very well differentiated and other than competing on price, so having a hot trending license like Angry Birds could actually "catapult" the product, Strum says.
Still, business owners should be sure to do a cost analysis before signing on the dotted line, asking questions like: How many toothbrushes will they have to sell in order to pay off the licensing fee? How strict is the legal agreement? And do you fully understand the specific application of the license?