CE Brand Extension: A Note of Nostalgia

The recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show is a good time to take stock of what’s new in brand-extension licensing in the CE industry. Following are some recent deals involving electronics brands expanding into adjacent categories. Most reflect a resurgence of nostalgic, legacy, and retro brands, reimagined for modern consumers. This represents a key current trend in the industry, often accomplished at least in part through licensing:

  • Legacy Audio and Infinity Brands are relaunching their recently acquired AIWA brand. AIWA is introducing audio products, including retro items with a contemporary twist, like a boombox speaker, as well as smart home products from cordless vacuums to convection air fryers. Sakar and Xtreme Cables are already on board as licensees and AIWA is seeking other licensing and collaboration partners for categories including home theater, laptops, and gaming accessories.
  • HP’s Compaq brand, represented for licensing by LMCA, announced that it would be expanding into smart televisions and soundbars in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, starting in early 2023, through licensee Conexión Vertical.
  • The Kenmore brand, owned by Transform SR Brands LLC/Transformco (which purchased the assets of Sears Holdings in 2019), licensed Galanz Americas for kitchen appliances such as compact refrigerators, wine and beverage coolers, and microwaves, with the option to expand into other categories. The products are expected to debut early this year.
  • Established Brands, owner of the RCA Victor name, licensed NAXA Electronics for a Victor-branded line of retro electronics, including turntables, featuring the famous “Nipper & Gramophone” logo.

In addition to these CE-centric brand-extension deals, other recent licensing agreements in the consumer electronics space range from Marquee Brands’ license with ESI for Body Glove power banks, phone cables, chargers, FM transmitters, Bluetooth speakers, earbuds and headphones, and other accessories, to fitness expert Jillian Michaels’ partnership with iTouch for a Jillian Michaels Edition smartwatch and fitness tracker.

Watch for Raugust Communications’ monthly e-newsletter next Tuesday, January 17, 2022. The Licensing Topic of the Month will highlight some of the huge-but-mostly-untapped categories for female consumers that are starting to emerge as collaboration opportunities. And the Datapoint research spotlight will take a look at celebrity branding strategies and how they have evolved over the past five years. If you are not a subscriber, you can sign up for the free publication here.

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