Corporate brand extension historically has been the primary form of licensing when it comes to household-cleaning products in spray, powder, or liquid form (e.g., laundry detergents, stain removers, window and multi-surface sprays, carpet and upholstery cleaners, and the like). Home Care Industries, for example, offers a Febreze line of formulas for deep-cleaning carpet machines, as well as a range of spot- and stain-remover sprays, under license from Procter & Gamble.
Lately, however, licensors outside the corporate realm—primarily celebrities with a connection to home décor—are starting to lend their names to such products. The licensed items are almost always billed as non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Last year, Kathy Ireland Worldwide and two of her brand ambassadors, Nicholas Walker and Chef Andre Carthen, signed a deal with Bayes Cleaners for sustainable indoor and outdoor cleaning products under the Kathy Ireland Jardin and Kathy Ireland ACafe sub-brands. In 2014, celebrity interior designer Jennifer Adams launched her signature whole-house cleaning solution with licensee Fizzion.
Martha Stewart has also tested the category, with Home Depot launching a line of Martha Stewart Clean formulas produced by longtime Martha licensee Hain Celestial in 2010. Stewart’s range of merchandise in Home Depot, which includes storage and organization, paint, cabinets and vanities, hardware, furniture, mirrors, and home décor, is still ongoing, but the cleaning items are no longer part of the mix.
Beyond the celebrity sector, The Joester Loria Group announced a deal last year with Native Organics for a line of natural cleaning products for children and babies, from fruit and vegetable washes to plush-toy cleaners, tied to The World of Eric Carle.
It should be noted that most brand licensing in this category involves cleaning-formula brands extending their labels into related tools such as sponges, gloves, or mops—à la Mr. Clean with Butler Home Products or Lysol with Quickie Manufacturing—rather than the other way around. Licensing deals that produce cleaning formulas remain relatively rare across the board.