Brand Central has an array of initiatives on its plate, including some new restaurant brands, an array of wellness brands, and one of the latest crazes, Silly Bandz. CEO Ross Misher took a few minutes to give some insight into Brand Central’s plans for these properties.
Chris Adams: Brand Central is in the midst of launching several restaurant brands. Where are the opportunities in this area and how do you plan on addressing them with licensing strategies?
Ross Misher: Restaurant meals eaten at home have been among the fastest growing food trends. Brand Central will translate the flavors and menu favorites of popular food chains including Baja Fresh and La Salsa into shelf-stable, frozen, and refrigerated products. For consumers, they can now enjoy these restaurant favorites at home with the convenience of being able to purchase the products at retail. The brands gain additional exposure, bring new potential customers into the brand, and generate incremental revenue. We will be announcing many new restaurant brands in the near future as we build our position in this ever-growing category.
C.A.: In a time when consumers are keeping a close eye on expenditures, why do you think you’ve seen success with your wellness-related initiatives?
R.M.: Consumers have finally realized that their mind, body, and spirit have a great impact on health, stress, and the world around them. You may spend more for eco- or health-related products in the short term, but it pays off big time in the long term. We have taken on a 360-degree view of wellness from the medical perspective with integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil to fitness and yoga with Gaiam to healthy home with Seventh Generation to Healthy Child Healthy World, which helps parents create a healthy environment for their children.
C.A.: What are the keys to capitalizing on a pop culture phenomenon such as Silly Bandz?
R.M.: As an agency that specializes in pop culture trends from Snuggie to Silly Bandz, we are constantly getting in front of the next national craze and oftentimes helping create their success. Once we have identified a phenomenon, we build a long-term strategic plan to make sure it has longevity and doesn’t fade out. We move quickly, signing the right, fast-producing licensees (For example, with our client BCP Imports, we have extended Silly Bandz into arts & crafts, confections, accessories, apparel, video games, and more.) and work with retailers to get the product placed to maximize on the frenzy created by the media. We then work on building an international business to take the brand worldwide. Finally, we continue to work with our client and licensees to innovate, so the brand stays fresh and relevant for years to come.