Business advice: How to land a lucrative beauty licensing deal

Published: 31-Aug-2023

With Coty resigning beauty deals with Adidas and Marc Jacobs, law firm Freeths outlines how to navigate the intricate landscape of licensing

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This article was written by Iona Silverman, Intellectual Property and Media Partner at national law firm Freeths.

For both big brands and start-ups alike, securing a licensing deal in the beauty industry can be a game-changing move. 

Although we are used to seeing luxury fashion brands licensing their rights to perfume, the appeal for licensing is now much broader.

For example, beauty giant Coty not only makes and sells Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Skin products, but it has a licensing deal for Gucci’s branded make-up.

The company has also just resigned a licensing deal to continue making sportswear brand Adidas’ shower gels and personal care products.

Securing a beauty licensing deal requires a combination of strategic planning, market understanding, legal knowledge and relationship building

Plus, Marc Jacobs Beauty is set to make a return after the luxury fashion house penned a new expanded long-term licence agreement with Coty.

And in this space, it is not just the big brands that are benefiting.

Smaller, influencer-led brands that do not have the capital to invest in new trends can still make a bang for their buck by licensing their rights to established players. 

For those eyeing the beauty market, here are my top tips on how to navigate the intricate landscape of beauty licensing.

What is licensing?

Before embarking on the journey to secure a beauty licensing deal, it is crucial to understand the landscape and its intricacies.

A licensing deal involves granting permission to another company or individual (the licensee) to use your intellectual property (IP). 

In the world of beauty licensing typically it is the brand that is licensed, whether that is a commercial brand or an individual’s name and image. 

The licensee should have expertise in your chosen product sector.

So, in addition to being paid a royalty, you will benefit from their knowledge of your chosen product and the relevant market.

Coty has recently renewed its beauty and fragrance licensing deal with Adidas

Coty has recently renewed its beauty and fragrance licensing deal with Adidas

How to develop a strong licensed brand 

A strong brand

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