Brand licensing has become a powerful tool in the commercial marketplace. Last year it generated more than $71 billion in retail sales in the United States and Canada.
Licensed consumer products are unique for the Postal Service™ as they are physical objects. Consumers are now able to see and experience the USPS® brand in different aisles of a store or in new stores that were previously beyond our brand’s reach. As a result, increased awareness often occurs in places where the core business has not penetrated in the past, further increasing the value of that awareness. While these brand impressions are hard to quantify, they are recognized in the industry as significant and valuable.
As licensed consumer products typically bear the brand’s trademarks in ways that are visible when they are being used, they turn consumers into active advocates for the brand. This form of marketing is especially powerful and effective because it carries the implied endorsement of the purchaser of the licensed product, bringing a higher degree of relevance as the product is viewed by the secondary audience. Licensed products that credibly carry the core attributes of a brand into a new category help build stronger brand associations in the mind of consumers. When chosen strategically, licensed products can also be a vehicle for encouraging new customers to purchase core products and services.
It is with this knowledge that the Postal Service Licensing office created a strategic focus designed to optimize the commercial retail landscape for both brand penetration and revenue opportunity. While there are many merchandise categories that support this strategy, we determined that building out fashion accessories and apparel, toys/games and publishing, and core products (which include mail-and-ship, addressing, stationery, and philatelic products) would best serve the goals and objectives of the program.
For the first time in this program’s history, we are beginning to see a permanent footprint in the commercial marketplace. The merchandise described in this article represents the official launch of a sustainable commercial consumer products program. While we have been working on the development of this product portfolio for more than a year, time-to-market for products — which includes product development, manufacturing, sales, and distribution — requires significant lead time.
Currently, the USPS licensing program is in its infancy. We anticipate that in the next 2 years product availability in the marketplace will significantly increase as our products are sold into new channels. For additional questions about the Licensing Program, contact 202-268-8591.
This article lists a snapshot of products either in development, in-market, or in-store.
Ez-duz-it by elliott — Handbags, bags, and totes.
Eco-friendly, handmade handbags available at boutiques and specialty stores across the United States and Canada, including Museum of Art stores (Dallas, Little Rock), Hilton Resort stores, Dis and Dat (Sausalita, California), Taunt (Biloxi, Mississippi), and online at www.ezduzitbyelliott.com.
Onesole — Women’s shoes.
The original interchangeable sole. USPS designs are available at boutiques and specialty shoe stores across the United States and online at www.onesole.com.
Junk Food — Clothing.
T-shirts, fleece, loungewear, and infant onesies. Junk Food has sold USPS vintage design t-shirts into market at select Bloomingdale’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Lisa Kline, M. Fredric, and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
Comeco, Inc. — Bags.
Tote bags, shoulder bags, carry-on bags, handbags, backpacks, traveling bags, and cases. Established channels are boutiques and specialty clothing, gift, and casino stores.
Arjang & Co, Inc. — Fine jewelry and watches.
The program is scheduled to launch June 2008 with USPS-licensed product available online and at specialty retail locations.
Je’ Marie PurseHook — Purse, handbag, and diaper bag accessories.
The recently executed contract between the Postal Service and PurseHook.net provides the necessity for your accessory — never put your handbag on the floor again! The Je’ Marie PurseHook protects purses from germs/theft while remaining in reach — it is a handy accessory that latches on to any bar/table top and can hold up to 35 pounds. Current retail channels for PurseHook.net include more than 500 specialty stores and boutiques nationwide. USPS purse hooks will be available online at www.pursehook.net in the near future and at retail locations across the United States.
Celeste Stein Designs, Inc. — Hosiery.
The hosiery line includes trouser and ankle socks, thigh highs, tights, leggings, and pantyhose. Celeste Stein Designs hosiery line is being sold worldwide at boutiques and specialty and department stores. The company recently launched the USPS line at the international accessories show in Paris, France, in January 2008. Established channels for Celeste Stein Designs products include www.celestestein.com, Macy’s, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls. USPS products can be found at both the San Francisco and Los Angeles Sox Market, Elegance at New York City’s Penn Station, Camille’s (Pasadena, California.), Details (Providence, Rhode Island), Bada Bing (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Street Fair (Ashville, North Carolina), and many more places.
Gotta Flurt Footwear — Shoes.
Recently executed contract for all types of shoes, canvas, boots, and dress shoes. USPS-licensed product will be available for Spring 2009 at commercial retail stores,
www.amaz on.com, and www.gottaflurt.com
Trau & Loevner — Clothing.
Men’s, young men’s, and boys’ fleece, jersey, basic, and fashion tees and hoodies. Established channels for the licensee include Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, Wal–Mart, Kmart, Target, BouTou, and Fred Meyer.
5th & Ocean Clothing — Sports apparel.
Recently executed contract for sports apparel includes tops, fashion styles, tanks, bottoms, jackets, and hoodies. Established channels for 5th and Ocean Clothing include Sports Authority, Finish Line, Modell’s, Olympia Sports, Kohl’s, Sears, JCPenney, Journeys, Gadzooks, Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart.
Wish Licensing — Clothing.
Recently executed contract for girl’s junior and young contemporary loungewear/intimate apparel, sleepwear, and t-shirts. Established channels for Wish Licensing include Pac Sun, Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s, Sears, JCPenney, Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart.
Sophisticated Style — Sunglasses and eco-friendly tote bags.
This is a recently executed contract. Established channels for the licensee include catalog companies, boutiques, hotels, hospitals, and casino stores. The USPS-licensed sunglass product line will launch Spring 2009.
California Costumes — Children’s costumes.
California Costumes products are in-store and available online in catalog and at novelty and costume chains across the United States. The costumes sold out in 2007. (Product shown, sizes 2–4.)
Jada Toys — Die-cast cars and trucks.
Jada Toys, LLVs, and trucks are in-store at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Toys-R-Us, KayBee Toys, and independent hobby and specialty toy stores and also online at www.jadaclub.com.
Pioneer Balloon — Latex and microfoil balloons.
Pioneer Balloon has products available in-store at independent florists and specialty gift stores across the United States.
Postal Products Unlimited — Stickers, sticker books, wall décor, and postcard puzzles.
USPS-licensed products are available through direct mail and specialty, gift, and toy stores and online at www. postalproducts.com.
White Mountain Puzzle — Puzzles.
White Mountain Puzzles are in-store at Wal-Mart, Go! Games, and independent hobby and specialty toys stores across the United States and online at www.puzzlemaps.com.
Whittle Toy Company — Wooden toy trains and wooden vehicles.
Whittle Toy Company LLVs and trains are in-store at FAO Schwarz, select HobbyTown USA locations, and independent hobby and specialty toys stores across the United States and online at www.woodentrain.com.
Puppy Bunny Pink — Puzzles and plush products.
Puppy Bunny Pink USPS-licensed puzzles are available at www.bn.com (Barnes and Noble).
Katy Consultants, Inc. — Custom property trading games.
The Postal Service has recently executed a contract with Katy Consultants, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Inc., and is in the process of finalizing product artwork for games. Established channels for Katy Consultants include specialty toy and gift stores.
Schylling Associates, Inc. — Toys and games.
Schylling Associates, Inc., has developed a line of USPS-branded vintage toys that will be available in May 2008 online at www.schylling.com.
LePage’s — Mail-and-ship products.
LePage’s has more than 100 products available in-store at Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Rite Aid, Family Dollar, United Stationers, Big Lots, Staples, Corporate Express, Office Depot, and Costco. In 2007, USPS-branded mailing and shipping supplies were sold at more than 30,000 locations across the United States.
Lawson-Falle, Inc. (Trademark: Life Publishing) — Greeting cards and stationery.
Life Publishing channels include American Booksellers Association (ABA), Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), Michaels, and Hobby Lobby. Coming Spring 2008, a Town Square Post Office Greeting Card Collection will be available in retail. The product consists of 24 all-occasion hand-made quality cards with USPS stamp images in a decorative and reusable organizer box for desktop display.
U.S. Stamp & Sign — Mail preparation and address markers.
U.S. Stamp & Sign has address number decals in-store and is selling hand stampers and custom embossers into market. Products are available at Office Max.
Clover Technologies Group — Remanufactured inkjet and laser toner and postage meter cartridges and supplies.
Clover Technologies Group has submitted final product samples to sell into market. Products will be available in warehouse, clubs, and office stores beginning Spring 2008.
INTP Incorporated — Solar-powered address markers.
INTP Incorporated has submitted final product samples to sell into market. Established channels for INTP include Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot.
Measurement Limited — Scales.
Measurement Limited has submitted final products to sell into market. Products will be available in warehouse, clubs, and office stores beginning Spring 2008.
Hallmark Group Ltd. — Gold ingots.
Hallmark Group sells four separate ingot collections through direct mail. The collections consist of American Presidents, Greetings from America, Lunar New Year, and United We Stand. Visit www.greetingscollection.com for more information.
MBI, Inc. — Stamp cachets and collectible die-cast.
MBI sells stamp collector panels, gold foil stamp cachets, and die-cast mail trucks through direct mail.
Cranston Consumer Products — Bolts of fabric and fleece.
Cranston Consumer Products has items available in-store at select Wal-Mart stores, Jo–Ann Fabrics, and independent hobby/fabric stores.
Direct Checks — Personal bank checks and check books.
Direct Checks sells products in bank check catalogs.
Good Fortunes — Hand-dipped gourmet cookies for all occasions.
Good Fortunes has products available in-store at Saks Fifth Avenue and online at www.goodfortunes.com.
Pro Pacific Corporation — Mint tins.
Pro Pacific products are available in-store at select Jo–Ann Fabrics, Michaels, and independent bridal and gift stores.
Taxi’s Dog Bakery — Dog biscuits and edible treats.
Taxi’s Dog Bakery is selling into specialty, online, and mass channels. Established channels include independent pet stores and boutiques and online at www.homegrowndog.com.
Dog Style — Pet carriers, leashes, and beds.
The Dog Style contract will provide USPS-licensed pet carriers and leashes. Products will be available for retail later this year at online and specialty channels.