InsightMay 11, 2021

Why is LRM Important to Business Today?

10 min read
Why is LRM Important to Business Today?

Why is everyone so excited about Licensing Relationship Management? It's simple. LRM is the only solution on the market that prioritizes all of the activities, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage their interactions with current and potential partners. 

It's like basketball legend Michael Jordan says, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships."

In today's environment and with so many brands and licensees to choose from, licensing teams are incredibly picky, and partner loyalty is rare. 

The moment a new hot brand or category gains traction in the market, it only takes a little bit of time before the competition heats up. That makes it easy for brands to switch partners and move on. 

LRM helps businesses build a relationship with their partners to encourage loyalty and retention. After all, partner loyalty and revenue both affect a company's bottom line. LRM is a brand management strategy with a direct line to increased profits.

At its most basic, an LRM tool creates a simple user interface for collecting data that helps businesses recognize and communicate with customers in a scalable way.

Twenty years ago, it was rare for teams to use licensing and royalty software. Some businesses were just fine with using handshakes and nods. 

Leaders were used to passively receiving information at expos and from industry newspapers. If they wanted insider information, they had to network, have conversations, gather market data and competitor materials, and then try to make sense of it all. Luckily, things have changed thanks to social media and online tools. We can find the information ourselves and use those programs to digest it all. 

Today's licensing teams aren't just informed. They're immune to traditional and obvious tactics. 

Raising the bar, LRM transformed the way businesses manage inbound and outbound licensing programs and services. Licensing teams don't need you to tell them what they need or want anymore. They already know! Teams want to be treated as individuals. They want to feel like their brand or category matters to you and that you care.

Everyone thinks that people stop doing business with a company because of a new hot brand or category. If not that, they point to killer higher minimum guarantees and sales or royalty proposals from competing vendors. That's not the case. At all.

They stop doing business when the basic standards for relationship management haven't been met. Think about all of the tools you have at your disposal: websites, social media, telephone calls, chat, mail, email. 

Now, ask yourself how and if you use them to let your customers know you are there for them. The good news is that all of the previously mentioned methods can be integrated into an LRM solution to make communicating easy and effective. 

LRM doesn't just benefit larger businesses. You can use it to build scalable licensing teams with benefits for marketing and sales as well. 

Any team can benefit from maintaining a record of the conversations associated with leads and partners and how it impacted the overall relationship.

At Flowhaven, we advise companies to make LRM a part of their strategy before the number of deals they have makes an LRM platform absolutely necessary. 

Who doesn't want to have better partnerships and bigger profits? Below, we break down the ways LRM is helping a few well-known licensees, agents, and brand owners accomplish that goal. 

Read the full customer story here.
LRM helps agents take charge
Fan Girl Consulting and Brand Management is an Orlando-based licensing agency founded by Disney, Hasbro, and Lucasfilm-alum Anita Castellar. The company helps brands tap into their fandoms through thoughtful consumer products and activations and counts Boss Fight Studio, Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard, and more as clients. 

The Fan Girl team started with a small crew of dedicated workers who could handle the unique requests of their clients. Custom deal parameters, long phone calls, and individual emails to stay informed and on task. As the company grew, the need for a solution that made it possible to give each and every client the attention and responsiveness they deserved became clear. 

Beyond basic contact information, Flowhaven gave the team the power to track all of their partner touchpoints, including emails, phone calls, voicemails, and in-person meetings. They could even look at specific data like deal stages, minimum guarantee recoupment status, and more. That access helped the team better anticipate their customers' needs and, as a result, fulfill them.

Fan Girl's smaller clients relied on unique compensation structures that went beyond standard royalty or minimum agreement formulas. The "perfect" Fan Girl solution had to be flexible and intelligent enough to generate accurate reports, no matter how unique the agreement terms. 

With Flowhaven, the team was able to input and calculate around customer deal parameters without having to change the way they did business to meet system requirements. 

With the ability to input custom deal parameters, the team was able to get a granular look at their data down to the quarter, brand, or territory, and tailor reporting and adjust their approach to helping each client get the best deals during negotiations. 

LRM gives licensees credibility

Boss Fight Studio is an award-winning, full-service toy design company. Its founding partners created toys for leading toy manufacturing companies, including Mattel and Hasbro, where they contributed to the Star Wars, Fantastic Four, and The Hulk product lines, among others.  

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Boss Fight Studio understood that their success relied on their ability to maintain open lines of communication with their partners and account for the major decisions that could affect their supply chain. 

In the past, they relied on emails or meetings to ensure that everyone knew what to do, how to do it, and when it needed to be done. 

With the rapid shift to remote work, the task became harder. Working away from their warehouse, leadership needed to have a clear understanding of what licensors required and an efficient way to ensure the employees selected to return to the office completed each task and accounted for their activity.

With Flowhaven, remote work became seamless. The team was able to set notifications, assign tasks, and send frequent updates to their agents and external partners to ensure no one was left out of the loop. 

"There's a level of professionalism that gets lost when you're emailing a spreadsheet," says Erik Arana, design director and founder, Boss Fight Studio. "This year, our agent is using Flowhaven. She oversees our deals and can see where we are with our royalty reports, and even gets reminders about the things we forget. If she has to speak to one of our licensors, she has all of that right information on her desktop." 

Read the full customer story here.
The Takeaway

Licensing Relationship Management is a dynamic tool that helps companies to increase not only their partner satisfaction but also their efficiency and profits. 

LRM comes in a wide variety of strategies and applications, which allows it to be modified to fit virtually any licensing scenario. Almost every business can benefit from LRM software, and it is much better to start using an LRM for your business before you really need it. 

It is important for companies to consider their operations and sales process when considering which LRM solution to use: What information do your partners need to get the best product to market? How many times do you usually make contact with a partner before they respond? How important is, are long term partnerships to your business? As a business owner, not exploring your LRM options could be a huge oversight for your company that leaves it lagging behind the competition. 


Keep Learning.

The LRM Buyer's Guide

Learn what it takes to change mindsets, connect business silos, and recenter around your customer.

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