College apparel licensing spreads opportunities to cosmetics players

By Ameann De John

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: License

College apparel licensing spreads opportunities to cosmetics players
The US market for college apparel licensing has long been lucrative for school supplies and sportswear, but now opportunities are starting to crop up for cosmetics players.

In recent years there has been a significant rise in spending power for college age students, which also coincides with a big rise in spending on certain cosmetic color products, particularly nail varnish.

According to the Crux Research survey, entitled re:fuel College Explorer, discretionary spending amongst college students increased 40 percent in 2012, and remarkably, several market research companies indicated that it also saw strong double digit rises in spending on nail polish products alone.

With disposable incomes seemingly on the rise, showing school spirit in both student and alumni populations now extends far beyond just ordering a class ring. 

Time for a licensing agreement for nail products...

Entrepreneur Erik Paxman, owner and president of PAX Designs, saw this as an opportunity to increase colligate logo marketing within these two rapidly expanding double-digit discretionary income categories that intersect a young, affluent female demographic by licensing with universities to offer a creative nail art accessory geared towards college students.

Paxman explains that with time, energy and resources, budding entrepreneurs can work with colleges and Universities to launch a unique product that appeals to the entire school community. And with licensing agreements closely trailing behind market success, University Nail Pax may soon emerge as a true competitor amongst other college apparel merchandise companies.

Pax Designs currently licenses nail wraps for 34 schools across the US, plans to expand operations within the next year, entering agreements with over 100 schools before the next wave of graduations.

Licensing is key to muscling in on this market 

A license agreement is paramount to any merchandising program, structuring the business relationship to provide a basis for trust, memorialization and quality assurance.

In an interview with the TheStreet​, senior vice president of The International Licensing Merchandiser's Association, Marty Brochstein explains the trend of licensing merchandise and how a small retailer can get on board: “The brand is built on emotion. The essence of any brand is that it evokes something…you have to evaluate what that brand brings to the party”.

Do you need another way to decorate your nails? Probably not, but if you're an enthusiastic student or graduate, you may still be interested in ‘who’s wearing’ your university, where they hang out and what nail cover they had on. “And that's the essence of collegiate licensing, whether it's for the home or apparel or any other product category,​” Brochstein adds.

This is exactly what Paxman is trying to do; the more licensing agreements there are, the more nail wraps will be considered as a crucial indicator of school spirit, and Paxman thinks University Nail Pax may have a uniquely advantageous opportunity here.

“College licensing is not an avenue for every business owner,”​ Paxman states. “The approval process requires presenting a solid business plan and sales materials prior to actually marketing and selling your product.  Business owners should estimate 6-8 weeks or even several months to receive approvals to bring their product to market.”

Related topics: Business & Financial

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