Best Practices

Communication with Retailers

Licensor to Licensee

  • Planned content reveal dates should be communicated to licensees in sync with retail preview and planning needs, even if they are not yet firm. Licensees will need to communicate these timeframes to retail when selling in a product or line.
  • Embargo dates for major product lines should be established 8 to 12 months prior to a line’s planned retail availability. Large retailers may not have the flexibility to adjust their planned shelf set date to accommodate timeline shifts beyond this window.
  • Brick and mortar product availability should be planned to trail content reveal by no less than two weeks. Operational success in targeting product launches to within a week of content reveal is limited. Online product availability can be targeted more tightly to content reveal in instances where this is desired.
  • Embargo dates on properties should be tiered to specific asset release timing (title, logo/branding, plot points) as assets are provided to licensees.
  • Material provided to licensees to help sell in a product or product line, such as reference images or scripted talking points, should not include any highly confidential IP related to an embargoed line. Known names/images or vague and unrevealing descriptions of plot points should be provided to licensees for selling purposes.

Licensee to Retail

  • Asset reveal dates and product embargo dates should be communicated to retail at the time of space allocation and order placement.
  • Asset reveal dates should be proactively restated to retail at each instance that embargoed material is presented to or made accessible to retail.
  • recise digital content release dates should always be communicated with a time zone designation.
  • Digital asset turnover to retail should be tiered to align with business need and asset confidentiality, with the most sensitive assets being delivered as close to the deadline for effective use as possible.
  • Digital assets not intended for eventual public reveal should not be shared with retail outside of clear channels, and should not be shared with teams who are responsible for providing public-facing assets. Placeholder images, if needed, should be generic logos or silhouettes that would not cause IP leaks if publicly revealed.

Retail to Licensee

  • Retailers with multiple locations should establish and communicate the latest possible lead time needed to affect a change in embargo dates on stock at all locations.
  • Retailers holding digital assets prior to embargo dates should establish and communicate the timing window for precision in moving content to be public facing (for example, can they have an order page go live between 8:00 and 8:15 PST on Dec 15, or only some time after 12:00am on Dec 15).
  • Retailers should be able to communicate the needs and limitations of their POS systems and online stock tracking systems to licensees, so licensees can provide coded or generic content if needed.