Monday, September 22, 2008

Anything Goes!

One of the things that appeals to me with the area of licensing is that anything goes in negotiating the contract. In fact, there are standards that many use in licensing deals, but from what I'm learning, you can ask for anything you want.

For example, I feel strongly that no one can sell the features and benefits of our gloves better than I can. I'm proposing to our licensee that Dave and I work for their company as contractors rolling out the new line of gloves. Dave and I both have solid backgrounds in sales and marketing so we're certainly qualified. Additionally, people love a mother of invention story. We will ask for an up front payment when we sign our agreement (not an advance as is usually the case - I'll explain this in more detail on Wednesday), and then we'd like to be put on the companies payroll to travel the country doing in-store retail promotions, snow festivals, and introducing the product on QVC. This might appear to be an expensive way to roll out the product line, when in fact, we feel we can sell many more pairs of gloves by sharing our story and allowing other moms, dads, and grandparents get to know us. They will relate to us as we're an average, everyday American family just like they are. This kind of deal not only gives us the down payment for our IP, but it also gives us an income for a year, the opportunity to travel the US as a family, and we don't have an advance coming out of our royalties when they start to roll in.

Will our licensee agree to this kind of arrangement? That's yet to be seen, but we'll certainly put it up for negotiation. Even if we don't get the whole kit and caboodle, we'll certainly get something more than the standard license agreement. Most importantly, it's my opinion that this kind of forward thinking earns respect and will have our business partner thinking just a little more of us as innovators and individuals.

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