Licensing Haüs’ Maria Alcaide on creativity, innovation and the opportunities around NFTs

Maria Alcaide, Principal at Licensing Haüs, tells us about her route into brands – and why NFTs are presenting brands with some exciting opportunities.

Licensing Haus is a full-service brand licensing agency, with clients spanning Lone Star beer, Taste of Home magazine and iconic actor John Wayne.

We caught up with Maria Alcaide, Principal at Licensing Haüs, to find out more about her route into brands – and why NFTs are presenting brands with some exciting opportunities.
Maria Alcaide, Licensing Haüs
Hi Maria, great to catch up. To kick off, some people say they fell into licensing, others say they always wanted to work with brands. Which camp do you fall into?
I didn’t exactly fall in… Once I learned about it – I heavily pursued it! But like many others in licensing, it’s not where my career started. I began in entertainment running a fitness DVD label for Sony, and within that role noticed the success of fitness media properties becoming top sellers into many licensed categories.

After a little more research into typical brand licensing business models, I was sold and knew this was a business I wanted to be in. From there, I pursued the industry until I landed at a top licensing agency and then eventually spun off and started my own.

For anyone new to Licensing Haüs, what do you guys do?
Licensing Haüs is a full-service brand licensing agency with a unique edge in developing e-commerce solutions for licensed brands. On the licensing side, we represent brands and manufacturers, and manage and grow their licensing programs through innovative licensed partnerships.

On the e-commerce front, we do everything from online shop creation to developing drop shipping and affiliate programs, and a host of Amazon and other third party .com marketplace growth services.

Maria Alcaide, Licensing Haüs

On the licensing front, what sort of brands do you represent?
Yes, our client roster includes Pabst Blue Ribbon, Colt 45, Lone Star and Rainier beers, the quintessential cowboy and actor John Wayne, and magazines including Taste of Home, Family Handyman, Reader’s Digest and others.

I’m also a partner at Brand & Blend where we represent the ubiquitous I LOVE NY logo and DeLorean Motor Company.

On that, I saw a recent launch for DeLorean was the 40th Anniversary NFT Collection. How did the deal come about?
When NFTs made their big splash in March, my interest was piqued to say the least and the next couple of weeks were spent learning everything I could about the market and ideating how to make this new platform valuable for my clients. The DeLorean 40th NFT collection came out of that brainstorm and 10 weeks later, we launched.

Maria Alcaide, Licensing Haüs
A quick turnaround! Lots of people are still getting their heads around NFTs… Why does it present an interesting opportunity for brands?
Right now, the primary benefit is that you can sell a brand-forward product with little upfront investment and a potentially big upside. However, in my opinion, the future value of NFTs will hone in on the functionality the technology brings, which is set up to disrupt the way we sell things in a number of ways.

For example, the NFT functionality provides an interesting way to combat infringements for luxury goods commonly sold in secondary markets like purses. If every new high-end bag now had a corresponding NFT, it would create a line of transparency on the blockchain from consumer to brand that would make it difficult for knockoffs to be mistaken for legitimate.

Another major benefit is that NFTs allow brands to earn a royalty for secondary market sales, which means that if that consumer resells that bag/NFT combination, the brand will now earn a percentage of that NFT resale, which could mean huge dollars for brands.

That’s one of my many theories on where NFTs will ultimately take us but like with any new technology, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the next development will be.

Great insights Maria, thanks for that. Now, I’ve already kept you too long, so my final question… How do you fuel your creativity?
Long drives, or any activity where I can’t readily access a screen tends to bring my headspace back to a creative train of thought.

Brill! Huge thanks again Maria – I’m already looking forward to our next chat.

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