Talking Brands: Why has PEPPA PIG proved to be a powerhouse in licensing?

TELA’s Gabi Drew, Start Licensing’s Ian Downes and Trend UK’s Lindsay Hardy share their thoughts on the pre-school titan’s brand power.

Gabi Drew, TELA, Ian Downes, Start Licensing, Lindsay Hardy, Trends UKGabi Drew, Owner, TELA
PEPPA PIG resides in a world all of its own, truly. As a brand, it has profoundly influenced and impacted the upbringing of new generations for over 20 years. In an era where we witness a transition from physical daily life to a generation thriving on virtual realities and digital content, PEPPA PIG possesses the unique ability to bring back a form of reality through values. The stories it tells are ones we eagerly share with our children, leaving a positive imprint on their personal growth and adventures.

Thanks to consumer products, these stories become tangible parts of our daily lives, whether it’s a storybook to read together, the perfect apparel for puddle jumping, or a plush teddy to hold onto during uncertain moments. PEPPA PIG thrives thanks to the intrinsic ‘go-to’ value that it holds for both adults and children… A safe place for over 20 years.

Gabi Drew, TELA, Ian Downes, Start Licensing, Lindsay Hardy, Trends UK

Gabi Drew, TELA, Ian Downes, Start Licensing, Lindsay Hardy, Trends UKIan Downes, Director, Start Licensing
One aspect of the ongoing success of PEPPA PIG beyond the show is the way that the licensing programme has been managed and developed. My sense is that it has been carefully managed with an emphasis on working with proactive licensing partners who were made to feel part of the brand. As such, licensees feel they can invest in the brand with a long-term approach. Having a secure base of licensees is vital to the development and ongoing success of a licensed brand. The contribution licensees make to the development of a brand can be undervalued sometimes. I don’t think this has been the case with PEPPA PIG.

This also brings benefits in areas like design and product development. If licensees feel secure in their tenure with a brand, they are more likely to spend time and money on new product development. They can also be a valuable source of knowledge and insight around design. PEPPA PIG seems to have benefitted from ongoing investment in design. This helps keep it on trend, but also opens up new distribution opportunities. Investing in design is an important part of the licensing mix these days and categories like apparel are design hungry. It’s important to deliver design options – this can also help with the management and development of the retail marketplace as retailers are increasingly looking for a unique look.

The team behind PEPPA PIG has recognised licensing is a collaborative business, but also one where you need to make progress carefully and in a curated way. Of course, it always helps if the core product – in this case, the TV show – is well crafted, popular and engaging. PEPPA PIG is a success story that I think we can all celebrate in licensing… A lot of people and companies have contributed to its success, but overall, it’s a brand that has been very well managed.

Gabi Drew, TELA, Ian Downes, Start Licensing, Lindsay Hardy, Trends UK

Gabi Drew, TELA, Ian Downes, Start Licensing, Lindsay Hardy, Trends UKLindsay Hardy, Marketing Director, Trends UK
All pre-school properties are endearing, but small children identify so strongly with PEPPA PIG and her life because, at the core of the stories, she’s doing what they are doing… Whether that be in the home, at school, or on family outings and adventures. She’s the ideal guide and friend – and she’s funny! I also think it helps that she’s still very British.

We first launched our range of PEPPA ELAs (electronic learning toys) in Autumn 2016. There were just four items to start with but three of them are still going strong today, particularly PEPPA’s Flip & Learn Phone. Eight years later and we now have 12 items. Our focus has always been to help children learn with PEPPA, so certain products focus more on particular skills like counting, identifying colours or spelling simple words – all in a fun and engaging way. Peppa acts as the guide and cheerleader for the child exploring the possible answers.

Ultimately, the PEPPA brand is strongest when the stories and the merchandise reflect those core pre-school and family experiences. I mean, who wouldn’t want to jump in muddy puddles like Peppa?

Gabi Drew, TELA, Ian Downes, Start Licensing, Lindsay Hardy, Trends UK

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