The Brand Radar: Meyer, Nadiya Hussain and the importance of a shared vision

Start Licensing’s Ian Downes takes us inside the development of Meyer’s new Nadiya Hussain homewares and bakewares collection.

I visited the Exclusively show last week. It’s a show focused on housewares, kitchenware, and giftware, and has always been a good one to attend from a licensing perspective as licensing has featured regularly in this space.

This ranges from character licensing through to heritage brands – and more recently a greater use of so-called celebrity brands.

This year I had even more reason to attend as one of our clients – Nadiya Hussain – has developed a homewares and bakeware range with the Meyer Group under their Prestige brand.

Ian Downes, The Brand Radar

Nadiya is not a newcomer to licensing and partnerships. She has a licensing deal for ceramics such as plates and bowls with State of Bliss, which is on sale in retailers such as John Lewis. These products feature colourways, shapes and patterns Nadiya has been directly involved in creating.

In pre-Covid days, this range was literally conceived and developed on Nadiya’s kitchen table. I vividly remember her rummaging in her kitchen cupboards to highlight particular products as reference points for design conversations and pointing us towards her Pinterest boards to get a steer on colour selections.

One product that features in State of Bliss’ range is a magnetic spice rack that can be fitted onto a wall and rotates around. Nadiya was able to show how this could work and be used with an impromptu demo in her kitchen, which helped fire up the design development for this product. This was real hands-on licensing.

Ian Downes, The Brand Radar

Nadiya’s other licensed ventures include children’s baking kits with Wilton Bradley. These are kits that again Nadiya was directly involved in helping to develop and they include recipe cards featuring recipes Nadiya has written.

She also has a broad publishing programme, which includes books targeting adults and others that are written for children. She has also recently been working with retailer Next to curate a footwear collection. This is a partnership which will be extended into other areas shortly.

Other areas under development include greetings cards which Nadiya is working on with a card publisher to establish messages, themes and designs.

A common theme in Nadiya’s commercial work is her willingness to be involved in a hands-on way with product development and the individual licensees. This is of course a significant benefit to the licensees on a practical level as Nadiya brings a lot of knowledge and experience to discussions.

This also ensures that the developments are authentic ones. Nadiya is keen that she is involved so she can have an input, understands the development process, and can contribute to it. Authenticity is a watchword.

Interestingly – and somewhat surprisingly to some people I talk to – Nadiya has turned down far more licensing opportunities than she has agreed to. This is for a combination of reasons, but one of the chief ones is that she hasn’t felt the opportunity is right for her and that she cannot add any lasting value to it. Again, it’s a question of authenticity.

Other practical reasons are taken into consideration such as Nadiya’s other commitments to things like TV projects and how much time she has available. As a team we have taken a long-term view on licensing and have prioritised opportunities that seem to have longevity.

This informed our thinking regarding the cookware and bakeware categories. In licensing terms, these are product categories that haven’t always worked well. There have been some transistory deals which didn’t appear to be built on solid product foundations, and often the quality of product has let partnerships down.

We felt it was vital to work with a well-established and well-resourced company. Our discussions with Meyer confirmed that they were an ideal candidate to develop Nadiya’s bakeware. They had a shared vision for how a range could be developed, committing to a partnership based on shared beliefs and values.

This partnership puts family at the centre of the thinking behind the range. The idea was to create a line that allowed consumers to create and cook food simply and with equipment they could trust.

It was a real positive that Meyer saw this range being developed in association with its trusted Prestige brand. The history and heritage behind Prestige reassured Nadiya but it also reassures consumers.

The range has been created under a brand banner: Nadiya Loves. Within the bakeware range are products such as loaf tins, muffin tins, cake tins and brownie tins. The high spec products feature a signature Nadiya pattern that is influenced by her ceramics range, creating consistency across her products.

The products have been developed with features such as textured surfaces and rolled edges to make them easier for people to use and to bake with confidence. Nadiya worked with Meyer to ensure the products were user friendly and featured the best product options possible. Neat features include handy internal measurements to match recipes to the correct tins.

Her cookware range includes high spec multi-purpose cast iron products, including a casserole dish that suits one pot cooking and oven-to-table dining. This functionality appealed to Nadiya and suits her family-first cooking style.

A really good example of practical thinking in the range is a 4-in-1 wok. Designed with space saving in mind, it can be used for steaming, stewing, frying and roasting. Nadiya’s nesting pan set has also been designed from a practical perspective as it stackable to help with space saving.

Nadiya’s cookware features a gold pattern on the inside that further differentiates her range and reinforces the Nadiya brand identity. This level of detail and commitment to design is refreshing from Meyer.

Nadiya has also worked with Meyer on developing content to help with the trade and consumer marketing for the range. It’s a further demonstration of her hands on involvement with the range.

This also reflects the fact that licensing deals and licensing partners need to think about how licensed ranges connect with consumers these days. Social media is helpful in this regard but in competitive categories like homewares, it’s important that a licensee takes a proactive approach to consumer marketing. A good licence can no longer sell itself. It needs support and a focused push.

So far, the Prestige Nadiya Loves range has delivered on the promise of having authenticity at its core. The reaction from retailers at the Exclusively show was very encouraging and early signs are that the range will be well supported at retail. Obviously, it then has to sell through, but here again it is hoped the care and time taken to develop a range that reflects Nadiya’s values and thinking will succeed at retail.

Sometimes in licensing, saying no is the right thing to do as is waiting for the right moment and opportunity. Nadiya has certainly taken a patient and considered approach to building her licensed products portfolio.

In the future, I suspect licensed products will come under more scrutiny in regards to their origins, their development and dare I say, their authenticity.

Stay up to date with the latest news, interviews and opinions with our weekly newsletter

Sign Up

Enter your details to receive Brands Untapped updates & news.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.