Two Daughters Entertainment’s Rob Goodchild on building Moley into an enduring global children’s brand

Rob Goodchild, Commerical Director at Two Daughters Entertainment, talks toys, animation and the benefits of being a nimble company.

Rob, thanks for making time. First up, can you tell us about Two Daughters Entertainment and your role there?
Two Daughters Entertainment was founded by James Reatchlous; he created the character Moley, initially as bedtime stories for his two young daughters.

The company is focused on creating high quality animated entertainment, primarily for a family audience. Having launched the Moley content, James brought together an experienced team to help take the business to the next level. It has a real entrepreneurial feel about it – set up to be nimble, in full control of its IP and globally focused in outlook.

“A solid design strategy is essential to any successful licensing programme.”

It’s my role to maximise the opportunities presented by our full slate of IP, which also includes new feature films and series content. We want to ensure they are developed in a way that will deliver long term ROI and build strong partnerships across all ancillaries channels.

Do you have some key licensing objectives for Moley?
We’re not rushing to market. First off, we need to make sure we have the plans and finance in place to build the fanbase for Moley. We have established a good global base with Warner and free to air broadcasters, so our next step is to broaden engagement points via content platforms, partnerships and live events.

Our first ports of call will be those that can help us achieve this. It’s our intention to build sustainable programmes in a number of markets, so we need to approach this in a logical fashion.

Rob Goodchild, Two Daughters Entertainment, Film & TV, Fashion, Homewares

Makes sense. Now, a lot of children’s properties have a firm footing in the toy category. Why do you think that is and how do you hope to engage with this sector?
Toys are vital for children of all ages. They have stayed relevant in a digital age because the toy companies are so good at innovating and have a deep understanding of how children play. Of course, one of our first challenges is to find toy partners who can help us realise our vision of building Moley as an enduring global children’s property.

“Moley is the first 3rd party IP to feature on the Talking Tom and Friends YouTube channel.”

We know how competitive the sector is – and how many licenses they have to choose from – so it’s our job to demonstrate why the IP is worthy of backing.

Design wise, what is the status for Moley? Do you have style guides ready to use?
We have a style guide developed by Watermelon which is ready to go. We are working with Teemill to build an ecommerce platform so we can test the application and showcase real world items.

A solid design strategy is essential to any successful licensing programme. The fact that we are a nimble, entrepreneurial business means we’ll always want to make sure we have assets that are fit for purpose, delivered quickly and adaptable to suit our partners and markets.

Rob Goodchild, Two Daughters Entertainment, Film & TV, Fashion, Homewares

For manufacturing companies that are new to licensing, what benefits licensing can bring to their businesses?
Licensing can help in a number of ways. First off, a good license comes with brand equity built in. This means that a lot of the work is done in knowing that products will be relevant to the target consumer and instantly appealing. There is also the added bonus of having design assets ready to go and an ongoing stream of new material.

Licensing also enables business to repeat success. If a product formula works well, then it can be emulated across a portfolio of brands. It also means that you get to be part of a great industry which can open doors to further opportunities.

More generally – and thinking back to your previous experience – what are the main challenges facing UK animation companies?
One of the problems is the current financing landscape. The business is so fragmented and with less money coming in from traditional platforms, many independent studios struggle to bring anything to market. Even those that manage to get there tend to have few resources left over to invest in brand development – or have had to give up some or all of their rights in the process.

Two Daughters’ philosophy is to raise finance outside of the market, thus giving it full control over IP with enough left over to build brands properly. This is essential to create long term value.

Turning back to licensing, how important is it to have a digital strategy and content for a licensed brand these days? Is the onus on the brand owner to manage this or is this a licensing opportunity?
I can’t see how you can build a brand without it. I think the core function needs to be in house, as value comes from being close to your audience and knowing what makes them tick. However, that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t some great partnerships and collaborations to be had. For example, Moley is the first 3rd party IP to feature on the Talking Tom and Friends YouTube channel. That has over 15 million subscribers. It’s a great opportunity for us to reach a wider audience, while enriching the experience for their fanbase.

I noticed you have signed up to the Brands and Retail Conference next year. What is the thought process behind this for you? How important is it to build a rapport with retailers these days ?
It’s a great opportunity to tell the story of Two Daughters Entertainment and the ambition for the business in a relaxed setting. We want to showcase a company that is forward thinking, developing a strong slate of properties and intent on forging lasting partnerships. Building a rapport with retailers is tougher than ever, as the bigger studios take so much of the air. This is a chance for us present ourselves as a genuine challenger – not shackled by tradition or protracted decision-making structures – and one ready to work our socks off to create success for our business and our partners.

Great stuff. Thanks again Rob!

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.