People Profile: Phoebe Coles, Licensing Coordinator at Brandgenuity
The global licensing community is powered by an incredible group of professionals whose diverse backgrounds and creative energy drive innovation and excellence. Each week we’re profiling one of these professionals in this ongoing series.
How did you get into licensing, or how did licensing find you?
Amongst the craziness that was COVID, I graduated with a degree in English and applied for a variety of roles across both the journalism and marketing industry. After a 15-month internship with Hasbro, I then undertook a permanent role in the licensing industry where I could put my knowledge into use at Brandgenuity, which is where I am today! I’m really grateful for the change in my career, as I’ve found an industry that feels family-like yet is part of some of the biggest deals in business.
What’s a “typical” day in your current position?
It’s hard to pinpoint a typical day, as there is always so much on in licensing—not to mention working as an agent for a whole host of brands that have different requirements! However, one of the things that is consistent in my day-to-day is ongoing communications with our partners. It’s vital for us to keep a steady conversation with both clients and licensees alike, ensuring that they both feel supported. Another key part of my role is expanding my knowledge in our categories and in the industry, which includes lots of trade show attendance, networking, and keeping an eye out for the ‘next big thing.’
What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
I believe we will see a resurgence of LBE activations in the coming years. We’ve seen great developments in this so far, and LBE will be a huge marketing asset for brands to encompass in their strategy. Reintroducing existing brands to our consumers in a way that is interactive and memorable will deliver an increased rapport and, as a result, bring more brand loyalty. Given these events have huge potential for growth, this will seamlessly blend into the development of the Metaverse and how we can use these assets to increase reach to new and existing customers in an emerging market.
In your opinion, what is the top skill every licensing executive should have to succeed?
I think there are many skills one needs to curate for a career in licensing—but one I think holds a lot of prominence is the ability to learn from people. It’s great to pick the brains of someone who has been in the industry longer and who has more experience, which has definitely been a huge learning opportunity for me, or to learn from someone who may be younger and can give a fresh perspective on things. Each and every person in this industry has something significant to contribute, and it’s important to not miss the opportunity to find out what that is!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received or what is your favorite quote?
One key bit of advice came from my parents and has stuck with me for life—that every rejection is a redirection. While this came as a handy mental note when applying for schools and jobs, I realized quickly that this is applicable for most aspects of life, particularly business. Looking at other success stories from businesses that inspire you, it’s important to acknowledge that not everything likely went to plan to get them where they are today. It’s crucial for growth to keep momentum going —even after the rejection—and you will find where you are being redirected to.
What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (It doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you.)
Personally, I love the Monopoly Lifesized LBE experience on Tottenham Court Road. The attention to detail is phenomenal, and the actors and staff make it so memorable!
If you weren’t in licensing, what would you be doing now?
While I love licensing, I’m really intrigued by the use of individuals in marketing—how influencers and social media have had such an enormous impact on how we promote goods is an ever-growing marketing technique. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for some of those campaigns! However, being able to work with the NFLPA does allow me to see some of the ins and outs of player marketing activation, which is a really great learning experience. I’d love to be able to do some more of this in the future, and broaden my horizons across different athletes. Declan Rice is top of my list!