Rising Star People Profile: Fernanda Núñez Zimbrón, Brand Manager at La Panadería Licensing & Marketing
The global licensing community is powered by an incredible group of professionals whose diverse backgrounds and creative energy drive innovation and excellence. We profile one of these professionals each week, and in this special edition of the People Profile series we are introducing one of the 2023 Rising Stars Award recipients to shine a spotlight on their success.
How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find you)?
My career in licensing began when I joined La Panadería Licensing & Marketing and they gave me the opportunity to be part of the marketing team. There, under the command of Mariana Orvañanos and then Diana Contreras, I fell in love with this industry that is always changing, unpredictable and super exciting. Although I had worked in marketing before, licensing was discovering a new world where there is a pinch of everything.
What’s a “typical” day in your current position?
First things first: coffee! Although the days can be very different from each other, I like to maintain a routine. I usually start by reviewing requests by the commercial team, which usually have to do with contracts or new projects and partners (those are my favorite requests!). Afterwards, I usually review the pending issues to solve them or follow up with the corresponding team or supplier to make sure everything keeps on going. I also frequently have meetings to talk about the projects we have ongoing and what is on the horizon. Once the day is running smoothly, I usually turn to focus on developing proposals for marketing and retail programs. Might not sound exciting, but it is!
What’s your biggest personal or professional accomplishment?
Without a doubt being a Rising Star! It is a great honor, and it was a great surprise to receive this recognition. Absolutely the best yet!
What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
Social media, especially TikTok. I think that these platforms have changed the way we communicate and the perception we have of the real world, which alters everything else, including the products that are sought, the way of selling, the way of approaching the consumer, and the strategies at retail. And I think the biggest challenge is that social media is always changing.
What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest challenge these days?
Planning marketing strategies that have a greater impact on the market to exploit the full potential of the brands I am in charge of, but at the same time are strategies that allow us to achieve commercial objectives.
In your opinion, what is the top skill every licensing executive should have in order to succeed?
A combination of curiosity, creativity, and empathy. Curiosity to stay aware of what is happening around you, not only in the licensing industry but in any environment. That allows you to be creative enough to find new proposals or better solutions. And always keeping in mind that you work with other people—team building is always important.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, or what’s your favorite quote?
“Tun, was du willst,” is the phrase on the back of the Auryn, from the book The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. It can be translated as “Do what you want,” but the secret in the message is that it refers to finding your true will. Knowing who you are, the path forward is clear.
What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (It doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you.)
Samsung x BTS. I love everything about this collaboration! All the marketing around it feels very organic, the product is incredible (you can tell that there is a lot of care behind it) and the way of communicating the advantages of the product is very fun and dynamic. They knew how to find the middle ground so that both brands could shine, as it should be, and at the same time to deliver something very special for fans to cherish.
If you weren’t in licensing, what would you be doing now?
I would probably be in marketing, but as a copywriter, which is what I did before learning about licensing.
The last licensed product I bought was…
A Demon Slayer t-shirt!
The Rising Star Awards recognize the next generation of leaders around the world for their commitment, passion, and contributions to their company and the licensing industry. This year’s Rising Stars were recognized and celebrated at the Hall of Fame Gala Luncheon in New York City on December 6th, 2023.