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Netflix is Jumping into the Branded Merchandise Marketplace

The reason consumers choose to purchase clothing or products that display a brand name or logo has been debated for decades. Separate and distinct value for a brand is nothing new. Since the beginning of the modern marketing era, consumers have found additional value in a brand or logo. Generally attached to garments or products in inconspicuous locations or tags, showing the label brought many a wearer satisfaction that they could afford the very best or were members of a particular segment of the consumer society.

A well-recognized label or brand on a product soon saw consumers willing to place an additional value for the brand or logo over a generic equivalent. The practice of adorning apparel with obvious or overt images or topics of interest to the wearer became popular in the 1970s when printed dresses emerged as a vogue fashion statement. Manufacturers discovered that consumers were willing to purchase items that prominently displayed a licensed image or logo on the product or service.

In 2019, global sales of licensed, branded merchandise and services produced $292.8 billion in revenue. Apparel, Toys, and Fashion Accessories represented the largest categories of branded merchandise and services. The entertainment, or character, sector is the largest market segment with a 43.8 percent share. Regardless of consumers’ reasons behind the love for displaying the brand, brand marketing has become a massive business. Merchandise licensing is a pathway for a company to offer new products that fall outside its recognized core competency. It also provides an avenue to developing additional revenue streams, advancing a competitive edge in its core marketplace, and differentiating unique products over a competitor’s.

Netflix is the latest entertainment business to enter the world of brand marketing with its recent launch of an online store featuring merchandise related to shows and movies from the leading entertainment platform. According to a company press release, the new store will regularly release “limited editions of carefully selected high-quality apparel and lifestyle products.”

Merchandise will include “streetwear and action figures” based on two of its anime series, “Yasuke” and “Eden,” as well as apparel and other decorative items based on the Netflix show “Lupin.”

Items include a “Yasuke,” Tie-Dye Katana Hoodie designed by Jordan Bentley’s for $82, and “Eden” t-shirts from Japanese clothing brand Beams for $45.The website also lists a $95 “Yasuke” Cuban Link Necklace by designer Kristopher Kites and a $135 “Yasuke” Haruto Clock.

Netflix promises to introduce more exclusive merchandise related to other programs, based on “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things” series. The entertainment company already licenses hundreds of products based on its original programming available for purchase at Target, Walmart, Amazon, H&M, Sephora, and other well-known retailers. Netflix can expect to gain increased relevancy, name recall, and an additional revenue stream from this foray into the brand/licensing marketplace.