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Export Options: Free Advice On Product Licensing

Export Options: Free Advice On Product Licensing

Are you sitting on a potential goldmine through international product licensing?

Robert Marx, a retired international licensing executive now living in Christchurch, says not enough companies consider licensing their products as an entrée into overseas markets, and those that do often leave it too late.

Marx, 75, specialised in international product licensing during his 55 year career in the plastics industries of the United States and Germany. Now he is offering to share that experience, at no cost, with small and medium size local businesses. After falling in love with New Zealand while visiting as tourists, he and his wife settled in Christchurch, home of high-tech exports.

He says the costs of exporting manufactured products like electronics are daunting for companies at this end of the world. Freight charges are becoming prohibitive, and companies can’t really afford to hire staff to service markets in the northern hemisphere.

Licensing companies in those countries to make and market products has the advantages of producing a revenue stream, often with significant up-front payments, without the costs usually associated with entering new markets.

It’s crucial to make the decision to license early in a product’s cycle – preferably soon after it is rolling off the production line. “That’s when it is at its most valuable,” says Marx. “It is no good leaving it till a product is nearing the end of its life-cycle and competitors are established with similar products.”

Companies often back off licensing because of fears that they will be ripped off by unscrupulous operators, but he says his experiences with licensed manufacturers in many countries in Europe and the Americas have been fruitful and that “people are normally honest”.

Marx advises companies looking for licensing partners to start with the relevant trade press – magazines published around the world for specific manufacturing sectors.

Get a professional wordsmith to put together press releases targeted for suitable magazines or newspapers, he advises. The product must be presented as newsworthy, and interesting. If you get the managing director of a company writing to you, wanting to know more about your product, he says you will have more chance of success than if you “cold call” on possible licensing partners.

If you think you could be sitting on a potential licensing goldmine, Marx will be happy to point you in the right direction. Contact him at

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