RSPCA turns to brand licensing to boost funds

RSPCA is hoping to launch a range of branded pet food, gifts and clothing to attract new supporters and boost fundraising.

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The animal charity is growing its licensing division to help build partnerships with commercial organisations to develop products under the RSPCA brand

As part of the strategy RSPCA has already launched a range of soft toys in partnership with toy firm Aurora World to appeal to young children.

The charity identified that it relies on legacy income from long-term supporters and is now looking to exploit the revenue opportunities that exist in licensing, retail and trading.

Cathy Snow, trading manager at RSPCA says: “We’re traditional and we have a strong heritage but we also want to be seen as progressive. The focus of the Society has changed. We don’t want to be seen as authoritarian so part of the new licensing strategy is to attract new people to the society and reach a broader audience”.

It has brought its licensing operations in house for the first time and is creating a division of three people dedicated to developing licensing and new business opportunities for the brand.

“We did some strategy planning to look at what we were doing, what was missing from our offering and what we could do. Retail and trading was previously a support arm for the charity but now it’s time to exploit the opportunities that are there.”

Snow adds that the charity is investing more in marketing and branding than it has previously and has developed a brand style guide for the first time to ensure that all licensed products and retail stores adhere to a consistent brand look.

RSPCA is also revamping its network of 230 retail stores around the UK in a bid to make the brand more consistent across all consumer touchpoints and has increased its retail team from one to three people.

The overhaul has been led by former RAJAR CEO Sally De La Bedoyere, who joined RSPCA a year ago in the newly created role of director of income generation, tasked with developing a more balanced portfolio for income and fundraising.

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