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License Global reveals top pop culture brands of decade

December 10, 2020

License Global magazine, the news publication for the licensed consumer product industry, has released the 2020 edition of The Influentials report, which uniquely highlights the brands that captured the spotlight of pop culture globally throughout the past 10 years and those in position to influence the business of brand licensing in the decade ahead.

Honouring brands that have undoubtedly influenced and changed how consumers communicate, shifted shopping behaviours and have spawned prolific licensed consumer product programs, the fourth annual report published by License Global features powerhouse brands such as Adidas, Grumpy Cat, FENTY, Patrick Starrr, Paw Patrol, Stranger Things, Supreme, The Smiley Company and more.

Licensing programmes drive pop-culture and disrupt consumer purchasing habits. Each brand featured on the 2020 The Influentials report contributes to the $292.8 billion in global sales revenue generated by licensed merchandise and services by introducing a new offering that society cannot live without. Speaking to the impact of each Influentials nominee, Amanda Cioletti, content director of License Global, said: “This year we chose to chronicle the past 10 years of the brand licensing industry and shine a light on who to watch in the upcoming decade. The Influentials report honours brands that impacted people across the globe by extending more deeply into consumers’ lives and for the ways they connect with, drive cultural conversations and engage consumers.

License Global collected nominations from its readership and thought leaders for the final report. In some categories – such as anime, social influencers and preschool content, for example – more than one brand emerged as equally crucial elements that moved the needle, affected consumer trends and altered the licensing landscape. For those categories, License Global recognised each brand for their contributions, rather than selecting one.

2010s Top Brands of the Decade include:

  • Adidas
  • Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time
  • BTS
  • Grumpy Cat
  • Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games
  • Social Influencers (JoJo Siwa, Ryan’s World, Bethany Mota, Patrick Starrr, and LaurDIY)
  • L.O.L. Surprise!
  • Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
  • Preschool animation (PJ Masks, PAW Patrol, Octonauts, and Doc McStuffins)
  • UEFA Champion’s League
  • Netflix’s Stranger Things
  • Luxury fashion brands for the masses (Gucci, LVMH, Supreme, Off-White, and Moschino)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers franchise
  • The Kardashians
  • The Smiley Company

2020s Future Top Brands include:

  • Anime Brands (Funimation, Toei Animation’s Dragon Ball Z, and Crunchyroll)
  • J Balvin
  • Mobile apps (Headspace, Calm, Postmates, and DoorDash)
  • Disney+
  • Shopify
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Quick-service food (KFC, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Cheetos)
  • Cause-related brands (Patagonia, Seventh Generation, REI, and Warby Parker)
  • Peloton
  • Plant-based powerhouses (Impossible and Beyond)
  • The NBA
  • Athleisure (Champion, FILA, Lululemon, and Uniqlo)
  • Spotify
  • Tesla
  • TikTok
  • Zoom

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