The Royal Horticultural Society has won a major award at the 2017 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards ? the prestigious annual awards that reward excellence in brand licensing management.
As winner in the Best Licensed Heritage or Institution Brand category, the RHS triumphed in a very strong field; the seven other nominees included The British Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The National Gallery and the V&A.
The award is a major vote of confidence in the updated and expanded licensing programme that, since 2015, has associated the RHS brand and values with quality products from a wide range of carefully chosen partners.
The result has been the RHS name and associated imagery appearing on products from nearly 60 partners to date, offering items ranging from sweets to stationery and from dresses to calendars.
The area where RHS licensing and endorsement is strongest, however, remains gardening. For example you can now buy RHS-licensed or endorsed garden tools, storage, green and glasshouses, compost and mulches, horticultural grit, gravel, sand, pots and planters and gardening benches from major names such as Burgon & Ball, Trimetals, Kelkay, Melcourt, Apta, Sitting Spiritually, Kettler, Gabriel Ash and Hartley Botanic.
Gifting and homeware are also strong areas for the RHS brand, where the association with flowers and gardens has enormous appeal. Mugs, flasks, kitchen textiles, fine china and fragrances are just a few of the products licensed to a number of major names, which include Ulster Weavers, Churchill China, Bronnley, Moorcroft and Wax Lyrical, among many others.
The ?reboot? of the licensing programme has successfully introduced a number of exciting new design ideas, but possibly the most important of all was the use of images from one of the most amazing sources of illustration any brand could wish for: the RHS Lindley Library, a library of botanical artwork offering over 25,000 images, some dating back over 400 years. Many of these images are now being used on packaging, ceramics, garden tools and even dramatic floor-length gowns for women!
The success of the campaign and its recognition from the licensing industry hasn’t changed one thing, however. A partner must understand the RHS and its values, and, above all, offer a quality product ? even if that means submitting to extensive testing from RHS itself.
The result? High-quality RHS-licensed or endorsed products that benefit both the partner companies, which gain from the prestige of associating with the best-loved gardening charity in the UK, and the RHS, which gains from bringing its name to an even wider audience and developing a growing source of funds to support its work. All of the income from licensed products is used to support the RHS?s charitable work.
Cathy Snow, RHS licensing manager, said: ?The aim of the RHS licensing campaign has always been to build on the respect and admiration the RHS name inspires to support high-quality products and to provide more income for its invaluable work. We are thrilled that the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards have acknowledged the success of our campaign.?