Licensing is becoming more important to retail buyers on a day-to-day basis, the organiser of next week’s trade show Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) has claimed.

The role of licensing - particularly that of lifestyle brands such as football clubs and celebrities - will continue to grow in fmcg, BLE event director Darren Brechin said this week.

“Consumers seek the comfort of a familiar brand,” he said, adding that awareness of brands and licensing was increasingly important to retail buyers.

BLE organiser Advanstar launched a Retail Mentoring Programme five years ago which has now been joined by retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and M&S. The scheme includes workshops and seminars with licensing trade body LIMA and an opportunity for retail buyers to ‘shadow’ licensors.

“This enables them to learn how it works from the other side of the fence,” said Brechin, adding Tesco had now made the Retail Mentoring Programme part of its buyer training programme.

Brand Licensing Europe is being held at Olympia, London, from 7 to 9 October.