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Universal Social Brands (USB)


Homeshores-Direct™: A Festival of World Cultures 365™

Are UNIVERSAL SOCIAL BRANDS (USBs) the New Way for Communities to grow & prosper, by leveraging their local Community Brands to generate Livelihood opportunities in Licensing & Franchising Services?

Let's compare. We are all very familiar with the impact big Global Brands of the Private Sector, to re-enforce that point if we - think sports, we think Nike; think film, we think Universal Studios; think books, we think Amazon; think online, we think Google; think smartphoines, we think Apple; think spreadsheets, we think Microsoft; think computers, we think IBM; think social media, we think Facebook....and the list goes on. Big Brands have impact and add meaning, that with which retail shoppers identify in their droves.

Now if we think of Big Brand Licensing opportunities for SME's in the Private Sector we think of those with an extended reach through Big Brand Licensing of merchandise, where we might think of anyone from, say, Michael Jordan's basketball gear at Nike to an array Hollywood Movie character merchandise or the Drinks sector brands; where perhaps we might think of Guinness licensed merchandise or every other kind of big brand there with 'me too' T-shirts etc. They just all add their brand name to the production of SMEs as we know. Now isn't it hard to think of Merchandise Licensing, however, being big business in Third Sector? Yes.

But then if we look at Retail Brands in Private Sector too, we come to appreciate why and where over 50% of USA retail sales for example originate from Franchise sales - don't we all know the McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, Domino's, Dunkin' Donuts, Subway and many other fast food outlets; of Starbucks Cafes, of 7-Eleven & Circle K convenience stores; of Hotels like Days Inn, Hampton & Intercontinental; of UPS store & mail boxes; maybe too of some less well known ones like Merry Maids & The Maids residential cleaning services; of American Dairy Queen ice cream parlours; or of CruiseOne travel agency & Comfort Keepers homecare; maybe even of franchise brands with even thousands of outlets like Ace Hardware, Liberty Tax Service, Health Mart Pharmacy, Vision Source & Coldwell Banker. And that's just a flavour, where it's actually hard to find any leading retail sector that is not dominated by Retail Franchise brands. So how does Third Sector compare the here - not really on same pitch? Have we any evidence of that?

To get an idea of their relative impact we should look at the hard answer to another directly related question first, as to how social brands stand in the social sector: What Brands generated the most positive and active social conversation in 2012? We can find the answer at:
http://top50.socialradar.net/ The first Third Sector impact we see there enters at no 29, Wikipedia, and that is not a retail brand. The rest of the Top 50 are all Private Sector, the Third Sector does not get a look in. Yet we know that some Co-ops do franchise very well indeed, like The Co-operative UK - but relatively speaking, the sector is not at-the-races yet.

That brings us to Third Sector and the answer to our key question here - Are UNIVERSAL 'SOCIAL BRANDS' (USBs) the New Way....?

When we think of Third Sector and what are their big Social Brands, most people first think of the Co-operatives. We know they dominate that sector, at least when it comes to organised Retailing. Are Co-ops big in Merchandise or Services Licensing - hardly? Are Co-ops big in Retail Franchising, do they compare with that Franchise mix of USA private sector retailing - no way? Conversely, there-in lies one great latent opportunity sitting there ready to be tapped. But how? Under globally traded....and Community Branded...... products, merchandise and services. And that brings us back to formation of a new Org for Third Sector - ICCO, next.

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