and what it can mean for them
Stephen J. Kerr & Sarah Nean Bruce
Three years ago, before our colleagues were heading off to Cannes, we posted a short article about branding. We find now, in 2017, that our advice is the same: Go to build your brand.
As an investment banker, brand adviser, and appraiser of entertainment properties - we have witnessed film sales companies and distributors make many of the same mistakes. They continue to acquire (and sell) movies and documentaries based on the metrics of the deal, and not based on a long-term strategy to build their brand, nor to establish a recognized global presence.
That is, in fact, what a lot of the foreign sales (and distribution) companies have become: A mixed assortment of movies and documentaries. We cannot discern much of a plan or corporate image from their list of titles accumulated over the years. Most titles were picked up because they were priced right and expedient, and the acquisition team knew they could sell them to a certain number of buyers. Not much thought was given to how this or that title fits into the overall company “brand,” or how a title will enhance the value of the corporation (and its library), as a whole. It often gets down to price, terms and sell-ability. Deal done.
But that is not the end of the deal. That title will become part of the company’s long term identity. We know the phrase “you are what you eat,” well…
- What are you known for? Why do buyers want the films that you take to market?
- When you want to recruit top talent for your team, why do they want to work for your company?
Let’s picture in our minds some of the following companies: EuropaCorp, Fortitude International, MarVista Entertainment, Lakeshore Entertainment, IFC, STX, Archstone, A24, Participant Media, and Electric Entertainment.
We pretty much know what type of films (and television projects) they create, buy, sell, and release.
They are brand conscious.
We advise you to build your brand. Establish your niche in the vast entertainment business. Movies are not bricks.
Acquire only films that will enhance the overall value of your company, and give you a catalog of titles that others would admire and wish they had acquired.
Sure, we want to make money. But in the end, we want to be remembered for having done more than just making a profit – we want to have done something great.
“It all comes back to feeling relevant. It is that search for relevance that drives even successful pop culture purveyors to strive to make and disseminate better quality, artistic entertainment… they don’t just want to make a buck, they actually want to make a difference. Touch people’s lives. Move the world.” ~ Stephen J. Kerr | BMC Online, June 6, 2014.
It does not matter if you have the best collection of creature features, Anime, Sci-Fi, romantic comedies, rock docs, international spy thrillers… or kid vid.
As you get ready to embark for France in 2017, think about your long-term goals and objectives. Carefully consider what you want your company to be known for; and what you - yourself - want to be remembered for.
Our firm, Bel Âge Médias (B.Â.M.}, is a company specializing in providing Business Development, Branding Guidance, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) expertise, Exit Strategies, and Investment Banking services. Additionally, under out ongoing Streaming / OTT / 4K / Ultra HD initiative, we continue pursuing strategic alignments with high-end, entertainment technology providers, and explore low-cost alternatives for theatrical, televised, streamed, and online distribution of 4K and 2K films & television programs globally.
Bel Âge Médias • Santa Monica, California
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Stephen(@)BelAgeMedias.com • Sarah(@)BelAgeMedias.com
LinkedIn-Stephen J. Kerr – https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenjkerr
LinkedIn Sarah Nean Bruce – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahneanbruce
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1 - “The Most Important Thing To Remember At Cannes” | BMC Online – 04/27/2014 by Stephen J. Kerr - http://www.bizmark.net/blogs/the-most-important-thing-to-remember-at-cannes
2 - “The Search for Relevance” | BMC Online – 6/6/2014 By Stephen J. Kerr - http://www.bizmark.net/blogs/the-search-for-relevance