Meredith Licenses BH&G Brand to Real Estate Franchise
Meredith has made its latest “win-win” deal, according to chief development officer John Zieser. The Better Homes and Gardens parent has agreed to license its brand for 50 years, with a 50 year option, to Realogy Corporation—owner and franchiser of the Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA brands—as Realogy prepares to launch the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise system next July.
With this partnership come three new revenue streams for Meredith—commission on royalties earned from the franchise, Realogy and its franchisees advertising in Meredith titles, and magazine subscription income through Realogy’s marketing through the system. Zieser did not name a figure but says he expects these three to make up a “meaningful” stream of income.
Along with financial gain, the partnership meets Meredith’s strategic brand-extension goals. Realogy participates in 20 percent of home sales in the U.S., Zieser says, and are “close to those buying, decorating, and furnishing their homes,” which makes a “powerful proposition” for more business with new and existing ad clients.
Realogy, in turn, gets selective use of Meredith’s 85-million name database as well as market extension. “In most markets, Realogy’s brands are relatively saturated and hard to grow,” Zieser tells Folio:. “From a strategic standpoint, securing BH&G helps launch a new brand in markets across the U.S.”
Pre-launch, Realogy is in the “driver’s seat,” working on marketing, its staff, and its Web presence to “make sure its content is useful,” says Zieser. “BH&G is our most important brand at Meredith. We don’t lisence it without a lot of consideration. We’ll be making sure it’s used in a highly appropriate manner and that we’re getting a financial and strategic return.”
This latest deal is on the heals of two other high-profile Meredith extensions—the acquisition of consumer health search engine Healia in June and database/CRM firm Directive just this month. Zieser called both of these “win-win transactions” at last week’s DeSilva + Phillips Health Care Media Summit—a win on Meredith’s part as it “looks to extend its reach and get bigger in B-to-B and B-to-C, on both horizontal and vertical platforms.”