The Canadian market for licensed products is a vibrant market changing at an incredibly fast rate

Updated: May 4

By Philippe Guinaudeau, CEO

BrandTrends shares the Most favorite Entertainment brands in the autumn of 2022

[Article published in the Total Licensing Magazine / January 2023 Edition]

The BrandTrends Group unveils some major findings from its most recent research, and some key facts can be extracted when compared to the previous three years.

Canada has the second-largest land area in the world but also the longest binational land border in the world, which it shares with the United States. The country is also widely known for its maple syrup and other top-notch food items. Yes indeed.

Additionally, the country has a strong tradition of Entertainment, and is the home of the immensely popular Paw Patrol or The Cirque du Soleil, headquartered in Québec.

A fierce competitive and segmented market

The 6 million Canadian children up to 14 years old know more than 330 different Entertainment brands altogether. This is an impressive quantity, especially when you consider that each child would receive only a handful of these.

When broken down to a thinner demographic level, each age group & gender is familiar with around 112 different brands of those 330. This amply demonstrates the level of brand competition for each gender and age group. In fact, this large market is sharply divided between brands for boys, brands for girls, brands for early children, and brands for older children. And only 30% of all brands are known by both boys and girls. A small proportion, the rest being segmented!

Where comic book superheroes rise, as in many other countries

As shown in the table below, LEGO and Marvel are the two Canadian kids’ top favorite brands. However, Marvel would take over the leadership starting at age 10, while LEGO would dominate for kids up to age 9.

Marvel’s share of favorite mentions has also increased from 5.6% to 10.5% over the past four years, which is a noticeable increase. And over the past few years, Marvel has emerged as the franchise’s main brand, replacing its lower subbrands like Thor or the Avengers. A notable exception in this Marvel universe is Spider-Man, whose brand saw strong growth among children up to the age of 14 and rose to the ninth spot among the most popular brands among Canadian children.

DC Comics experienced a similar occurrence, albeit at a much slower rate, with a push of the top franchise: +1.3 points in 4 years.

Marvel superheroes are actually currently appearing in both feature films and tv series. And as other characters were well-liked by viewers, they continued to exist in the same interconnected film and television universe. As a result, the individual character components suffer at the price of the umbrella brands Marvel and DC Comics.

And the videogame brands are successful

The spectacular development of Roblox, which increased from 2.7% in October 2019 to 8.3% at the moment as Canadians’ favorite brand, is another noteworthy pattern in the Canadian market. And the fact is that the brand significantly expanded as much among both boys and girls, particularly the older children.

But alongside Roblox, other videogame brands such as Minecraft, Fortnite (albeit temporarily at a slower rate) and Mario Bros. or Sonic The Hedgehog also experienced growth in Canada.

The growth of the entire Anime / Mangas section is another interesting trend in Canada, as it is in many more other countries around the globe. Of course, Pokemon led this growth and had a terrific year. However, other brands, like Naruto, also grew (2.4% of the favorite brands, while not in the ranking 2 years ago!).

Ownership and Licensing Opportunities

Overall, the Canadian market for products with an entertainment license is booming. Not only has the range of purchases grown in terms of product categories and quantity (more categories, more products within each category), but the percentage of new buyers who don’t already own a licensed product also increased by 6 percentage points (about 361,000 new buying households for the demographic group). Overall, this suggests that over the following eight to twelve months, the market for these products will expand.

This is a vibrant market that changes at an incredibly fast rate

Canada’s market for licensed goods with entertainment brands exemplifies the market’s robust competitiveness and well-defined segments. Few brands are liked by all genders and broad age ranges at the same time. The Canadian market is active and evolves really quickly, so it is far from being frozen.

It will take more work for brands with lower penetration to grow over the pack of big licenses and continue inspiring people to connect with their brands.

For the existing brands, this offers greater opportunity to expand their brand portfolio, create spin-offs, and market new items, but it also necessitates the emergence of fresh concepts.

About the report

The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country. The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions. The service reports on 11,500+ different Entertainment, Fashion, or Sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries, including Canada.


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