Ford may still be awaiting better overall credit ratings so it can formally re-take control of its iconic Blue Oval logo. In the meantime, the company is farming out the famous marque to more and more licensees who want to get in on the growing renaissance at America’s first surviving car company. For the first time at auto shows this year, Ford has been setting up its own boutique on show floors to sell such Ford-branded merchandise to consumers.
“We’ve got a whole group merchandising non-autos licensing now,” Jim Farley, Ford’s global CMO, commented on Monday at a press event discussing the automaker’s global “Go Further” campaign. Consumer and licensee interest in leveraging the brand in this way “is one of the best measures of brand health,” he added.
Licensing deals to date, Farley said, include a Mustang-themed pool table (above) and a variety of toys. Ford, naturally, insists on approving actual products and their execution of Ford marks, not just concepts and proposals, so there’s an area at corporate HQ set aside for housing and evaluation of all the proposed items. “It’s a fun place to go,” Farley said.