Haven’s Tom Punch & Yvonne King Talk Brand Extension, Diversification and the Letter “X”

by The Editor 0

It’s safe to say that the world today is dramatically different to what it was 20 years ago. The internet, social media and the introduction of new technologies have changed the way the world connects and it is moving fast. I was chatting to Tom & Yvonne from Haven recently when they were explaining to me that the idea of “exploring new frontiers” for Haven meant offering more than just “licensing” and that these days, “brand extension” and “story telling” were key on their agenda on the back of their recent rebrand.

So having said that, I asked Tom what’s up with the rad front cover we are sporting for this year’s magazine?

Tom Punch, Managing Director

In 2017 and beyond we are all about exploring new frontiers, hence why we went for such a fun space-age approach to this year’s Bugg cover.

Yvonne expands on the strategy later in the article, and why the “X” (so now you’ll have to read it ALL – hah!). But it’s all about evolution, and expanding our expertise and influence into new areas.

Sports and brands are two new areas of focus, and building nicely. Again, they are about getting out of our comfort zone, taking the knowledge and expertise of our fabulous team into new frontiers. We are really good at imagining the potential of “what could be” and then working out how we bring this to life in exciting, interesting and commercially viable ways, and building it to last.

Sports has been fun, and growing well. Supercars Australia is up 500% on past retail merchandise programs, and getting solidly established and accepted across multiple retailers and multiple categories. And it’s been because we have re-imagined what could be for this brand, tapping into the massive kid and adult fan base, and then making it happen. We are hoping to announce some significant new Sports partnerships in the upcoming months.

Fashion and brands have been an engaging new challenge, but one that is coming to fruition. We are signed for Australia’s largest and most powerful website for women (can’t tell you unless you ask), and we are in the final throes of a very significant retail partnership which will change how these brands are viewed. Our collaborations across our art portfolio are already showing success, with programs across the Gorman fashion apparel chain, BlackMilk, Cotton On, JayJay’s, mass and a stack of other partners.

And then of course, there is our wonderful entertainment portfolio. Mass retail in Australia has been in turmoil (with a new strategy each week with the new CEO… Aarrgghh!), but we have managed to build our brands through huge events, or new big DTR’s, or marketing, collaborations and more. Mass is changing fast. Three to five years ago it was all about funding catalogues and point-of-sale, but that is ending, with retailers focusing on social media MUCH more than their old fashioned tools. It’s much more cost-effective, it’s faster and gets better results, so we are focussing our energies with the retailers in these fields to great effect. Whether it’s from PAW Patrol to Hungry Caterpillar to Keith Haring – it’s all about giving our wonderful retail partners new ideas. It’s about evolving and showing them things that excite them and give confidence that our programs will drive sales and reach their audience – and so far so good!

Then I asked Yvonne; What’s the reason behind the new look Haven?

Yvonne King, Director

Our company and the places we play have evolved so much over the past near-quarter-century (ouch) that we really felt it was time to stop and take stock, to reimagine our future and reframe our current paradigm for an even more successful future.

We all know the definition of madness – repeating the same thing and expecting a different outcome, so the time was right to do a rebrand that reflects the true (and vastly changed!) nature of what we do.

The very first order of business was to drop “Licensing” from our name! A license is a contract that defines the terms of a commercial agreement and we do so much more than that! We create value-making ecosystems for global and local brands that maximise audience love and revenue potential. Issuing a license is the easy bit! We are market makers – if we don’t invent it and bring it to life, ain’t nobody knocking on our door asking for it! We create unique, engaging and enduring brand extension programs, matched with immersive “sticky” experiences to meet the aspirations and demands of contemporary audiences. Everyone’s got a story to tell and we love being part of a great story!

We added the “X” to our logo because we have the X Factor, well no I just thought of that, we wanted to signify that with Haven there is more – an added advantage, and the multiplier signifies untapped potential. More value, more capability and the added benefit of doing things differently is symbolised in our Haven X brand marque. It’s a graphic device and a tool that always stands for more.

Our outside now truly reflects who we are on the inside and our new website is a great illustration of that;


So the future looks bright! We are transforming our business, and leveraging our skills and reputation to build new partnerships, content and intellectual property across all categories and in new geographies!

“Someone far more famous than us once said in a well known movie… “Show me the money”… well we believe doing the deal is the easy bit. It’s the hard work behind the deal where we bring our magic.”