Market Report: The German Licensing Industry

A look at the cultural, political and economic factors driving consumer behavior and the licensing business in the world's fourth largest brand licensing market.

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Germany is the largest economy in Europe by a significant margin and the fourth largest in the world, behind only the U.S., China and Japan.

The German reputation for efficiency is well-earned. Its engineering prowess has given rise to some of the biggest brand names in the automotive world including BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Porsche. Its financial expertise is cemented by big names like Allianz and Deutsche Bank, and the quality of its domestic products have seen Braun, Siemens and Bosch become worldwide household names.

At the other end of the scale, its demand for cost-efficiency has given rise to the supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl, which are not only two of the most valuable brands domestically, but also have a strong presence internationally, particularly in the U.K. German consumers are perceived as being discerning about quality and savvy about how and where they shop.

As the names above indicate, the Germans favor heritage when it comes to brands. However, the country isn't purely inward-looking. Some of the biggest character brands in the country have been adopted from elsewhere, such as the Swiss-created Heidi and Swedish author Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking. An aging population has also strengthened classic brands even more.

Supported by robust employment levels, strong private consumption, a healthy construction sector and steady exports, Germany is expected to maintain its momentum into 2018.

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