It was the end of November when I was asked if I was going to see the "Star Wars" movie on opening night. My response: "What 'Star Wars' movie?" 

Before I offend any fans of the saga, I don’t watch any movies. I have never even gotten around to having a TV to be honest, let alone a DVD or Blu-ray player. And since my siblings and I didn’t tune in to much more than "Animaniacs," "Batman" and "Family Matters" growing up, I’d still be a good 10-15 years behind on most shows if it weren’t for Netflix and Hulu.

However, once I was aware that there was indeed a massive new release coming out, I saw "Star Wars" everywhere in the form of licensing. From car commercials to soup cans and LEGO sets to makeup, brands were in on the trend. Some of these applications made perfect sense, while others were obvious the companies were just trying to join the hype.

In Tap into Consumer Emotions, Ted Mininni points out that no, it’s not easy to create successful, well-received authorized products and packaging. Brands need to know the fan base well to avoid insulting devotees by slapping licensing on simply anything. They also need to be able to share the story through great design when there is a good fit.

I’d also like to bring our 2016 Packaging That Sells call for speakers to your attention — it’s going on now through February 29 and is an excellent way to share your knowledge with our audience of brand owners, designers and marketers on October 3-5 at The Drake hotel in Chicago. Visit for all the details and to submit your proposal.