NJCI Creative Community Survey | The Launch

Creative Community 6 minutes reading
Not Just Colouring In Blog Cover copy
NJCI Creative Community Survey | The Results 2024
TL:DR Skew shares some of their key findings from the first Not Just Colouring In survey and summary of the NJCI launch event designed for creatives working in the licensing industry. ""

Creatives are being overlooked by the licensing industry. For a start, our industry's name doesn’t help, it’s the only creative field that takes its name from a legal term, so we get why it’s happening but we’re on a mission to change it. This is how Not Just Colouring In was born. NJCI is an industry-wide survey headed up by Skew, designed to spotlight and celebrate the invaluable contributions of creatives working in licensing.

We had anecdotal evidence that licensing was leaving creatives out of the limelight however we needed proof. Did everyone else feel like this or were we just a bunch of designers getting our knickers in a twist after a few chardonnays? We had to devise a plan, and that took the form of a 5 minute survey open to anyone working within a creative role in licensing. The NJCI survey asked individuals about their experiences in their licensing careers. Through this feedback we could confirm whether or not we were onto something. It could also be the starting point for formulating a route for creatives to get a seat at the proverbial table. Sales and deal makers are often the ones to receive the rewards, recognition and LinkedIn likes. By also spotlighting creatives we will only propel our industry further and widen our reach.

The results are in

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, first let’s take a look at some key takeaways from the NJCI Creative Community survey for licensing professionals:

🧑‍🎨 Many of the respondents felt they had creative autonomy within their jobs with 46.3% scoring 8 out of 10 or above for this question. This is fantastic and shows how truly creative the licensing industry is.

Most people that took our survey have a strong sense of creative autonomy
Most people that took our survey have a strong sense of creative autonomy

🎉 However only 3% of participants ‘strongly agreed’ the licensing industry celebrated their contribution with nearly 80% of creatives scoring 7 out of 10 or below for this, meaning most were left feeling pretty meh about receiving recognition for their work.

Licensing creatives are not feeling the love
Licensing creatives are not feeling the love

😐 This could be fuelling another less positive result regarding feeling valued by non-creative colleagues. Nearly one in three of the survey respondents didn’t feel understood by other members within their organisation. On an anecdotal note, this matches up with stories we’ve heard about creatives having to repeatedly present ‘what they do’ to others in their company.

Respondents didn't feel understood or valued by non-creative colleagues
Respondents didn't feel understood or valued by non-creative colleagues

📏 We also asked participants whether the companies they have worked at tracked, measured and shared the impact of creative. Over 80% of respondents answered 7 out of 10 or less. This means as creatives we don’t have the quantifiable evidence to back up our contribution.

Tracking creative effectiveness within the licensing industry
Tracking creative effectiveness within the licensing industry

The NJCI launch party

Now we had all this lovely data, it was time to do the analysis and pull out a narrative that we could work from. We carried out cluster analysis and pinpointed key themes in results which were compiled into a presentation for the NJCI launch. We hosted a drinks reception to thank everyone that took part in the survey and invited a panel of senior licensing industry professionals to answer questions and share insights about their careers. Here’s a few key takeaways from the evenings discussion:

🤝 The best commercial colleagues are the ones that are passionate about creative. Every panel member agreed that people aren’t solely creative or commercial, the best they’ve worked with are a mix of the two. When commercial and creative are aligned, this is when the magic happens.

🌱 Within arts education licensing is barely ever mentioned. From a vote in the room most attendees reported having a degree in the arts, however no one had taken a course that specifically focused on, or even mentioned licensing. Gaining recognition will help attract the next generation of design talent to our industry.

🏆 Could the path to higher recognition and accountability take the form of more creative licensing events? This idea was discussed by the panel during the evening and sparked some interesting debate. The general consensus though was that creatives need to champion themselves more on social media platforms traditionally considered for ‘business folk’ like LinkedIn.

Want to know more?

We’ve crunched the numbers, we’ve heard from the experts, we’ve thrown a lovely drinks party; now what? We’re releasing the results from the survey as a downloadable resource to the NJCI community which you can join today by signing up to our mailing list here. Skew will also be writing a series of articles based on our findings and what they mean for the wider licensing industry, to stay up to date follow us on LinkedIn here.

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