Category: Guest Writers

The New Role of Market Research

By , June 29, 2013 8:31 am
Today’s guest blogger is Dev Das, Founder of Expleo Insight, a consulting and market research company specializing in emerging biotech and pharma (see bio below).  Dev has several years of experience in big pharma as well as running his own business so he understands the challenges and needs on both sides of the market research equation.
 
Trying to compete in an increasingly competitive market with fewer resources?  It’s become the name of the game these days for most companies, both large and small.  Startup companies have always been resource constrained due to tight budgets. Now, with a glut of choices and minimal differentiation, mid and larger sized companies are also feeling the pinch.  
 
And as large companies, as well, struggle to keep growing profitably, there is an urgent need for more operating efficiencies.  Success now lies in being more flexible, agile and efficient than others.
 
The rapid advances in technology and telecommunications have provided a plethora of options to tap into as companies grapple with growth and differentiation.  They have also created the need for a new type of market researcher.  This new strategic market researcher can no longer solely rely on methods from the past.  They will need to be open to piloting and experimenting with new approaches, and with how to channel the flood of new data and technology into actionable strategic insights.  
 
A big challenge and opportunity lies ahead of us as market researchers … 
can we harness the power of our new options in crowdsourcing, mobile technology, social media and big data spaces, to provide the insights we seek WITHOUT being inundated with more data dumps and analysis paralysis, or in plain English, too much information with only a small percentage being useful.
 
 
Dev Das has a  20+ year career which has spanned the biotech, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods industries.   Immediately prior to creating Expleo Insight, Dev built the Strategic Insights & Analytics function in Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.  As Group Director, he successfully managed the market research, analytics/forecasting, and competitive intelligence needs for the company portfolio.  Prior to Auxilium, Dev led the market research efforts for several early and late-stage opportunities within Virology, Immunology, and Cardiovascular/Metabolics areas at Bristol-Myers Squibb.  Dev started his career in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry with market leaders, Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods, which gave him a solid foundation of the underlying principles of effective marketing.
 
Dev’s educational background includes a BS from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and an MBA from the Case Western Reserve University.  He is currently pursuing a doctorate at the Pace University.
 

Stop marketing, and you’ll see a change

By , February 9, 2013 10:10 am

We’re usually so busy trying to get started in marketing that we tend to forget that once we start, we need to continue. What happens if we don’t?

Today’s guest blogger,  Aruna Inalsingh (http://www.animarketingservice.com/) provides some insight into marketing, measurements and meltdowns of the corporate variety.  Aruna is President and Found of Ani Marketing Services Ani Marketing Service, and has years of experience providing strategic marketing solutions for a wide  range of companies, products, and services, starting their new programs and improving their existing ones.

“As a career marketer, one of the most common client requests is for a direct correlation between marketing investments and business revenues.  The reality is that it is indeed hard to quantify direct success from marketing programs.  Although with digital media, it’s getting easier, as you can track the number of followers, visitors, clicks, and online sales– especially if you don’t have any brick and mortar stores.  Furthermore, it is true that marketing takes time, resources, and/or money – ask Walmart’s CFO, Charles Holley!

That being said, here’s a story we like to tell about the value of marketing, which is exemplary of scientific proofs where you cannot prove if something is true, but you can prove if something is not true:
Seiko Watches was founded in 1881.  They were a strong believer in marketing, and with an ongoing commitment to invest in company promotion, within a short amount of time they developed a solid reputation for affordable and reliable watches. Seiko had a monopoly on this market until 1930, when Citizen Watches was established. Citizen wanted to be the Pepsi to the Coca-Cola, if you will. Citizen proceeded to invest as much money in marketing, if not more than Seiko, to achieve a similar brand recognition (and revenue stream). It never happened … until 2008. The global financial crisis in 2008 hit everyone hard. Seiko and Citizen had to make strategic decisions. Seiko decided its brand was strong enough to temporarily sustain itself with a skeletal marketing staff, and Citizens decided to maintain as much of its marketing program as possible, in context of its diminishing budget. In 2010, when Seiko was ready to re-invest in its marketing program, initial research showed that the consumer market thought Seiko had gone out of business and therefore had turned to Citizen as the market leader. It took 2 years of marketing withdrawal to ruin the 127 year old Seiko watch dynasty. Today Citizen has a similar brand and market value to Seiko.”

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Dressing Sweeter

By , January 9, 2013 9:37 am

Written by Danielle Covington, FIT Hot Topics Intern.

Spring 2013′s ready to wear collections can been summed up as one thing, an utterly fabulous sugar shock! Labels such as Betsey Johnson, Alice & Olivia, Philosophy and more have blazed the runways with sweet looks sure to hit the spot. I’ve taken the liberty of matching up these sweet looks with their sugar filled soul mates to bring you a refreshing look at what will be coming up next season. Let’s see how some designers approached “Dressing Sweeter”.

Alice & Olivia

Alice & Olivia demonstrated a sassy sweet tooth for the spring season. This line is full of vibrant playful colors that bring 60’s glamor back with a vengeance.

One of A&O’s new looks capitalizes on the lush vibrant blue we’ve all come to know and love.

M&M’s come in an array of colors, but if willing to be bold you can make mouths water too.

blue M&M's

blue M&M’s

alice and olivia blue dress

Alice and Olivia blue dress

 

Pop quiz! What’s the most precious jewel in the world…rock candy! Lemon to be exact. This vibrant canary yellow dress has a seductively sweet sass sure to make your lips pucker.

rock candy

rock candy

Alice and Olivia yellow dress

Alice and Olivia yellow dress

Red has always been a tempting color, but when paired up with cake and cream cheese frosting, you’ve got a timeless classic! Just to stay contemporary we’ve lessened the serving size to a mini skirt and perched it on top of a lollypop. Who needs your grandmother’s cake dome, you’re a sexy display all by yo bad self.

Red velvet cake pops

Alice and Olivia dress

Alice and Olivia dress

Alexander McQueen

Black liquorish isn’t for the faint of heart!

black liquorish

black liquorish

Alexander McQueen black dress

Philosophy

Philosophy took a more angular modern approach to their line, lots of patterns and prints. The juxtaposition of color in this line is fairly reminiscent to the hard candy.

This lovely blue and tan combination hugs the body gently enough to show off a feminine figure but not restrict or over exaggerate it. The beautiful curve this outfit creates is reminiscent to that of ribbon candy. Neither are over powering nor understated.

ribbon candy
philosophy

 

Peppermint is as versatile as it is tasty. We use it all year round, then in December we change its shape to a cane with pinstripes and all of a sudden its everywhere you go! When I think of peppermint candy I think of freshness and holiday joy. ‘Tis the season, to be a hottie. But, then again every season is.

peppermint

Philosophy

Philosophy

Zadig & Voltaire

This outfit by Zadig & Voltaire is no juicy contradiction

star bursts

star bursts

zadig-voltaire

zadig-voltaire

Betsy Johnson

Betsy Johnson is known for producing fun and flirty lines, so it’s no surprise that she is featured as one of our sassy sweet designers.

This perfectly pink pastel looks light as air and fluffy just like one of my favorite sweets, cotton candy. Honestly it’s a wonderfully playful look that sends a delicate yet spunky message.

cotton candy

cotton candy

Pink dress

Pink dress

 

pink and blue taffy height=

pink and blue taffy

dress height=

dress

If you’re like me then you’ve got a sweet tooth that can’t be satisfied with just one confection. Well you and I don’t have to worry; Betsy Johnson has taken care of everything. Just go for the whole candy shop!

After you’ve gone through your fashion sugar shock, unwind with some Pepto-Bismol to ease the tummy ache.

pepto

pepto

pink

pink etro

Stay Cute in the Cold

By , December 7, 2012 9:04 am

By Kendall Dendtler-Coward♥, FIT Hot Topics Fall Intern.

                How is anyone supposed to look hot in this cold?

Colection of cute outfits that are warmIt’s about that time of year again. Put away your Old Navy flip flops and break out the Swiss Miss hot chocolate because it’s officially winter! :) We all know how hard it can be to shop for winter clothes that are not just warm but stylish too. It is truly an art form that requires effort.

Outerwear: Don’t hesitate to invest in a heavy coat that will last you a long time. Whether it’s a Pea Coat or a long Nylon Winter Jacket pair it with gloves and a hat that suit your mood.

Layering

Layer a cardigan over a fitted top: If you’re going for a polished and professional, look layer a cardigan over a fitted top. I’m not a fan of matching cardigan and shell look – it’s very dated and can be a bit boring. I’d rather drop the ‘matching’ and go for two different colors.

Over the knee socks: Layering is not only for the upper part of your body. Layer the bottom half with tights and leggings worn under a skirt with knee-high boots. For a warm fashionable look put on over the knee socks  that are long enough to peep out of your boots.

Long sleeve shirt under a short jacket: Wearing tight fitting, long sleeved shirts under T-shirt is not the way to go, if you’re no longer a teenager. But wearing a tight regular long sleeve shirt under a short leather jacket with 3/4 sleeves and a scarf is going to make you look very stylish and chic.

Boots: I’m no fashionista but if  there’s one thing to know about daily fashion your supposed to know that your footwear creates your outfit.  Don’t be uncertain when indulging on shoes, especially for the winter time. Boots are best whether they’re Hunter rain boots or Steve Madden leather boots, it differs depending on your outfit. For those days when you don’t want to be so casual and switch it up instead of wearing wedges heels or flats, throw on some boots. Boots go with practically anything.

Re-Gift Proof: Office Gifts Done Right

By , December 5, 2012 8:45 am

Written by Dani Covington, FIT Hot Topics Intern.

Hello masses of the inter-webs!

‘Tis the season to start scouring department stores!

We’re all looking for cost effective, original gifts we know will make an impact, but more importantly won’t get re-gifted to your co-workers distant cousin. Try to be enthusiastic! I know it sounds like a lot, but please don’t fret.  I’m here to help.

Think small.

The office is our home away from home, correct? So for shoppers looking to make a gesture of good will, I suggest shopping small. Small office supplies with tons of personality can really brighten someone’s day or at the very least fill-up the best holiday gift bag in existence. If you’re looking to make a kind gesture in the workplace, might I suggest one or two of these? They don’t cost very much.

Paper clip chicks!

Colorful decorative bird shaped paper clip holder

Colorful chick shaped paper child holder Paper clip holders shaped like chicks

  Fruit Sticky’s!  Sweet as can be and practical!

Green apple and Pear slice shaped stick notes

Apple and Pear shaped stick notes

This little guy’s a touch edgier, but his gold finish is pretty chic. Yet another small gesture that your office fashionista will love you for. Ditch that drab staple remover, it’s been done before.

Crocodile Staple Remover

Edgy golden crocodile staple remover

 Sweet as daisies.

Tulip USB hub

HUGE POST-ITS! I know in my office they made a big splash. I can’t quite say why but they seem to get the message across a little better than a regular sticky. (I was told that I’d appreciate them when I’m older.)

XL Stick Note Pad

Hot Pink XL Stick Note Pad

This little guy is not only extremely classy, but he has tons of personality and is a riot! I would say he’s probably the perfect co-worker.

Gag tape dispenser, post-it and paper clip holder

Gag tape dispenser, post-it, pen and paper clip holder

 Funny paperweight magnet combo.

" WHY ME!" gag paper wight and clip holder

” WHY ME!” gag paperweight and paperclip holder.

A filing tote! This little lady keeps all your documents not only organized, but safe and sound while you’re on the go. Amazingly practical and super cute

(Color options available) ;)

Sassy Organizer Tote Bag

Sassy Organizer Tote Bag. Keeps files in order while your on the go.

 Music cube. When the boss is away the tunes will play.

Rubix music cube. Portable speaker

Rubix music cube, portable speaker

 A fancy pen. For important people with important signatures.

Professional pen

Professional pen, with a classic steam punk twist

Think lunch.

If you prefer to think a little bigger, try offering a universally yummy snack! We all need nourishment, so try taking into account any favorite office lunch or breakfast spots.

Try catering, sharing is caring.

why cook

Why cook when you can cater?

Big or small you can’t go wrong with an edible arrangement. They brighten up a table instantly and are the perfect share-able snack.

supper yummy edible arrangement

Gift cards anyone? It’s the practical gift that keeps on giving.

Gift Cards from Starbucks Coffee.

Think after hours.

We love our co-workers but eventually they have to go home. Wish them well with a good time after hours.

Movie theater tickets are universal and sure to show someone a good time. Take this after hour’s gift as an idea. Try your best to be creative when thinking of fun after hour’s hangouts.

Movie night anyone?

 

Go forth and prosper.

Covington

New Digital Aesthetic = Pure Genius

By , August 27, 2012 8:31 am

Written by Chelsea Candelario, FIT Hot Topics Summer Intern.

While browsing through WGSN.com, I came across three collections of Fashion Forecast. I was completely drawn by the detailed clothing that matched the similarity of objects and themes. New Digital Aesthetic, Next Nature, and Neo-Geo all present a different side of something completely out of the ordinary and new for Spring/Summer ’14.

One of the collections I looked into was New Digital Aesthetic. They were inspired by the online culture of design. The digital ideas are put upon the construction and colors of the designs. Four themes that struck out with N.D.A are Preppy Pixel, Digital Fantasy, Cyber Strange, and Chemical Cartoon.

Preppy Pixel present designs that look like it could have been created on a computer. It brings on a ‘nerd quality’ giving colors that are simple such as black, white, blue, and grey.  Most of the attire consists of suits and layered women wear.

However, as I go through the slides, the theme shifts. It becomes more colorful. Blue, green, and red come together like I never seen before. The colors are either coming together or staying independent. The frequent show of blocks and pixel-like shapes still make their comeback to present the modern world of technology quality.

As I looked through Digital Fantasy, I stepped into a world unlike my own. The designs are out of this world. It starts off with bright neon colors and move to serene pastel colors. Fabrics such as wool and sheer become used for a two-piece assemble, over the knee dresses and complicated shirts. Characteristics of technology inspire the intricate details of these garments to bring out a unique feel of living in the digital 21st century.

Cyber Strange lives up to its name. Sleeveless suits and open up heels have presented themselves on the slides.  At first, I was confused and wondering why would anyone want to wear that? Then I sat back, a smile on my face, and think ‘This is Fashion after all’. This theme breaks all the rules of understanding where and how it was made. It’s the art portrait you enjoy, but can’t quite understand.

Chemical Cartoon is the last theme to N.D.A. It’s like stepping on a bridge between imagination and reality. So many bright colors splattered on to fabrics. You can literally spot one of these garments from a mile away. All sorts of colors and prints put together to give in a fun child-like quality. The three-piece suit filled with bright summery colors followed by stripes endlessly parading the garment or the patches of colors mixed in with floral prints that remind me you of the picnic day in June.

As if the colors were going to stop, it gets even more bold and electrifying with different shades of pink and purple covering the clothes. Also introducing light pastel colors such as periwinkle, baby blue, green, and yellow. Sticking to the theme of Cartoons, a charming picture of Kermit is plastered on one of the sweaters.

Looking through the slides it gave me the urge to grab a sketchbook and sketch a design, something I haven’t done since I left high school.

 

Spring/Summer ’13 Colorful Blazers

By , August 20, 2012 9:00 am

Written by Chelsea Candelario, FIT Hot Topics Summer Intern.

If  I can get my hands on a bunch of colorful blazers, I will have a closet just for them. The fact that these pastel-colored blazers are the trend of Spring/Summer ’13 makes me happy. I’m ready to ignore the grey blazer sadly hanging from my closet now.

The solid, light color blazers give a touch of feminine quality. It’s simple to slide on a blazer anytime of the day.  The Topshop peach blazer makes me desperately look in my wallet for some sort of prize money.

Sadly, it’s to the wishful shopping cart.

Although every blazer shares a similar square-shoulder, ability to cuff, and waist-length quality, they each hold something unique about them. The shape of the neckline, length of the sleeves, color, and much more sets them apart from one another.

I love the fact that you can wear it with anything. From a dress to jeans, blazers look great in anything you put on. I also love that it’s an anytime accessory. You can wear it when you’re heading off to class, off to a work interview, or even a small get together with friends.

For something that started out as something that only men wore, it has turned out as a style fit for everyone.

 

Nail Art: The Rediscovered Trend

By , August 13, 2012 12:06 pm

Nail Art Brings Out A Whole New Meaning

Written by Chelsea Candelario, FIT Hot Topics Summer Intern.

I look down on my freshly painted light green nails and feel I played it safe. Although the color is out of the ordinary, all I keep thinking is how it would look with a little bit of art. I had my share of stripes and letters, but now nail art has transformed to the next level. It has become sort of like a fashion trend and being surrounded by fashion for the last four years I should know.

Nail art has been around for centuries (try 5000 BC!) and yet it becomes brand new every time.  First, you start out with the simple elegant colors in the 60’s and you slowly make your way to the long fake nails of the 70’s. Jumping forward to the 90’s, you give the rebel side of you a chance while you put on your shade of black. But now well into the 21st century, everything comes together giving you the choice to slap a coat of paint on your nails or brighten up your wardrobe with some stick-ons, something that became popular in 2007.

Stick On NailsThere is not a moment where I don’t see something different on someone’s nails. Nail art has become a part of how we present ourselves to the world. DIY Nail Art has become a well known hobby now. With all the social networks at our fingertips it’s simple to explore what’s out there and see what others are putting on their nails.

How are we feeling today? Are we feeling edgy? Then let’s put on some shatter nail polish. Are we feeling classy and youthful? Then let’s put on some nude coloring. There is a whole collection of options to put on your nails to make it your own. Something women were doing for centuries while the world was moving at a fast pace.

Dzine Nail Art

Artists have gone beyond just putting on a coat of nail polish and began designing constructed gear. Dzine, known for his Latino design culture, began creating the most amazing art through 24-karat-gold nails. I’m pretty sure if I try on any of his art, this blog post would be a challenge to type.

Nail art has become far more than complimenting your outfit. It’s become a part of our culture.

Size Matters

By , May 9, 2011 2:31 pm

Small is In
by Robin Lewis
http://therobinreport.com

Pardon me, but I just can’t help myself. I seem to have an Edgar Allan Poe-like fixation. In this case I’m stuck on small format retailing, including “moms and pops,” as a winning model in the over-stored and -stuffed 21st Century. Again, this is due to the format’s “smallness,” which affords it easier physical access to the consumer, across the street in their neighborhoods. It’s my preemptive distribution “thing” again: the necessity to get to the consumer first, faster and more often than the hordes of equally compelling competitors, or you lose.

And, while everybody says, “…oh yeah, I get it,” most are thinking about e-commerce. Well, while I most certainly understand that e-commerce is enormous, and the fastest growing retail preemptor, I’m finding it very difficult to get senior retail executive readers to understand that the bricks and mortar/physical aspect of the total preemptive distribution strategy is just as important.

Some of the larger players, like Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Target, CVS and Walgreen’s, are beginning to get it. And, I do believe Walmart opened their eyes a bit wider upon realizing they were losing enormous share to the dollar stores who are blowing out their small, neighborhood stores across the country. In the department store sector, as I’ve said many times, Kohl’s led the small, convenient, neighborhood strategy way before I think they even realized it, back in the early 90’s. JCPenney picked up on the wisdom of that preemptive strategy and now has its own small store strategy. Bloomingdale’s does as well, and I wonder when their parent Macy’s will opt in. Their localization strategy certainly begs for it.

And, by the way, while this small store strategy is a necessity to continue winning share of a no-growth pie, the big traditional players also must understand that the other preemptive formats such as branded specialty chains, e- and m-commerce, TV, kiosks, pop-ups, food carts, in-flight shopping, door-to-door, living room selling parties, tractor-trailer tour trucks, and probably a dozen others I’ve missed, are not sitting still. They will continue to evolve and create. Evermore.

 

FIT’s Non-Credit Certificate program in Retailing: Social and E-Commerce
FIT’s Non-Credit Certificate program in
Retailing: Customer Experience Management
FIT’s Non-Credit Classes in Retail Experience Management

 

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