Tag Archives: marketing

em(BARK) on a new path…

Meet our Instructor,  Robin Droescher!

Robin Droescher teaches SXF 225: How to Style, Plan and Merchandise a Pet Products Line.

So, tell us a little about yourself…

I worked in the women’s fashion apparel industry for many years in design, product dev. and manufacturing. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and my last position was at Liz Claiborne. Six years ago I combined 2 of my loves – dogs and design. I launched Robin Meyer NYC. We produce a line of clothing and accessories for dogs with a fashion meets function point of view. A portion of my business has evolved into consulting for a couple of other dog manufacturers as well as doing private label for Barneys New York Dog and Orvis.

Bark Place Store

We’ve heard that you’ve emBARKed on a new job path…
I recently opened a retail boutique and grooming salon called Bark Place. I carry my line of products as well as other manufacturers. We have a full product assortment of coats, sweaters, beds, toys and treats. It is a great way to test new products and if they are successful to go into a production run the following season. The grooming business as been doing extremely well from the day we opened. I wanted to create something modern and state of the art – a place where people feel comfortable leaving their 4 legged children and are pleased with how they looked when they are picked up. I believe we have succeeded!

Bark Place store

What is exciting in the pet market right now?
I think one the exciting things in the pet market now is that apparel and accessories for dogs really follows the trends of what is happening in the human apparel market. I am starting to work on Fall 2016. I have spent the past few days shopping stores, looking through fashion magazines and browsing trend services on line. I know what sells in my line but it is a matter of taking the basis of what works and making it look fresh and new for the coming season.

Bark Place store Bark Place store

Can you give us a sneak peek of your class?
I have taught my class several times now. The first class I ask my students what they really would like to learn and take away. Each class I modify slightly to accommodate their requests. We spend time merchandising an assortment so it is focused, cohesive with a clear point of view. I then teach costing exercises using different classifications of product: coats, sweaters etc. We start with the cost of all the raw materials, add labor, shipping charges etc. to come up with a first cost. We then work on the mathematical formulas to bring the 1st cost to wholesale with margin implications and then to the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price). I also talk a little about how to import from overseas factories.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

Robin Droescher teaches SXF 225: How to Style, Plan and Merchandise a Pet Products Line.


Small Town and City Retailing that rewards the community, retailers, and customers…

Specialty stores could be better designed to present new customer experiences (CX) and unique shopping rewards for all shoppers and for loyal program customers.  Some communities are now supporting specialty retailers who have been challenged by incoming and ongoing mega-retail, but are rebounding with more nimble, creative and unique thinking.

Retail Therapy is offered by SPREE at the Fashion Square, Biltmore Fashion Park and Kierland Commons Luxury Malls in Scottsdale, Arizona

This can be managed by encouraging people with shopping strategies that offer the customer unusual incentives for rewards for their purchases.  For example, strategies we have recently seen could be to design customized: t-shirts, gift cards, items of artwork by local artists and artisans.

Collaborating between local shops and organizations is often a win-win outcome.

In tandem with, and actually preceding the shopping reward could be a Rewardtailer’s complementary multi-media strategy of reward advertising.

Also a Rewardtailer’s advertising should not only offer purchase rewards and overall discounts, the consumer is inundated with a plethora of offers and the followup survey — so the question should be: What will make YOUR offers/rewards different and more desired by your customers?

Lucky Magazine offers Lucky Points, their Lucky Closet, and exclusive access and CX experiences. Luckymag.com/shopoutnyc

Could you envision offering purchase rewards that provide Knowledge and Value of the town’s or retailer’s history — developing a special intriguing persona?  The Reward strategy is part of the customer’s Decision-making process.  As we have written before, Knowledge, Value, and Decision is a KVD strategy that can build a mutually valuable relationship.  People and companies desire a community that is involved in the happiness of their residents and success of their businesses.

Before the razzle dazzle of our fascination with technology gets us all excited…  Let’s remember that “there is nothing as powerful as a good idea whose idea has come.”  (Thank you Victor Hugo — even then and all the way to now.)  At the core of our new strategies must be something that will carry the day…  This is the excitement of retailing through the centuries — if you want a historical view, watch PBS’s Masterpiece retail stories: “Mr. Selfridge” and “The Paradise.”


What will we, “our time,” be known for in our future years?

Perhaps — ADVERTISING?  Interactive print newspapers in 4D?

Drawing be Art Winters
Drawing be Art Winters

For more on the use, value and research on Loyalty Programs:


A Loyalogy Consumer Study finds that retail reward programs may increase shopper spending by 33% — and with Millenials — 41%.


“70% of members feel loyalty programs are part of their relationship with a company/brand.”


Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.


Lead with your Left and Hit with your Right?

Brain-oriented web marketing is now entering the highly scientific realm of robotic chips, wearable tech and intense FMRI research on the human brain. Marketers and brand strategists are thinking of how content can be invented with appeals that will hold their own in the customer’s mind. That is while we may still possess the ability to control our own thoughts — until the day when artificial intelligence may become more dominant.

Today’s brand strategist may wish to consider the brand-positioning appeals and approaches that communicate with the common left-brain and right-brain dominance theory. And most important in today’s omni-media and mobile brain assistants, (PDA meets a new MBA), is brand content that communicates to both the left and right brain hemispheres.

Considering more recent science that might debunk this separation of the brain (see links below), here are some strategies that consider the left and right whole-brain brand game:

Connect to a Google Place Page where a brand can present rational brand attributes for the left-brain and then emotional and creative inspirations for the right-brain customers. Giving customers the opportunity to contribute their own perceptions that may create on-line response content to further promote the brand. We are all aware of how different people react to different products and brands based on their own buying psychology and now having the opportunity to provide their own referrals and opinions.

An innovative way to attract customers could be to create left or right brain focused content, or provide a combination of left and right brain content that will relate to the more self-aware, self-styling customer. For example, automobile advertising that sends a message of high-tech performance might connect with the left-brain and sexy dramatic design might connect with the right-brain. A combination of both messages reaches the whole-brain thinker.

The whole-brain brand game can certainly make the most of omni-media with the selection of a mix of social media to encourage brand loyalty that is measured by CLM, Customer Loyalty Metrics. All brands are searching for new techniques, and using psychology, old and new, to attract and hold on to the ever-changing mind of the consumer.

Jockey brand is “Supporting GreatnessTM“ by incorporating images of iconic men in history, e.g., General Patton, Babe Ruth, Neil Armstrong, in their new campaign. We see a strategic blend of clever, product benefit copy and attention-getting visuals.

jockey ad
Clever whole-brain tie-in with the emotion of WWII icon General George S. Patton and Jockey’s rational product benefits.

For a PRO Left-Right Brain discussion, go to:
“Left brain marketers list off the product or service’s functions, reasons why it is needed and why it is the best of its kind available. They approach customers from a very practical standpoint and deliver their information in an orderly and organized fashion. Right brain marketers, however, promote their product or service through story telling. The plot of their campaign introduces a problem, has a climax and then presents the solution as being whatever they are selling.” …

For a CON Left-Right Brain science discussion, go to:
Popular culture would have you believe that logical, methodical and analytical people are left-brain dominant, while the creative and artistic types are right-brain dominant. Trouble is, science never really supported this notion.
Now, scientists at the University of Utah have debunked the myth with an analysis of more than 1,000 brains. They found no evidence that people preferentially use their left or right brain. All of the study participants — and no doubt the scientists — were using their entire brain equally, throughout the course of the experiment. …

Whichever side you may take in this discussion on left or right brain orientation, we suggest that we all maintain our sense of humor:

drawing by Art Winters
drawing by Art Winters

We would like to hear from you:  Are you a left, right or whole-brain marketer?


Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.