Posts tagged: sales

Thanksgiving to Personal Shopping

By , December 9, 2013 3:20 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz

Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Ok, so what are they saying?  The Friday after Thanksgiving is no longer black, its charcoal grey? Or is it barely black and now starts at 8 pm on the day before. Wasn’t grey the new black this year, anyway?

According to the WSJ, Tuesday 11/26 black Friday is a retail illusion.  I guess the market expression, “Mark it up to mark it down.” finally traveled from 7th Ave. to Wall St. Article-

In case you missed the NYT, Sunday 11/21 article “It Takes a Lot of Money to Look This Good” both Emma Sosa and Joan Volpe (FIT Center for Professional Studies) were quoted. The article validates personal shopping as a service and career opportunity.  Kind of reminds me of the old cliché “Does Macy’s tell Gimbel’s?” since the WSJ ran “Really Personal Shopping” on 12/4 underscoring the same theme.   Of course we knew the value of the personal shopper  already since Image Consulting is the longest running Professional Development certificate program. But it is so nice to see top media thinking like us. Article-

At the Retail Marketing Society luncheon on Tuesday 12/4 (absolutely one of the best networking and learning experiences in the market, the always profound Robin Lewis told it like it is in retail today “The Retail Future: Landscape or Landmines”. According to Robin the faster retailers embrace an Omni-Channel strategy the better their chances of survival. Pure players will not grow and Amazon is already opening stores.  Robin says the market desperately needs talent who understand Omni-Channel and can adapt decisions and merchandising to multi-formats.  Head’s up all of you taking courses in the Omni-Channel certificate.

Have you noticed? Students in the Color certificate program develop a trend forecast in SXC 260 and try to predict the hottest color for the coming season which is then used for the next Hot Topics catalog.

Guess what color Spring 2014 HT will be???

“Love it or Hate it, a new Pink is coming” the WSJ, Thursday, 12/5 as well as Gawker and several other media sources.  Just remember we’ve known about that color for weeks – it’s a Hot Topic! Article-

Are You A Design Entrepreneur?

By , September 28, 2013 8:21 am

DENYC logo

The second (annual I hope) Design Entrepreneurs NYC program came to an amazing finale Thursday evening September 26 with the announcement of two winners of cash awards of 1st place- $25,000 and 2nd place- $10,000. Becca McCharen owner of CHROMAT ( placed first in the business plan competition and Vasumathi Soundararajan (an FIT grad!) of Ken Wroy, Inc. ( came in second (there were only two places). Kudos to the winners!

Design Entrepreneur Winners 2013

L to R: Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President, Fashion Institute of Technology; Vasumathi Soundararajan, Ken Wroy, Inc.; Becca McCharen, Chromat; Jeanette Nostra, President, G-III Apparel Group.

And kudos to the entire 2013 class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC! Everyone is on their way to growing their companies with freshly minted business plans in their possession.  The intensive mini-MBA program started in June with solid weekend-filled classes and then the entrepreneurs spent their summer, under the guidance of mentors,  working hard writing and refining their business plans. After submitting their business plans, the entrepreneurs waited to hear which ones were selected to present – half of the class of 35.  The presentations, in front of industry judges in four different rooms, narrowed down the field to 4 finalists who then presented in front of all the judges and the 2013 class.  Some of the Judges included: Tim Baxter (EVP & GMM, Macy’s), Morris Goldfarb (CEO, G-III Apparel), Ellen Rodriguez (President & CEO, French Connection), Jeffrey Binder (Consultant, Former Divisional Merchandise Manager, Bloomingdales), and Laurence Leeds, Jr. (Chair, Buckingham Capital).  I was privileged to be a moderator for one of the panels.

So the entrepreneurs are off now to grow their businesses and take them in new directions as a result of this experience.  As well as stay in touch with their classmates, faculty, school and judges.


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

FIT’s 5th Annual Pet Fashion Show: BARK-à-Porter

By , April 25, 2013 12:20 pm
BARK 2013 logo

Showcasing past enrolled and current adult student pet product designs. See our doggie models strut the runway in true fashionista style. BARK-à-Porter is also a charitable endeavor, held in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Alliance and Animal Care and Control of NYC. We promise an experience worthy of market week in Paris.

Get your tickets before they sell out!

Date: May 3, Friday
Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm
Location: Katie Murphy Amphitheater


Watch videos of previous shows:

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Curvaceous K

By , February 25, 2013 11:09 am

Congratulations to our Retail Professional Development
Certificate student’s Grand Opening!

Kathy Sanchez

Certificate Program:
Retail Management Experience

Curvaceous K

Curvaceous K
179 Stanton Street (between Clinton and Attorney Streets)

I wanted to provide women my size with the opportunity to shop in a boutique especially for them as most boutiques really only cater to about size 10/12.

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 ( 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.

Who doesn’t want significant business results?

By , January 26, 2013 8:05 am

There’s a new book, that just came out, called “Significant Business Results…   Ten sales secrets that your competitors know and use!”  The author is Franne McNeal, a serial entrepreneur, business coach, the youngest person ever to be awarded a training contract with the City of Pittsburgh among other things such as restructuring, training and development at such places as PNC Financial Services, and SmithKline Beecham.  She’s a certified Kauffman Foundation FastTrac facilitator, and Adjunct Faculty for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. She started her first business while still a student at Princeton University.  I occasionally facilitate with Franne and she is an amazing force.

So why should you care about Franne’s credentials and book?  Well, creating your product is only part of the story of a successful entrepreneur. You then have to get it out the door (or to shameless plug the first chapter in my book, “Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing” – “ If I build it, they will come”.. I guarantee NOT if you don’t market, which goes hand-in-hand with sales).  Franne tells you how to accomplish this in 10 steps – with exercises and examples sprinkled throughout the book at just the moments you need them to help you get to the next step. Her 10 chapters give you an idea of what you will learn when you read the book (and grow your business if you practice them):

1-      Define Your Target Market
2-      Create a Powerful Offer
3-      Use Testimonials for Social Proof
4-      Generate Unlimited Leads
5-      Create Immediate Sales
6-      Use Scripts to Increase Sales
7-      Create Repeat Business
8-      Double your Referrals
9-      Reverse Risk to Increase Sales
10-   Create Added Value

It’s a great book for your armamentarium – even if you know most of the topics covered, it’s always good to have a refresher.


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

Saying It Right, Makes Customers Experience It Right

By , December 8, 2012 8:12 am
Image provided by Shutterstock

Image provided by Shutterstock

Everyone is stressed this holiday season.  The opportunity is ripe for both shoppers and store personnel to be rude and abusive (particularly when stores hire part time or seasonal help who haven’t been properly trained).  But there’s a very simple way to break out of this cycle and turn a potentially bad experience into a memorable one – which is something we all want. Michael Hess has a great post on CBS News Moneywatch about how you say something during the holiday season being crucial to creating a good customer experience.  Here’s one example he gives:

Say this: “Let me help you with that” or “How can I help you?”
Not this: “You need help?”

This is great advice not only for the holidays but every day.  And this practice can be used in writing business documents, such as business plans as well.  For instance,

Don’t say this:  “Our sales goal was to increase business 40% this year but we only made it to 15%”.
Say this:  “We increased business 15% this year and are working towards a 40% sales goal.”

The second phrasing puts a positive spin on the situation. Just as importantly, it tells the reader that you are in control of your business or situation.  The reader, particularly an investor, is going to look more favorably upon this positively stated situation.
In the long run, this kind of speaking can change the way you think towards a more positive outlook in general.

For other examples, check out the link to the blog.


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


Retail Forecast: Christmas 2012

By , October 12, 2012 10:08 am

Christmas 2012 Retail Forecast

Event at FIT

By , September 13, 2012 12:21 pm

Value Chain Management Event Info


How to Verify Profitable Hunches Like a Professional Reporter

By , May 12, 2012 1:55 pm

In business the most valuable tool you possess is the ability to gather information. You’re constantly on the lookout for insights on industry trends, competitor actions, economic forces, key supplier grumblings, and most importantly what job(s) your idea customer needs done.

Good insights are worth their weight in gold, but bad information can be deadly. Actions predicated on it waste not only money (salaries, prototype expenses, misdirected marketing efforts, etc.) but more importantly can tank professional relationships and your business’ reputation.;

But how do you avoid being burned from unreliable information?

Think like a reporter.

They aren’t compensated for finding the story but for verifying to the best of their ability all sources and ensuring that the information they’re using to weave the full story is authentic before it hits the light of day. Unfortunately for most, but great for those who excel at it, evaluating the reliability of information is an art as well as work – much of which is detective work.

Here are three ways that you can find key data/proof points that support your primary research.

Climb to the mountaintop. Confirm your information with a 3rd party. Seek out 2 to 3 experts to cross verify the information. These could be individuals who are deeply familiar with an area like the targeted market, industry economics, or the particular company.

Dig for details. Ask pointed follow-up questions, not only to your source but also to the world. Tap into the knowledge of the collective by utilize tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn to push a specific question to a knowledgeable sub-set of your connections. Granted individual data that comes from ‘crowdsourcing’ has its own creditability issues, but widespread beliefs can verify trends and core issues.

Extrapolate upon existing creditable sources. Utilize sources of secondary information, the main providers of which are governments, trade associations, academic institutions, research houses, and national & international institutions.

Do you agree? What other methods can you add to our knowledgebase?

Donald McMichacel teaches BE 261 – Starting a Small Business.
Follow him on Twitter at @DonaldMcMichael or Google+ at +Donald McMichael

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