BIOS: Arthur A. Winters and Peggy Fincher Winters
Dr. Arthur Allen Winters and Prof. Peggy Fincher Winters are active in brand image research
in brand concept and content development for local and global fashion companies. They conduct
international seminars and professional training in integrated and experiential marketing and
multimedia communications. Dr. and Prof. Winters are partners in TFI Geomarketing, a
consulting firm specializing in strategic planning for integrated marketing and communications.
They have served as judges for several advertising awards, such as the NY American Marketing
They are currently offering branding concept education through seminars and certification
curricula for The Center for Professional Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology / State
University of New York. They have contributed to the development of FIT’s certification programs
and teach in Retailing: Customer Experience Management; Retailing: E-Commerce and Social
Media; and Brand Management Experience. www.fitnyc.edu/professionalstudies. They currently
contribute to the Center’s BLOG: http://blog.fitnyc.edu/hottopicsinsider.
Arthur and Peggy Winters have authored and co-authored books, videos, and online blogs and
newsletters. Their co-authored books include: What Works in Fashion Advertising; BrandStand,
Strategies for Retail Brand Building; and The Power of Retail Branding, Innovative Marketing
Strategies for Achieving BrandPower. They are now doing research for publication of their
examination into “Brand Buzz vs Brand Does.”
They travel worldwide in order to observe and evaluate ongoing changes in the international
retail, advertising and marketing landscape. The Winters have created academic curricula and
given industry consults and seminars in England, Italy, France, Brazil, Kenya, Korea, Japan,
Israel, China, and Russia.
Dr. Arthur A. Winters is Professor Emeritus and founder of the Advertising and Marketing
Communications Department, at the Fashion Institute of Technology / State University of New
York. He has over 60 years of experience as an advertising agency and marketing professional.
He is an educator and an author with a specialty in strategic brand management, planning and
creative execution of marketing and communications. He is a pioneer in Integrated and
Experiential Marketing, Advertising and Communications, who believed then and now, that brand
building requires more than brand name recognition. Dr. Winters holds degrees in economics,
public relations, marketing and education from Williams College, Pace University, and Temple
University. Quoted in numerous professional and trade publications, he has written many articles
and authored and co-authored seven textbooks. He has created innovative curricula for
advertising and marketing communications and developed interactive multimedia matrices for
Prof. Peggy Fincher Winters has been a professional and an educator in fashion marketing,
advertising and marketing communications for over 40 years. Her career spans the industry from
specialty and department store retailing -- to retail and producer direct marketing, advertising,
promotions and public relations. She is a strategic planner and creative producer of advertising
and public relations and integrated marketing campaigns. She has been a TV spokesperson,
written articles, books and videos, and has been quoted on fashion, marketing, advertising, as
well as experiential education and career development issues. Her education career includes
being the founder of the FIT/SUNY college-wide Internship Program, professor of advertising and
marketing communications. She has developed curricula and mentoring matrices that provide
internship programming and career coaching. Prof. Winters holds degrees in merchandising,
marketing, and education from Ellsworth Community College and The University of Memphis.
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What’s happened to fashion journalism? Much of what you need to do for an answer is go online. The present age of the fashion press is a consequence of a media explosion that was presaged over 50 years ago by media guru and culture sage: Marshall McLuhan. (In honor of the celebration of Marshall McLuhan’s 100th Birthday, July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980)
McLuhan foresaw media as a tool that can be used to create an individual’s own style, (e.g., “become the next hot designer” … go to: StartingaClothingLine.com or watch the TV program: “Project Runway”, among others). Social media and its networks can also be used to fashion a society’s self-image and lifestyles.
The computer as a research and communications tool has generated a new press age that enables any one or group to deliver fashion styling commentary and advice that sounds editorial. But as we are now experiencing, the wall between advertising and promotion and editorial has all but been entirely torn down. The strained economics of publishing have forced the collaboration between the formerly exclusive areas of editorial and advertising.
We’re seeing the decline and possibly the end to print and other traditional media that has resulted in a move from advice provided by fashion designers, fashion press, and celebrity style setters – to online interactive sources and opinionators. The top down fashion direction, “High Style,” has turned upside down and has the consumer in control of their “My Style”.
Marshall McLuhan’s Nostradamus-like presage was predictive and is newly relevant to a “collective identity,” which he called “the global village.” The Internet is not only a tool but moreover a force that is changing our culture.
We agree and feel that fashion media and communications worldwide are part of this new “PressAge.”
Consumer’s Message to the Brand: “Tell Me a Story…”
“Speak to my heart and mind.”
A successful strategy for many brands is to tell a story. The brand itself, and its “brandizers,” must be a storyteller; much in the same way that one writes a feature story for a magazine. For example, a store should become a medium for telling its story and a retail medium should become a virtual store in which the consumer wants to shop or be a part. Think of the Burberry brand as it has evolved through its long history.
A brand story can begin with and should incorporate the history and mission of the brand, sometimes stated, sometimes implied through imaging. No matter how old or new a brand, its history and origin is important to building its following. Think of Levi Strauss or Rag and Bone…
Today’s story development requires that the customer be communicated with utilizing new brand communications. Brand management has to create content that shows they understand what their target audience values. Brand communication has to focus on providing the ideal in customer experience, going beyond the customer’s expectations. Especially since the customer doesn’t have to go to the “bricks and mortar” store to get the shopping experience. The opportunity to get the brand’s product and service story can be realized in the home or on the road. The story must be told through a well executed, surround mix of messages and media choices.
The brand’s story should be able to convince a customer of its love for her or him, and the messages must be interactive no matter what the medium. The brand, store and product, should study their targets’ state of mind, based on their lifestyles and lifestages, as well as their heart based on aspiration and desire. A brand’s story must be more than its attributes… it must tell as much of what the brand can do, as what the customer can do with it. Check out the website for www.Lovemarks.com to interact with today’s brand stories and vote on your favorites.
Today’s Brand Communications finds that the positioning of brand image and meaning are more challenging than ever. Creating a memorable I.D. and appealing to the consumer’s connection to the brand’s id, is more demanding than ever.
Every communication with a target audience should offer the brand an opportunity to reinforce its mission and positioning. Its message content should contain more than image. It should communicate relevant functional and/or emotional meanings for the customer’s aspirations, wants and needs. Successful brands connect with the consumer’s id, the source of instinctive energy.
A logo must be more than a graphic (see Branded Logoman for logos which have BRAND I.D.). Each of these logos have established the Brand’s I.D. in one’s memory, as well as work with a tagline and/or slogan to create an aspiration, fill a need, satisfy a want, and stimulate the id. If a brand is multi-regional and/or global, it must also be aware of differences in language, pronunciation, connotation and interpretation that vary from region to region, from country to country, and continent to continent. Globally, brand names and messages often don’t translate as intended.
An example of a brand communication translation gaffe was when Gerber, the well-known baby food company, learned that global marketing could be problematic. In French Canada – the French translation of Gerber is vomiting. How’s that for image and meaning?
The logo and brand name communicates brand image, but they should be used with serious thought. A good example is Campbell Soup‘s new slogan: “It’s amazing what soup can do”, rather than – “It’s amazing what Campbell Soup can do.” By leaving out their sole ownership of “great soups,” they make their communication more consumer-centric by recognizing the consumer’s desire to choose for themselves the brand that will deliver amazing soup to their family.