Digital Customer Experience, and the Curation of it All


Author: Maggie Walsh

Aesthetics and ease are the two most important components of the digital customer experience (DCX). Websites aren’t just selling product anymore. They’re selling experiences. Customers want to enter a digital world and feel like they belong, or that they aspire to belong. And they want it to be simple and pain-free. The companies that prioritize these ideals create a winning DCX, and ultimately, customer retention.

Companies like Glossier and Bando have a vibe that makes their customers feel like part of a lifestyle.  The photos are curated and interesting, product descriptions are pithy, and graphics add to the overall feel of the company - all of it elevating the DCX. In online retailing especially, the product can’t speak for itself the same way it can in a brick-and-mortar retail store. The website has to assist in telling the product story to make customers buy into the products, and by extension, the brand.

Aesthetics include not only beautiful product and graphics, but quality. Quality of a website enhances the DCX, making the customer feel comfortable entering their personal and financial information. Professional and secure websites are instrumental in gaining a customer’s trust and loyalty.

Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule. Amazon, the online giant no one can slay, has arguably the worst aesthetic of any online retail superpower. What they have done right is make it so easy to shop, it’s sincerely hard for any customer not to. Amazon Prime, recommended/related items, and Alexa have created a user-friendly online eco-system that keeps a customer enmeshed in the Amazon of it all. One-click purchase and high page loading speed prevents frustrated customers from abandoning their cart. A January 2018 article on proves the importance of technical ease, “just a 1-second delay in load time can hurt (purchase) conversion rates by 7 percent.” Amazon has made it a priority to make the journey from product search to order confirmation a frictionless process. What Amazon lacks in beauty, it makes up tenfold in utility.

DCX extends to all digital platforms – including social media presence and mobile friendliness. Customers are increasingly online shopping from the comfort of their phones.  A difficult experience during a mobile session is a surefire way to lose a customer. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, the customer will find one that is. Websites have to translate their aesthetic to social media in a way that makes sense for the brand, while creating interesting content that customers want to see beyond product placement.

There aren’t a lot of subjects I consider myself an expert in, but online shopping is one of them. While waiting in line at Starbucks, I’m just as likely to be browsing dresses on Shopbop as I am to be scrolling through Instagram. The sites and brands I return to again and again are the sites that are fun to look through and easy to navigate. They feel most adjacent to walking into one of my favorite stores. That is the winning formula for DCX.






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How These Marketing Leaders Carved Out Success For Their Companies

What makes these marketing leaders great?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines marketing as the activities that bring a company’s products to the public awareness and make these products available for the public’s consumption. Even when a company’s products are good, it is marketing that determines whether they will sell or not. In the world of fashion today, there are global marketing geniuses who keep their companies in the lead. It is interesting to see how they are able to make the public love the trends that their companies set.

Hedi Slimane:Dior’s Skinny Look and YSL Ready-to-wear

Hedi Slimane’s best work in marketing comes from his ability to steer his company towards trends that will captivate the public eye and catch his market’s pocketbook. As creative director of Dior Homme of the House of Dior, he was able to popularize the “skinny look” for men. This was a major change in fashion profiles for men, and it took Hedi Slimane’s intuitive gift to know just when the market was ready for it.

After his successful stint at House of Dior, he was at the helm of Yves St. Laurent’s ready-to-wear collection for men. This was uncharted territory for the haute couture company, but Slimane proved equal to the challenge of presenting a high end line for a consumer base that was used to thinking of YSL in terms of highly exclusive fashion.

Dan Wieden: Making Nike the Right Sportswear

Together with his business partner, David Kennedy, Wieden was recognized as a marketing talent to reckon with.  He was listed as one of the top 100 advertising people of the twentieth century, and included in Time Magazine’s list of the world’s top 50 CyberElite.

Dan Weiden’s marketing genius is best expressed by the tagline “Just do it.” It is the slogan that Nike has used for all its products, and it has helped market the Nike line as the appropriate fashion for active sports. He has helped consolidate Nike’s image as the most reliable and desirable look for athletes today.

Seth Farbman: Filling the Gap

Gap’s fashion is meant for the young, but in the 1990s, the company felt it was losing its market share. Seth Farbman became part of Gap in the midst of this scenario, and his leadership as its worldwide marketing director comes with his analysis of why Gap was steadily losing its hold on its market. He saw that Gap had lost its identity and its focus on what made it unique. He saw that creating and selling fashion for the young meant forcefully competing in terms of variety and pricing. Farbman’s current campaign aims to concentrate on value for money, optimism, and fun.

Dee McLaughlin: In Style with Forever 21

Forever 21 is seriously competing with American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Aeropostale, the big top names in young fashion. Dee McLaughlin, in charge of Forever 21’s global marketing, has succeeded in developing a truly compelling brand for the company.

Today, this fashion store has nearly 100 locations globally, establishing popular stores in China, Europe, as well as the Middle East. The fashion department store’s customer base has become broader over the years, catering not just to teens but to young professionals and hip housewives. It is easy to establish proof of McLaughlin’s marketing leadership: Bank of America estimates Forever 21’s sales at over $3.5 billion. Who can argue with success?

Breaking into the world of luxury fashion isn’t easy, even for Slimane, Wieden, Farbman, and McLaughlin. Much credit goes to acumen, hard work and persistence. These marketing geniuses charted a path for their respective companies through targeting, segmentation, and most importantly differentiation.


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Photo: High Snobiety

Solutions For Marketing's New Digital Age

The marketing world is rapidly changing, and as it does, we are forced to find new methods of getting our message across. As marketers, this can be a serious problem, especially if we have not managed to learn the latest tips and tricks. If other companies beat us to the punch, we will be hard pressed to catch up, if we even can. It all depends on how determined we are, and if we can even absorb the new material. One of the most important things for us to remember about marketing is that it is no longer a batch job, not by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it is a continuous process and it requires the aid of technology.

There was a time when marketing and demographics were collected on a case-by-case basis. They could be collected through mall surveys, or they might be collected via mailed cards. Today, however, these surveys are typically conducted online, and even better, the demographics are often built by monitoring the links customers click on various retail sites, and of course, by watching what actions convert into sales. These days, getting information is simply a matter of ease, more so than it ever has been before.

A new era of marketing trends and insights will change the way marketing is carried out forever for a few reasons. First, marketing must be simplified. Complex marketing tactics are a good start, but if you want to expedite the process and put the results to use in a timely manner, they need to be simple. Another important thing to remember is that the simpler your marketing methods are, the easier it will be for everyone to pick them up. For example when you hire new employees, you will find it much easier to train them on a simpler marketing method, and your company will not lose steam as it attempts to assimilate new workers over time. Adopting programs for the move into the digital world is without a doubt the best thing that a company can do.

In the past, a marketer might have looked back on the old ways of marketing, and perhaps even remember when the new ways began to interfere with their marketing strategy. Looking back now, however, is not an option. The future has begun to catch up to us, and soon, marketing without a digital presence, and especially without a social media presence will be unheard of. The question is whether your company will be ready to adopt marketing strategies that will simply be a matter of course as time goes by. It’s time to let the old ways die, and start looking to the future. You might be amazed at what a difference the new tactics will make, allowing your business to grow beyond its original limits.


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Photo: PB Works

Marketing Solutions For The Digital Revolution

Marketing executives are faced with unique challenges in today’s marketing environment for a number of different reasons. The world is changing, first of all, meaning new advertising methods need to be adopted if a company is to actually survive. How is the world changing exactly? What does it mean?

The world is becoming digital, and as a result, it is becoming much smaller. This has an interesting effect on businesses as they are able to reach out further, and this is especially interesting for smaller companies that do not have the same resources as their larger competitors. Thanks to the power of the internet, virtually anyone can become a success so long as they capitalize on the opportunities they have been presented with.

This is great news for marketing executives, of course, as they will be able to reach a greater audience with less effort. It does, however, mean that every other company will be doing the exact same thing, ultimately forcing you to not only be on your guard against other companies, but to make sure you are using the same techniques, or even better techniques than they are using. Keeping up is hard to do, but let’s go over some of the most common new methods in today’s world so that you will not only learn to spread the word about your company, but turn your views into conversions.

Views vs. Conversions

Proper marketing will get you both views and conversions, but the journey between the two can be difficult, to say the least. What is the difference between a view and a conversion exactly? A view is exactly what it sounds like: someone looking at your webpage or product though they may not take the leap toward buying the product. A conversion ends in the customer making a purchase, and perhaps even coming back for more. Getting from the view to the conversion requires a bit of work on your part.

Solutions for Marketing Executives

The best solution for marketing executives in this case is to gather as much information on the consumer as possible. In today’s market, it is best to do that through electronic means. Sending a survey card through the mail is obviously not effective, but you can collect online surveys from your customers by offering them various incentives. Some surveys might offer free merchandise such as t-shirts, or even electronics. Surveys do not always have to be so inclusive of rewards, however. You can actually just monitor customer trends on your own website, or purchase the information from a company that specializes in data collection. This is information that will take both you and your company far, ensuring that you are marketing to the right crowd, and perhaps finding new customers to appeal to.

Remember that surveys are not the only tool at your disposal. There are plenty of other ways for you to market, from social networking, all the way to e-mail. It is critical that you use every tool available to you, and ensure that your customers are able to interact with you. As the world continues to change, new tools will become available to you, and you will need to not only adapt, but learn how to best use them to your advantage. It's time for a change.


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Photo: Clara Bridge

Expand Your Market With This Brand Strategy Guide

Expanding Beyond the Core

Can you expand beyond your core customer or client base successfully? There is a school of thought that says this is at best a risky proposition and at worst a dirty one, after all you could go out on a limb to reach a new target and totally miss the mark while simultaneously alienating the people you already have. So is it possible, or perhaps the better question is, should you even try? The answer is yes and yes, but you must be smart about the process and understanding.


Who is your core? Well, in many cases a brand is started by core members. These are the people who are passionate about the product, early to adopt the process or product and are very knowledgeable as well.  You may find your core audience is also very protective and would prefer to keep the product all to themselves, rather than see it spread out to the masses. These are all things you must be aware of and sensitive to if you are going to reach out beyond the core, because expansion does not mean abandonment.

Identify Brand Truth

As you begin looking at ways to expand beyond your core, you want to start by understanding your brand truth. What is brand truth? Discovering your brand truth is a simple process of asking a few basic questions about the business. For example:

  • What is your brand, and what is it not? Understanding this provides you a good idea of not only where your brand is but the extent of where it can go. For example, Victoria’s Secret is a brand associated with women’s lingerie, but not denim jeans. If you want sexy lingerie you will go to Victoria’s Secret but if you want quality denim you might look elsewhere.
  • What is the expertise of your brand? Keeping with the Victoria’s Secret example, they are experts in bras and panties, but will never be the leader in outdoor apparel.
  • What is your brands iconic status? In other words, what does your brand stand for? Victoria’s Secret is known for women’s sexy underwear, not organic cotton.

Expanding Upon Brand Truth

Discussing the above points may tend to paint the picture of locking a brand into a narrow market, but that is really not the case. By understanding your brand truth, you can get a more concrete map for future and successful growth. It is important to also have a good understanding of how your brand is shaped.

  • Product – what you produce
  • Personality – how you produce
  • Point of View – why you produce

Keeping these three things closely aligned in order to achieve success.

Each company will have to determine what makes sense for expansion. One example of this is the supplier who offered cotton fabrics from India to major fashion houses. They soon expanded into fabrics created of coconut and other items. They attempted to move into lace and embellishments but found that those markets and the manufacturing was too complex, and was not in their area of expertise so they exited that market rapidly.

Defending the Soul of the Brand

Once you have determined your brand and begun to expand, you will find yourself in the position of defending the soul of the brand. People will constantly be coming in and out of your organization and you will need to boil your brand down to a phrase or collection of phrases that will instantly define and communicate your brand. Take the rallying cry of Nike  “Just Do It” is a simple idea that guides every step of the process.

Final Thoughts

Can you grow your brand beyond the core without abandoning the soul of your company? Of course, but you must first understand your brand completely. Simplify your brand to the point that it is fantastically easy to defend and remember that No is your best friend. Say no to anything that is not in line with the brand. Simplicity also makes it easier to say yes!


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Photo: Graber Agency

How To Better Reach Your Customer With Location Analytics

Tom Cruise’s mall experience in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report is not an impossible thing anymore. That scene gives us a glimpse of what the right technology can bring to businesses and to the customer’s experience. The high-tech mall in the movie has billboards that automatically present personalized messages to Tom Cruise as he passes. Through the eye scan if Cruise’s eye, the mall’s technology is able to know what to tell you specifically.

This elaborate vision of the near future is very close to the present reality. Various businesses are acquiring large amounts of data, only to provide you with anything you may need and want, anytime, anywhere. Fashion is one of the industry that follow this trend. Fashion involves personalized service, which can only come from engaging with customers. This is possible with today’s location analytics

What is Location Analytics?

Location analytics is a visual means of analyzing and interpreting information from historical and real-time geographic data in businesses. The data produced in businesses contains geographical elements, which help determine the spending habits or behavior of their customers in various locations. Companies use this information to increase their sales and retain their customers. Once they know their customers well enough, they are able to distribute products better. They can even aim their advertisements to more specific consumers.

Location analytics helps the fashion industry in very significant ways:

  • This technology helps fashion companies determine which trends appeal to certain kinds of customers in specific locations. With this information, fashion companies are able to deploy the right kinds of boutiques and brands. The effort results in happier customers and more profit.
  • Monitoring the entire mall can be taxing, especially if you want to make sure that every customer is served on time. With location analytics, business owners can monitor the wait times of every customer. This makes sure that the customers are served quickly enough.
  • Since everyone is connected through the Internet, location analytics can also help attribute online campaigns to offline stores.
  • It can also help executives spot the right site layout and design, by determining traffic flaws and hot zones.

The Technologies Involved in Location Analytics

Here are the technologies that make location analytics possible:

  1. Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE. Also known as, “Bluetooth Smart”, BLE is part of Bluetooth 4.0’s core specifications. It is the lightweight derivative of the original Bluetooth.
  2. iBeacon. This technology is found in your iOS. It extends the iOS location services. It can activate payments, once the customer leaves the store. It also helps promote sales and complementary items in various sporting or music venues. iBeacon also helps deliver free e-magazines in coffee shops and alert people about weather changes or travel delays. If used in the home, iBeacon can also help remind you about turning lights off and the like.
  3. Global Positioning System or GPS. This is a navigation system, based on twenty-four satellites, established by the US DOD or Department of Defense. It is free. It functions all day, on a global scale.
  4. Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a known wireless technology, which uses radio waves in providing high-speed network and internet connections.
  5. MAC Addresses or Media Access Control Address. This identifies every node of a given network.

Location analytics can help the fashion industry in establishing a tighter bond with their customers. Though there are some privacy issues to deal with, this technology can help improve the overall customer experience. You do not have to wait to get that perfect dress or handbag. Once you enter the store that has location analytics technology, your product will be sitting there, waiting for you.


Know your customers, just by determining the places they frequent. This is one of the benefits of location analytics. For fashion brands this high level of technology can enhance your relationship with your customers. Knowing their preferences and purchase history enables you to cater to their preferences. At the same time, your customers have a better experience whenever they go to your retail store. You have to be familiar with the latest technologies, which help location analytics possible. One of them is the Beacon.

What is a Beacon?

Beacons, in general, allow Bluetooth gadgets to receive and transmit data within short ranges of distance.  It is comprised of the receiver, represented by the smart phone application, and the broadcaster, represented by the beacon device. The receiver is the detector of beacons. The broadcaster makes known of its presence and identity. Take note that the effectiveness of beacons depends on the distance.

The data broadcasted by beacons allows the app to tell the distance of the phone from the item, to allow it to perform certain actions. This helps a lot when the client enters a retail store. The app can then offer discounts, open doors, turn lights on or off, or even send alerts on certain popular trends.

Various Uses of Beacons

Below are some of the basic uses of beacons:

  • Tracking of resources. With the use of beacons, the servers can be told conveniently to dispatch orders. Their PDAs allow them to select a table number, every time they take orders. The beacons make it possible for the mobile app to identify the table being served. The app displays the order and the name of the customer. The beacons allow the restaurant owner, to see which employees spent more time on certain customers and to determine their paths through the restaurant. Once you understand this information, you can improve the efficiency of your employees. The same thing happens in hotels, malls, and hospitals.
  • Facilitating learning. Beacons can also be applied on an educational setting. It can help stimulate the minds of the students, through certain games that require them to move about. Technology, geography, logic, context, and automation are only some of the subjects aided by beacons. With beacons, students become more interested in them.
  • Making zoo trips fulfilling. There is a zoo app, which helps visitors during their trips to the zoo. Once a guest gets close to zoo attraction, the mobile app starts showing additional information about what the guest is looking at.
  • Making sushi smarter. If you go to a modern sushi restaurant that has a conveyor belt, beacons can help provide more information about the sushi coming your way. You can also keep track of your orders and your bill as you take your sushi.
  • Adding more fun to shopping. With the help of beacons, you can simply walk into a store and immediately get information about offers. When the customer enters your boutique, you can take note of the time it takes for service to be completed. Beacons also make customer service more personalized.
  • Getting things automated. Beacons can also enable the automation of your home or business. Your doors can open or close (even lock or unlock) automatically. Your lights can turn on and off on cue as well.

Location analytics can deliver more to your business. Like any other innovation, beacons are not for everyone. Just be aware of the privacy concerns and you are well on your way to a more convenient, more futuristic daily experience.


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Photo: Backbone Mag

The 4 Tools Marketing Executives Need In Their Arsenal

Current Tools for Marketing Executives in the Fashion Industry

There is a lot of competition right now, and with that being the case you need a very particular set of tools that will ultimately help you to climb to the top of the industry. The rules have changed over the decades, with the introduction of new technologies and the change in the way items are purchased, but marketing executive still need many of the same tools. So what tools do you need in order to become a knowledgeable marketing executive? In the digital age, marketing is all about the internet.

Tool #1: Demographics

Who are you trying to market your products to? What do they like? How can you reach them? What is the age range you are appealing to? If you can’t quite figure it out, you need to collect information, and this could involve running surveys. There are plenty of ways to survey your potential customers by placing these forms online and offering your customers incentives to fill them out. Remember, a little financial sacrifice for some survey answers can save you a lot of time and energy. In addition to that, it can pay off big in the long run.

Tool #2: Social Media

For some reason, everyone seems to underestimate both the importance and potential of social media. There are so many different potential uses for it. For example, with social media you can reach many people at once, and with the networks that those customers have already built for themselves, you can expect to reach many more. From Twitter, to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, you can interact with your customers and present a very real presence for your company using social media.

Tool #3: Digital marketing

If you really want to reach your customers you need some form of digital marketing. There are several different ways to go about this, so let’s talk about some of the more obvious:

E-mail Marketing: One of the best ways for you to reach your customers is through the advent of e-mail marketing.

Text Marketing: One sure way to reach out to your customers is by using text messages. Of course you won’t simply be sitting there, sending messages out with your phone, but rather using an application.

Tool #4: Affiliate Marketing

The fashion industry uses plenty of affiliate marketing. This is essentially an effort where you allow bloggers or influencers of other fashion websites to advertise your site or company in exchange for a small percentage of the profits that you make. The normal cut is 8%, but this can be negotiated.

These are just a few of the tools that you will need to have in your marketing arsenal. Make sure that you are locked, loaded, and ready to go.


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Photo: 256 Media

The Reason Marketers Make The Best Leaders



Traditional businesses have their CEOs leading the way to their success. Presently, as opposed to the traditional Merchant background of the past, it is evident that effective marketing is taking over the key business leadership roles. It seems that the top companies you now see have top marketing professionals in leadership. Why has this happened? What does marketing make possible?

The Realization

Excellent customer experience is the goal of every company, including those in the fashion industry. In the world of fashion, understanding and interacting with the customers is vital. Fashion companies find inspiration from their consumers. All they have to do next is come up with ways on how to keep their customers flowing. Optimizing the company’s resources is not enough anymore. The strategy should be centered on the needs of the consumer and the experience that they should have. This is where the realization of innovation enters the scene.

Marketing leaders use the new methods in understanding their consumers. These go beyond the realms of conventional market research. That is why marketing per se takes over leadership roles in every company. The people behind it perform ethnographic research. This is evident in fashion marketing. Fashion companies directly observe their customers, so that they can clearly identify the growing desires and needs. These companies can then meet the aspirational desires and trend driven needs of their customers. Seeking out customers in areas where they play, work, and live is the best method in ethnographic research.

People in marketing are keen observers because they immerse themselves into the consumer pool. Here, they learn to understand the consumers. In the end, they make decisions that lead to inventions for the targeted consumers. As opposed to the traditional Merchant background of the past, marketers do the work and lead at the same time. They know the work, do the work, and delegate the work when they need to.

What Effective Marketing Can Do to a Company

People in marketing do a considerable amount of brainstorming. In every session, they merge people from various departments, so that they can all think as one unit. This balances out curiosity with analytical thinking. Innovative solutions come from various insights. Ultimately, marketers transform ideas into valuable prototypes they can build upon.

Marketing gives birth to an idea and releases it to the waiting market as quickly as possible. This can be seen in fashion companies that constantly need new ideas. Marketers in these companies hold the key leadership roles because they know how demanding the fashion industry is. It is not enough for them to hear out suggestions or propositions on certain trends or designs. They have to see things for themselves and make sure that the resulting product satisfies the needs and wants of their clientele.

The brand then becomes more versatile and more updated in every season. Creativity is essential in business. Marketers have the innovative thinking and practical knowledge of what consumers want and need. These people come from diverse departments. They have multiple interests and capabilities.

Marketing is becoming the heart and soul of most companies, including the fashion industry. As opposed to the traditional Merchant background of the past, marketing executives typically embody a well rounded background, are able to pinpoint the needs of consumers, making them more successful in reeling in more customers and more profit.

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Say Goodbye To Traditional Marketing: Tips For The 21st Century

Teamwork Business Meeting Concept.
Teamwork Business Meeting Concept.

As the marketing world changes we are obviously encouraged to change with it, and for good reason. Failure to change can lead to a number of different problems, especially when it comes to marketing your products. Will the old marketing methods work? Yes, they certainly will, to an extent, but there are a number of differences in today’s world as opposed to the world of twenty or even ten years ago. What are those differences exactly?

Lifestyle Changes

With the increase in electronics and the connectivity of the internet, people are in more of a rush than ever before and they tend to leave their shopping to the internet rather than heading outside to spend extended hours at the local mall. That being the case, it becomes very difficult to survey individuals or stores to see what customers have purchased and how they spend their time. While you could attempt to survey individuals in the old manner, it would be more to your advantage to move things to a more digital platform, and that means ultimately ensuring that you are up to date with the latest technology. It’s never easy, but it is something that must be done.


How fast can you get your marketing done? The problem with sticking to the old ways, as you will find, is that other companies will actually move much faster than you as marketing is now a continuous process rather than a batch process as it used to be. If you cannot keep up, others will most certainly beat you to the punch, and you will have far less of an effective strategy.

Moving Forward and Making a Difference

If you really want to move forward and make a difference, then you will need to make sure that you have someone on staff that can actually handle digital advertising techniques, among other things. The following are a few venues that you need to be pursuing in the interest of expanding your company:

Social Media – This is a great way for you to find out what your customers want, and most importantly what they are buying. The interesting thing about social media, and the internet in general, is that people are absolutely unafraid to tell you exactly what they think. Use this to your advantage!

Demographics – Collecting demographics is now easier than ever before. All you need to do, is monitor what products are being purchased and see what trends they are setting. Remember, your customer controls the flow of products today just as they have in the past.

Surveys – Your surveys can be run in a number of different ways. There are still physical surveys of course, but online surveys will serve you much better. You can issue such surveys through e-mail, or through text message. The choice is yours, but it is recommended that you keep the questions short and to the point, as customer attention is not what it used to be.

You have plenty of opportunities to bring in the customers and ultimately grow your business as a marketing director. Start planning a new strategy today and allow your empire to continue for many years to come.

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Stay Ahead of The Competition With These Marketing Tips

Stay Ahead of The Competition With These Marketing Tips

The world is changing, or rather it has already changed in terms of science and technology. As could have been predicted rather easily, the changes in these two fields have bled over significantly into the marketing world as well as the consumer world. The way we do things has changed significantly thanks to the internet and the connections we now make on a daily basis without even thinking about them.

What Should I Wear to my Interview?


What should I wear to my interview?

That's a question I am so frequently asked I’ve considered adding a section to our website. What you wear can set the tone for the interview. It can also have a major impact on your confidence. In an industry that thrives on aesthetics, branding and lifestyle your interview attire should be carefully planned.

There are several variations to this answer all depending on the hiring company, position level and geography.

Here are a few simple rules to follow.

Never abandon your personal style. Ever. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. The more comfortable you are in your own skin the more relaxed and confident you will feel. A strong sense of personal style often indicates the wearer has firm sense of self.


When is it okay? A lot of sites will tell you to never wear jeans to an interview. I’m going to challenge this assertion. If you are interviewing with a premium denim company, you should wear jeans. Just make sure it’s their brand. You're marketing yourself so you want to make it a point to do it well. Obviously.


If you’re interviewing for a President or CEO position wear a suite. For executive level roles like SVP, VP, EVP, etc. it depends on the company and the position. If you’re interviewing for the SVP of Design, I’m guessing you won’t wear a suit. CFOs however, a suit is probably expected. If you’re interviewing for a director level and below, don’t wear a suit. Ever.


Slacks and a collared shirt is an easy solution. No tie. No polos. I personally prefer a little more flare. Flat front slacks, with a fitted top (no collar) and a blazer. Cool but not too polished. Alternatively you can opt for slacks and a sweater. Choose your sweater wisely.


Since women look nice is nearly everything we have a wide range of options. Slacks, Skirts, Dresses, blazers and a range of tops all work well. Just no pant suits and don’t pair skirts with blazers or you might come off as Murphy Brown. The 90s are over. Heels or flats are just fine depending on what compliments your outfit best. If you’re not comfortable in heels but want a little lift try a kitten heel. Don’t be afraid to accessories. Make your look your own. Jewelry, scarves and handbags are all part of defining your personal style and showing your personality.

Branded Apparel

Whenever possible and appropriate wear the hiring company’s apparel. HR at a certain athletic brand once told me that when candidates arrive without a stitch of branded apparel on the first thing they do is take them to the employee store for a little last minute shopping. This is especially true for active wear and lifestyle brands. They want to see their logo or product.

Market Segment Appropriate

Chances are if you’re interviewing with a company you probably have at least some connection to the brand. Hopefully. The clothes you wear to a Nordstrom interview will likely be more fashion forward than to Eddie Bauer. Remember your audience.


East Coast tends to be more dressy and formal than their West Coast counterparts. Mid-West and everywhere in between tends to take into consideration weather conditions and culture. If you’re interviewing in Madison, WI you might want to dial it back a bit. Salt Lake City, UT, think active. Colorado, casual and active.

Pretend you are the hiring company’s consumer and then incorporate the appropriate level of interview dress-up. You want to look pulled together but you need to look like part of the team.


Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar