How To Gain a Competitive Edge | 5 Questions Every Fashion Brand Should Ask Themselves

1. HOW CAN WE BUILD STRONGER CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL BE LESS SUSCEPTIBLE TO CANNIBALIZATION BY PASSING FADS?

It is important for every brand to be cognizant of the difference between a fad and trend.  As I mentioned in a previous post on trends, there is still an ongoing debate as to what exactly makes a trend different from a fad.  While the two can be construed as the same, many experts often consider a fad to be a short-term, fleeting, frothy, product, service, or experience that has manifested as a result of a trend; and a trend to be a long-term movement, or deeper consumer need, having the ability to shift culture and leave an indelible impression on a market (click the content source to learn more on this topic).  But more importantly, your

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You know how you step back through your office door after vacation and the place looks a little weird? You think, “Geez, is this what it really looks like?” That sense of seeing your place with fresh eyes becomes a pretty horrible experience when you come back to find it in a real mess. Piles of folders, mail spilling out of your inbox, last week’s four used coffee cups, and who knows what in that bowl you forgot to wash.

How to come back from vacation & not be miserable

Alibaba aims to launch share sale in early September


Chinese e-commerce company ALIBABA Group Holding Ltd is planning to launch its New York STOCK MARKET debut in the week of Sept. 8, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Saturday.

The much-anticipated sale or initial public OFFERING(IPO) could raise more than $20 billion, making it the biggest technology listing in the United States.

The company is still awaiting final approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to kick-off the listing, the person said, adding that the date was still a moving target.

The source declined to be identified as the information is not public.

The IPO ‘roadshow’ - when a company meets with potential investors - had previously been expected to be launched this coming week, with pricing of the OFFER set for as early as Sept. 15, the New York Times earlier reported. Pricing of the shares is now more likely to come later in that week, the paper said.

An external spokeswoman for Alibaba in Hong Kong declined to comment on the share sale plans when contacted by Reuters on Saturday.

Separately, The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the DEAL, said that Alibaba expected talks with the SEC to wrap up next week.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Denny Thomas; Editing by Ian Geoghegan and Jane Merriman)

What I've been learning from big brands.

1. Apple - Sell a lifestyle and experience. After the sale, provide a “no questions asked” type of support.

2. Starbucks - Sell a lifestyle and experience. Provide a kind of hang out spot or “second home” for customers.

3. Sony - Make the customer feel special and important to you. Treat them like a V.I.P.

4. Volkswagen - Ensure the customer of the reliability of your product. Be straightforward and simple.

5. Mercedes-Benz - Treat the customer like a V.I.P.. They paid a huge amount of money for your product, be there for them always.

6. Ferrari - Treat your customers like sh*t even if they paid a huge amount of money for your product.

7. Toyota - If something goes wrong: RECALL.

8. Warby Parker - Use random and common male names to name your products.

9. Facebook - Take advantage of how people tend to skip reading the terms of service, thus leading you to invade their privacy.

10. Anything from China - Make cheap, sell cheap - IN BULK.

Sure, free food isn’t as valuable as health insurance but what and how your company uses perks can still make a big difference.

While the components of a great job—support, challenge, autonomy—are hard to quantify, everyone understands free snacks in the pantry.

So perks become proxies for other upsides. They also tap into the psychology of gifts. While it seems crazy that doctors would be influenced to write prescriptions by free pens, they were (before an industry code ended the practice).

Likewise, freebies at work are loved beyond their actual dollar value. They invite reciprocity. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, “Maybe it’s just recognition,” says Danielle Saladino-Evans, who works in corporate communications at Fingerpaint, a marketing and communications firm, and is part of the committee that decides her company’s perks. “You’re working hard today. Go have something on us.”

If you’re figuring out what perks to offer, here’s how to get the most bang for your buck.

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