DesignBots and StylistBots, as Good as Humans?

A fashion designer and a stylist work together, and compete with one another, to produce best-selling items.
The stylist ranks the designer’s work while keeping an eye on emerging trends. The designer leverages the stylist’s curation while innovating new creations. Rinse and repeat. It’s the never-ending cycle of fashion. It also sounds a lot like artificial intelligence and machine learning, which use similar cycles for optimization.
Today, A.I. designers, stylists, and planners are hard at work at Stitch Fix, Bombfell, H&M, Gwynnie Bee. Will they be as good, or even better, than their human counterparts?

8 Human Truths: A Path to Impulse Purchasing

The Hershey Company idenitified “eight human truths” to help retail partners increase impulse purchases.

1. Indulge. Shoppers seek permission to “give in” to the guilt. They know they can’t be good all of the time and really don’t want to be. 

2. Delight. New flavors? New packaging? An exciting retail display? Offer something that breaks up the sometimes mundane or noisy…

3. Score. Help shoppers feel they’re beating the system by giving them a sense that they’ve found a great deal. Make it fun to follow an impulse.

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Annual Retail Forum: “Retail Radicals”

Very honored to speak at the “Annual Retail Forum” at Columbia Business School, Wednesday, August 1st.

Joining “Retail Radicals” including Mickey Drexler, Jill Granoff, Paul Charron, Richard Jaffe, Robin Lewis, Mark Bozek, Alex Brick , Mark A. Cohen, Anne Marie Stephen, and other leaders and luminaries for a one-day interactive summit on emerging brands and macro shifts shaping the future of the retail industry.

This program showcases retail radicalism from a multi-disciplinary perspective, identifying the skills, knowledge base, and best practices required to lead the retail industry into the future…

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Venue: Uris Hall, Room 301, Columbia University Campus
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Private “Label” vs. Private “Brands”

Let’s be careful not to confuse private “labels” with private “brands.”

Private label merchandise is generic goods, sold as a commodity (and commodities have price as their value proposition). Private brands, when properly executed, are truly brands, exclusive to a retailer or channel of distribution, with distinct brand attributes, supported by significant marketing. 

Overall, private “label” continues the “race to the bottom,” favoring low cost producers. The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might just win — or worse, come in second. 

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