Branding 101: The Psychology of Brand Building, Theirs & Yours, Feb 27th

February 25 2014

Catch Beth in action this Thursday, February 17th from 2:15pm to 3:45pm at ASMP’s upcoming business symposium, Photo Business New York!

Beth’s seminar: Branding 101: The Psychology of Brand Building, Theirs & Yours, will uncover the psychology behind shaping brands big and small, including your own! Learn how to discover your brand and put it into action!

Find out more info about the event at: & be sure to register here. (Students get in free!)

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Selling to Your Capabilities: Macy’s Enters the 21st Century

February 19 2014

Continuing along with one of my retail brand obsessions, I’m wondering about Macy’s intentions regarding their Fulton Mall store in Brooklyn. The retail environment on the mall is picking up speed, most recently with the addition of a Banana Republic Factory Store. As I’ve written about before, Macy’s on the mall is a sad, sad store. This Macy’s offers up a hot zero even if you were so parched for shopping that any old purchase would do.

Last month, Macy’s announced that they are going to start looking at their old downtown stores throughout the country with the intention of creating a younger, more urban concept store akin to Bloomingdale’s Soho. Apparently the Brooklyn store is going to be the testing ground for the new concept. Will it help to make our neighborhood Macy’s on the mall a shopping destination? I don’t know. Personally, I love Macy’s Herald Square for their capabilities rather than their attributes. In other words, for their prices. I go there for the crazy markdowns that make me wonder, “What is their retail margin? How do they stay in business with these kind of sales”?

What are Macy's attributes? Comprehensive and democratic (anyone can afford to shop there, particularly with those sales). The store serves every demographic, covering everything from the plus-size Macy’s woman to kids, juniors, and the Rachel Roy shopper (that would be me). Can they start to lay claim to a hipper audience, with the new urban concept, one who is interested in fast fashion, cooler design, urban culture, and sex appeal? This will be an interesting challenge for them as they fight for market share on the mall against H & M for the fast fashionistas, Banana Republic for the office gals and moms, and Century 21 for the middle-of-the-road bargain girls. As always, stay tuned.


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Fashion Week February 2014: Jill Stuart

February 12 2014

This past weekend, I had the opportunity and great good fun to attend Jill Stuart’s Fall 2014 fashion show at the tents in Lincoln Center. In reality, going to the tents is nothing like Project Runway, kids. It’s a fairly straightforward experience, with the audience sitting in a dark space constructed with a kind of ad hoc feeling, bleachers, and a white runway. The difference from one show to the next is in the music, the hair and make-up and of course, the clothes.

Jill Stuart is known for her feminine dresses, and she has been selling them successfully for quite a long time. She was born into a fashion family and immersed in the fashion world from a young age, and amazingly sold her first jewelry collection to Bloomingdales at age fifteen. Along with five hundred other retail outlets, she still sells there today, and even created an exclusive collection for Bloomies for the 2013 holiday season. Interestingly enough, one of her earliest collections was heavily featured in “Clueless,” a film that was infused with the upscale, girly, socially exclusive and fun clothing worn by Alicia Silverstone and her faux friends.

Going into the show, my impression of her Jill Stuart's design aesthetic was girly, easy to wear, and middle-of-the-road. I was wildly surprised to see magnificently detailed dresses hit the runway, with a feeling of incredible modernity in cut and embellishments. For the first time, I became a believer. In her press handout card, the collection was framed as being: irregular beauty, untameable, easy, boyish, effortless, unimpressionable and adorned. From a brand perspective, I understand this particular collection as being easy and effortless (which are in fact identical brand attributes), adorned (a capability rather than an attribute) and boyish in that the shapes of the clothes were quite angular and clean. Does it follow my impression of the brand as a whole? A qualified yes. And in fashion, is that enough? Again, a qualified yes!

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Announcement: Beth speaks on the Psychology of Branding @ the ASMP Business Symposium Feb 27th

February 06 2014

Beth is thrilled to be presenting at the NY Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers’ upcoming three day Business Symposium. This year her seminar, Branding 101: The Psychology of Brand Building, Theirs & Yours, will focus on the psychology of how brands are shaped, including yours!

Please join us to gain some insight into your own brand on February 27th from 2:15pm to 3:45pm at the Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College, open to anyone in the photo community.

We hope to see you all there!

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