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You’ve walked past his stores, seen his iconic bobble-head ads, and perhaps even worn his shoes — but do you know his story? In the documentary Maddman: The Steve Madden Story, viewers witness how Steve Madden built his formidable billion-dollar shoe empire, step by step. Here are five things we learned from the Steve Madden brand, beginning with the designer’s early days followed by his meteoric rise to success and even a stint in prison. Passion,…

It’s Black Business Month — and as black-owned businesses continue to be hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to show support. Enter Virgil Abloh: DJ, artist, architect, designer, and first person of African descent to lead artistic direction at a French haute couture house. Abloh grew from humble origins as the son of Ghanian immigrants to dominating an industry famous for its lack of diversity. Abloh’s story is more than…

In this week’s episode, we chat with Aaron Contreras, Volcanica’s Director of Coffee, about all things manufacturing, customer retention, and automation. To say that Aaron is a “coffee connoisseur” is an understatement — he’s been an active part of the family business since the age of six. And in this episode, he delves into the family story behind the brand — starting with how they built the company from the ground up in their garage…

The dawn of 2020 was the start of a bright new decade. But it turned out to be a most challenging year. A global pandemic created a massive shift to e-commerce. Consumer spending habits changed. Demand in several consumer verticals fluctuated wildly. Amid all this, the global retail industry stands at the frontline, always ready to embrace new tools and tactics to get ahead in a sometimes confusing marketplace. What are the expectations and forecasts…

As a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand, expanding your business may be one of the toughest challenges you’ll face. However, it’s also an exciting time — if you want to grow your business, it means that customers are receiving your brand well, and you’re bringing in a profit. While many things have the potential to go wrong, you can get ahead of the game by creating a marketing strategy that you’re confident about. Luckily, we have a marketing…

It wasn’t too long ago social distancing was introduced to the American lexicon. Yet ever since, our lives have arguably changed forever. In addition to a global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, COVID-19 has brought profound changes to our daily lives, such as remote work, unemployment, and virtual school. In turn, many are facing newfound economic and social stresses, as well as panic over the uncertainty of the future. Here…

As lockdown measures ease and things begin to open up again, there has been a significant, permanent shift in consumer behavior. For businesses to survive and grow post-COVID, they’re going to have to adapt to this change in customer expectations. Better Communication  The pandemic has forced many businesses to communicate with their customers more than they usually would. They’ve been keeping customers informed about how they’re handling the pandemic — how they’re operating, the steps…

Looking at the recent history of the global retail marketplace can tell us a lot about its future. In the last two decades, brick-and-mortar businesses have closed by the thousands, with record numbers continuing to shutter each year. The rise of e-commerce and web-based retail has generated momentum toward a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model of sales that prioritizes speed, convenience, and real-time service. This structure creates an environment where brands of all kinds can compete for…

It’s now more imperative than ever for brands to have an owned digital presence — companies without an e-commerce presence need to build one out to remain viable. This guide will help brands understand the challenges and opportunities for moving their business from physical to digital, from relying on third-party platforms to managing their own thriving e-commerce presence. In this article: Types of E-Commerce Platforms Overview of Major E-Commerce Platforms Product Considerations for Moving Online…

In the previous post, Offline to Online: E-Commerce Platforms and Product Ideas, we covered the different types of e-commerce platforms and which kinds of products to sell. Now, let’s explore the elements of an online customer acquisition strategy and how to get your products into the hands of consumers.   In this article:  E-commerce Customers vs. In-Person Customers Identifying the Best E-commerce Customers Building ICPs and Personas Finding Customer Data Finding Customers Online Setting Up an…