172 – Aliza Licht of alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet – Fearless Brand Marketing

Digital brand marketing in fashion…

Aliza Licht (author of the best-selling book “Leave Your Mark”, EVP of Brand Marketing & Communications for alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet, former long-time SVP of Global Communications for Donna Karan International, and the former voice of DKNY PR GIRLbio) joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, Marc Raco and guest host Jackie Trebilcock (Managing Director of New York Fashion Tech Lab, Episodes 055 and 150 ) in front of a live audience at the Caviar Kaspia pop up restaurant at Spring Place. Event music by Lucy Kalantari.

Work ethic, brand guidelines, and engagement

Licht shares what she learned from pivoting from the pursuit of a medial degree to a career in fashion, why work ethic is paramount, the importance of saying yes, being fearless to get ahead of curve, and why not caring about failure helped her success at DKNY. She touches on the kind of digital processes she has in place, how crucial it is to have really clear social media brand guidelines on platforms, and to control content. Looking back on the Wild West in digital marketing and how it was easier to build community, the need to amplify vision and voice across all platforms for a brand, building a team and gauging success, conversation metrics, how engagement must be first and foremost, and the importance of hearing authenticity. Preferring one vendor that does everything, and a theory on Chinese menus.

Moving the needle, smart loyalty, and perceiving service

The interplay between marketing and commerce, changes in trends, why Licht is purposefully not a CMO and why it’s one of the most fireable positions, working cooperatively instead of depending on one “magic bullet” person, focusing on overarching brand awareness and communications, and moving the needle. Licht details companies she is advising such as Fashion GPS (Launch Metrics) and Awear. She discusses Awear as part of the New York Fashion Tech Lab, and a Bluetooth low energy smart tag embedded in product, allowing to brands to analyze post-sale behavior analytics and provide consumers rewards to be leveraged as ambassadors. Envisioning the future of retail as being about the experience of the brand and smart loyalty. Bridging digital and physical spaces, avoiding the Retail Apocalypse by getting traffic into stores, and using visual search. How the fashion industry doesn’t test enough, human interaction vs. bots, and the critical importance of perceiving service.

International marketing considerations, succeeding beyond a challenge, and the best/worst travel story ever

How brands use Facebook Messenger to keep in touch. Plus, considerations of international digital marketing and how brand message and story changes. Off the Grid Questions cover following a different path, the most amazing combination of a best and worst travel story ever, “staycations”, the education of toughness of New York, and the long journey of overcoming tremendous communication obstacle to speaking in front of thousands of people.


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