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October 30, 2010
What CEOs Can Learn From Designers

The C-Suite just doesn't get it.

CEOs need designers to teach them about the industry and culture.

Designers were the first to embrace fast fashion. They recognized the much broader audience who could be reached and realized that customers would appreciate spending less occasionally, but still enjoy the brand

Target's collaboration with Isaac Mizrahi was groundbreaking. H&M followed suit with designer collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney. The Gap recently launched a Stella McCarthy kid's line, which led to the launch of her own eponymous kid's line. Karl Lagerfeld just announced his own line, Lagerfeld Gallery, will be more "democratically priced" and positioned going forward.

Designers recognize the direction and desires of customers needs before their CEOs do. While brand CEOs can learn from designers, it doesn't stop there. Department store CEOs may want to listen as well. In an
ever-changing world, it is critical that department stores be agile, creative, and open to some risks.

A winning formula is a true merchandising pyramid with democratic prices, enabling a myriad of customers to look and to buy. This also allows customers to feel special with their luxury purchases and smart with their democratic ones.

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A founding member of Martens & Heads!, Kate Benson brings more than 15 years of industry experience and executive search expertise. She focuses on senior-level placements within the lifestyle practice and specializes in general management, sales, marketing, human resources, and operations. Her clients include global iconic brands as well as entrepreneurial startups.

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