Michael Decker

Vice President, Marketing Strategy
Michael has thrived in the world of national and international brand communications, having worked with agencies, retail marketing companies and brand clients over the course of his 25-year career. He is responsible for leveraging brand, shopper marketing and in-store visual merchandising expertise to help retail and brand clients build custom, dynamic selling environments. Michael graduated from Bucknell University with B.A. degrees in Economics and Psychology. He is the recipient of the Gold Effie Award and his broad marketing experience extends to health and wellness, CPG, beauty, financial services, hospitality and specialty retail brands, including Medifast Weight Loss, Sweet’N Low, Sugar / Stevia In The Raw, Matrix Biolage Hair Care, Valley National Bank, Hilton Hotels, The Waldorf=Astoria, Barnes & Noble and Foot Locker.
  • Posted on: 09/11/2019

    Will Walmart have more success creating consumer direct brands than acquiring them?

    Walmart will succeed by building brands or buying brands that appeal to their customer base. Period. Did the core Bonobos customer ever shop at Walmart? Um, no. Jet? Nope. ModCloth? Unh uh. Stay in your lane and stay true to your brand promise, Walmart, and you will undoubtedly succeed.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2019

    Lord & Taylor to be sold to Le Tote

    The low price and easy terms Le Tote got for L&T made it a no-brainer for the former. Le Tote will do well with renting the high ticket dresses and will make inroads into that market (against Rent The Runway). Lord & Taylor may well reinvent itself as a 20,000 square foot retailer dedicated to digital personalization. Look for lots of testing with BOPIS and L&T-branded subscriptions offered to the new customer base that hasn't considered that model before. Interesting, low-risk acquisition for Le Tote.
  • Posted on: 08/27/2019

    Will Nordstrom’s sustainable fashion site win over eco-conscious consumers?

    Perfect for Nordstrom. How H&M signs a deal like that is beyond me. But the times are changing and retailers must adapt or die. Millennials and Zs will rightly buy (or rent) sustainable products and keep clothing for a long time. Classic styles will redevelop. Fewer trends mean more planet...
  • Posted on: 08/27/2019

    How to make a big deal out of a chicken sandwich

    A combination of the right tone, right time and right place, plus a good product and lots of help from Popeyes' competitors! Social media marketing is unpredictable. It's a volume game where you keep working it with clever stuff knowing that eventually you'll hit the mainstream chord. Fun to watch.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2019

    Will Kohl’s shoppers like the ‘emerging brands’ chosen by Facebook users?

    Smart move by both marketers to seamlessly connect online and offline retail. Facebook gets much needed credibility by partnering with trusted brands and Kohl's gets a little hipper. Physical retailers are eager to connect with the "instant chic" of digitally native brands. And of course, customers expect it. This is the future of "all channel" retail.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Is Nike’s new subscription program for kids a parent’s best friend?

    I have serious reservations here as I think the variables for the successful fit (both size and styles) are too great for "subscription." Shoe fit is particularly important during the toddler years. Shoe style is particularly important to tweens. And the 12 pairs a year model (for kids) is just absurd. I suspect early adopters will give it a try and deliver initial success for Nike but this will soon peter out as busy moms (and dads) wake up after eight months and say "What was I thinking?"
  • Posted on: 08/09/2019

    Can Victoria’s Secret recover from its founder’s past relationship with Jeffrey Epstein?

    Interesting opportunity for Wexler to do good for society and his brand in one fell swoop. Fork in the road for Victoria's Secret. Sexual discrimination is not sexy anymore. Inclusion and social responsibility are. Why not make a big splash and make some lemonade out of this?
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    The Container Store debuts new custom closet store concept

    True custom closets take a surprising amount of expertise and customer service to pull off without a hitch. The Container Store has mastered it with their in-store ELFA offerings and has seen significant growth. Why not leverage this proven high growth service with a "dedicated" concept unto itself? Macro retail trends suggest younger shoppers are looking for smaller, more focused and more authentic personalized shopping experiences. So here you go!
  • Posted on: 07/26/2019

    Your company has a vision: Why can’t everyone see it?

    The creation of an actionable vision (mission) statement takes courage from the leader who is staking their reputation and possibly their career on it. It takes courage because the purpose of the statement and the intended result of the statement is plain, clear and measurable. "Making people happy" is nebulous and arguable either way. "Putting a smile on your face" is not. "Putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade" is a crystal clear vision for what success will look like. And so our nation was able to embrace it and get it done. What does your company stand for? What are doing to achieve your clearly defined vision in the CURRENT marketplace? And how will you, your employees and most importantly, your customers know what success looks like? None of the above mentioned mission statements describe nailed-down tangible success, although each is closer than most. The most important attribute in business (and political) LEADERSHIP is clear, stubborn and indomitable long term vision backed by a (flexible) plan for hard work leading to long term, measurable success. Victory goes to those willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in, as Teddy Roosevelt most eloquently put it. Wishy washy, flip-flop, and fuzzy thinking need never apply!
  • Posted on: 07/22/2019

    Is Amazon’s deal with indie brands a Faustian bargain?

    This is such a lopsided deal for Amazon it's hard to imagine that it's for real. Let the buyers beware...
  • Posted on: 07/08/2019

    Target expands its college tour

    The college market is an especially vital one for retailers right now because younger generations need to be "educated" about the value proposition of physical store retail in conjunction WITH e-commerce. Target's college stores are also a canary in the coal mine for college bookstores across the country. Students are time pressed and thrifty so a one-stop shopping experience for ALL of their dorm life needs (well beyond books) will be well received and quickly adopted with success. College bookstores will need to compete with Target and raise the bar on price, service, quality and a seamless online/offline customer experience.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2019

    Are offline experiences becoming more important to online performance?

    As retail marketers, we have to remember first and foremost that we are marketing to social human beings. People want their go to retailers and retail brands available to them across many touch points in a seamless and completely channel agnostic way. The days of eCommerce "pure plays" are quickly waning as these brands discover that their customers would like to meet them in the "real" world. And then tweet them later!
  • Posted on: 06/28/2019

    How Tuft & Needle found the right balance on Amazon

    ALL new brands should leverage the Amazon marketplace to expand their brand awareness and get in the game. It does get more complicated for a brand that has, say, 50 percent+ unaided awareness. The key metric you need to discern there is incremental sales. Is Amazon broadening your market share or depleting your margins? Establish baselines without Amazon and then test Amazon. Proceed accordingly!
  • Posted on: 06/26/2019

    Three experiential retailers doing store design right

    As Bob says, the gold standard for physical retailers right now is the presentation of an "authentic experience." What that means to customers is they want stories, they want theatre, they want one-of-a-kind experiences that they can social media-tize.... Clean, well kept environments, great selection (including sizing) of product and great customer service is also expected. All of this and instant gratification are the key deliverables that e-commerce can NOT promise or deliver. That kind of differentiation via experiential marketing is what will save the bricks from the clicks!
  • Posted on: 06/17/2019

    How well did Target handle its no good, very bad weekend?

    Nice to see a retailer that actually learned something from a previous fail. Target clearly had and implemented a disaster plan that was already in place to counter the situation. Reaction time was very fast across the network (especially given its weekend occurrence). Target is a big system and getting consistent, productive, customer sensitive instructions to every store like they did is no easy task. Activating greeters to inform customers outside of the store utilizing BOPIS strategy to help solve the problem was brilliant as it also introduces the service to customers who would never otherwise be exposed. $10 off and honestly admitting the problem and apologizing via the press quells social media grumblings. Episode over. No negative impact. Kudos to the Target management and in-store team for a job well done!

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