Exceed Network is proud to announce the Boardroom Series, designed to engage and inform Exceed members and other entrepreneurs in a relaxed, informal setting. Within these seminars of interactive talks and events hosted by seasoned business owners and entrepreneurs, speakers discuss all types of industries and business related topics including marketing, data analytics, finance, real estate, computer programming, fashion, branding and much more. To kick the series off, which is free and open to everyone, Exceed tapped two volunteers from among its hundreds of dedicated and seasoned business people.
On January 16th, Mark Adjmi, owner of Adjmi Apparel and president of Exceed Network, held the first Boardroom Series talk during which he discussed branding and licensing, concentrating mostly on how these areas intersect with apparel. During his talk, Adjmi discussed the difference between building a brand and licensing a brand. “I am a proponent of licensing brands to build a business” said Adjmi. “It’s hard for small businesses to attract large brands such as Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren, which I call A brands. I recommend to smaller companies to start with C brands, or market brands that are not national. Then, those businesses can cascade and build upward to a B or even an A brand.” Adjmi also shared his thoughts on brand elasticity, an often overlooked entry point to the branding side of apparel and other products. “If a brand has elasticity- the ability to transcend various sales categories- it is a great opportunity to offer that brand entry into a market they may otherwise not have gone into. A good example of this is Turtle Wax. Known as a car wax company, they actually have a broad range of car accessory products under their name and may be open to attaching their brand to your car accessories company.”
The forty people in attendance had varied exposure to branding and licensing, making Adjmi’s talk all the more impactful and exactly the audience that the Boardroom Series is aimed toward- young, hungry entrepreneurs from all walks of the business world. Some attendees had license agreements and brands in place and were seeking high level advice while others hadn’t started the process and were curious about how to get started. Other attendees were apprehensive about getting into the branding business due to, in some part, the risks of guaranteeing royalties regardless of how a product sells. Adjmi assured the audience that, “just like any business, branding and licensing have risk attached. Every day you walk into your office, every day you do business, there is risk.”
The second Boardroom Series event was held on February 6th. Allan Levy, Exceed Network board member and CEO of SellUp, a marketing strategy firm, discussed the wide world of marketing and advertising. Being such a large topic, Levy concentrated on a few of his basic tenets and tips for marketing and advertising. His main points centered around leveraging directed advertising for stronger marketing. “Rather than purchase billboards and bus shelter ads where a business’s target demographic is” said Levy, “place those advertisements where your wholesale audience will be. In other words, if you are an apparel company, place your ads in the garment district, where wholesale buyers work, rather than placing them where the end customer might be.” Levy went on to explain that it could be much more beneficial to get the attention of just two or three wholesale buyers than a few hundred customers. This strategy also gives small brands that may just be starting out more cache within the industry. “Buyers will remember your ad and be able to recognize your company before you walk in the door” said Levy. Another tip he shared was in regards to advertisements themselves. “Take out ads that are unique. Perhaps your ad can be upside down on the back cover of a magazine or in black and white with just a hint of color. Then, send these advertisements to wholesale buyers with a ribbon or some other easily identifiable item that will distinguish you from other brands.” After sharing a few other innovative marketing concepts, Levy drilled a single point home. “The importance of data and analytics cannot be overstated. Constantly and diligently testing what seem like small features of a marketing campaign, such as email subject lines or creative copy, can have a huge impact on the long term success of a company. Small, incremental lifts of ten or fifteen percent may seem inconsequential, but when you are working with data sets that produce millions of dollars, ten percent is pretty significant. Always analyze your data, look for the little wins, and constantly test and retest your advertising.”
When asked about the Boardroom Series, which Levy helped create, he was excited about its potential to help Exceed grow. “Our goal is to share great information from business veterans in a relaxed setting, all for free. The more events we hold mean more people listening to our stellar volunteers and discussing what they heard with their coworkers and peers, as well as integrating that information into their businesses. We hope people will come listen, take a desk in our incubator, get some advice or simply tell their friends about us. We are so excited to offer these free talks and are already seeing great results.”
To watch Allan Levy’s discussion on “Marketing” please click here.
Go to www.ExceedNetwork.org for information on upcoming Boardroom Series events or to get more information on everything from joining the incubator to attending future events email info@ExceedNetwork.org