By students DJ Spurling, Gabrielle Medved, Sara Kanizsai, Kylie Bromley, Natalie Herold, Peter Janssen, Nick De Leon, Krystal Jacobs, Zoe Jalil, Brooke Levin, and Jessica Vikser
On October 5th, Russ Davis (President of Montgomery Ward and Seventh Avenue) and Jessica Polfer (Talent Acquisition Manager) from Colony Brands spoke to the Retail Leadership Symposium class. Colony Brands, based in Monroe, Wisconsin is one of the largest catalog companies in the nation and is the holding company of 13 different brands, each with a unique target market that focuses on selling their products through catalogues and websites. Additionally, a local marketing and advertising agency named Hiebing assists Colony Brands to reach out to their desired customer.
Colony Brands is proving that selling through catalogues is still a viable way to sell product, especially as digital marketing and e-commerce becomes more expensive for producers. Having shared resources across all brands helps Colony Brands keep their costs down and can pass on their savings and services to their customers. Financing options are important to many of Colony Brands’ consumers, especially in regards to one of their brands, Montgomery Ward. Their target market tends to have a tight budget so the financing options Montgomery Ward/Colony Brands offers their consumers allows them to be empowered and provide well for their family. They stand by making sure their products “empower her to delight the ones she loves more often”.
An interesting note that Russ Davis touched on was how Colony helps develop the careers of their employees. By having so many different brands employees can jump from one brand to another and in different roles. This allows them to develop experiences and skill sets that they could not if they worked only with one brand. This helps create a more dynamic and efficient workforce and helps all of Colony Brands’ brands in the long run.
Colony Brands has helped develop their employees and customers lives by offering different products in their different catalogues. Colony Brands takes pride in being the first catalog in the United States. The insights that the speakers from Colony Brands gave to the students of the Retail Leadership Symposium are extremely valuable and are a perfect reminder of why we are interested in retail in the first place.
Improving the Educational Experience
Courses like the Retail Leadership Symposium give students the opportunity to gain insight on current retail trends and connect with industry professionals. Annual gifts provide immediately available discretionary funds to support student experiences, like the Retail Leadership Symposium. Your support will make a significant impact to help today’s Badgers become be the leaders of tomorrow.
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