The Trends Sweeping Business Education

dog_business-education

“Because you want to be the top dog…”

The challenges to all but the highest ranking business schools is picking up. It is hard to feel sorry for institutions that cultivated and exploited the business education boom. We are moving to crunch time. The world’s elite might be recruited, but an elite is finite. Given the designer price tags, many capable individuals are asking is business education and particularly the MBA a worthy investment.

The good news for such cash strapped applicants is Moocs – massive open online courses are the hottest trend sweeping business education. Bank on this trend to accelerate.

The corporate world considers business education essential. Might I dare say, that in certain circles it is the union card to senior management and high-level paying jobs. Unlike other academic degrees such as medicine and law, you can still succeed in business without an MBA degree.

You will however need to be very savvy, an opportunist as well as an entrepreneur. Perhaps one day, Bill Gates might teach such a subject at HBS. Pundits know that real business knowledge is gained in the workplace. However, academia gives us new tools and the freedom to experiment. A great business school education allows us to stretch and take risks in a classroom environment.

Despite the chest beating by the deans and corporates running the world’s major business schools, the handwriting for traditional education is on the wall. It is being driven by the very globalized business education culture, which is seeking profitability at just about any cost. There are many culprits, although I won’t name names.

exile_business-education

“And you thought you were the only exile on Main Street…”

Now that I got that off my chest, let me add that for most of us, an MBA is essential to our professional growth. In class training with a great faculty and a stimulating peer cohort will bring you immeasurable insights and dividends. So how do you choose? Judiciously.

So, where is the take-away? It lies in exclusive networks and career services, which the smaller fry in business education cannot offer. They simply don’t have the intellectual firepower, financial resources or the prestigious alum networks. In essence beyond business knowledge, you are paying for an open sesame to otherwise closed professional paths. Candidates in management consulting and investment banking know this as a point of fact. “Access to the right job offerings”, as one of my colleagues states “is the price of MBA admissions.”

Business School Rankings
Business School rankings act as a prime recruiting tool for undergrad and grad programs. They are bolstered by trade fairs and glossy brochures. Each school attempts to speak the language of leadership, sustainability, ethics, entrepreneurship, non-profits, and social media. They want prospect candidates to feel that they get it. Some understand to be fair, and others just languish in their own rhetoric.

Browse the published business school rankings across the media to appreciate the beauty contest. You will quickly discern just how subjective business school rankings can be. The top 25 business schools might change position from year to year, however they remain in the same cluster. Appearances are made by other schools periodically only to drop back down the rankings into relative obscurity. From our standpoint, the only genuine concern to MBA applicants on rankings are salary projections on graduation and job placement.

Business school education in many ways has become a victim of its own success. Certainly, for students at one of the world’s premium 100 institutions, the future never looked brighter.

tulips_business-education

“Because a great business education is more than hearts ‘n flowers…”

The Hubbub Of Change
Despite all the hubbub over change in business education, what has really taken place? The market offers perhaps more options than ever before. You need not do a 2-year MBA, although still looked upon as the gold standard of business education. The key players known as the upper echelon are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting the next incoming class and the price for an MBA education continues to rise. Bachelors’ and Masters’ programs face similar issues, particularly across Europe.

Another major change in global business education is that program delivery must be in English if it has any prayer of attracting overseas, i.e. high net worth individuals in search of credentials. It must also highlight diversity within a multicultural context. These keys impact on business education recruitment, curriculum, and after graduation results.

Fifteen years ago in Europe, France and Spain languished in their own cultural myopia. Examine the state of the business education today, and you will see a drastically altered landscape. Insead in France was always a major player, but now there are HEC, ESSEC, and ESCP, which have pushed their programs to AASCB standards. There are others worthy of consideration. Be wary however of diploma factories.

Spain features 3 top business schools, which include IE Business School, Iese, and ESADE. These programs are extremely attractive to Latin Americans, who feel a strong kinship to Iberian culture.

Our counsel has always been to choose a business school in accordance with your needs, budget, and aspirations. Gaining strategic counsel on filing your business education applications has also become a principle vector to getting accepted.

What happens if I don’t meet my expectations?
Not meeting your objectives can cause a wave of negative emotions. The best tactic is not to give in to fear. Fear stems from the insecurity of trying to predict the future. It generates confusion and prompts us to act rashly. This is not the moment to panic. Panic never helped anyone. If action is something you want to engage in, then contemplate which other schools you wish to tender an application. If you really want a solid business education, a positive solution can be found.

Now is a perfect time to start exploring your options. Smart business school candidates should begin their strategic planning to be ready for the deadlines. It might seem that there is still plenty of time. On one level there is. On the other hand, time has a nasty habit of slipping away. If you start now, you will have the time to methodically calibrate each step of the business education application process.

If you have any questions on which is the best plan of attack, by all means send us an email: enquiries@whitefieldconsulting.com

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Article Title: The Trends Sweeping Business Education
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Business Education | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | MBA Coaching |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Caraceni A Cut Above The Rest

ca_italian-menswear

“When elegance is beyond price…”

If you love sprezzatura, why not start with Caraceni Satoria who is a cut above the rest. Their clients read like a Who’s Who in good taste and elegance, best captured by Gianni Agnelli, Humphrey Bogart, and the glitterati of Italian cinema.

I learned about this Milanese giant, a magician in suit making from Stephane. He holds court in the Batignolles district of Paris. I must add Stephane is no slouch when it comes to articulating the finer points of craftsmanship and male elegance. He is an outstanding bespoke shoemaker by trade and runs this city’s finest selection of vintage clothing. Speaking with him on any occasion is a treat. Caraceni is just one of his fetishes. He has thousands.

Here’s a silly example. Just last week, he knocked me dead with a lecture on trews. The originals were bespoke tartan trousers made for HM Regiments before WWI. The fabric was flannel, the trousers were tapered, and cut a real dash when paired with a bottle green velvet smoking jacket with a shawl collar.

After a couple of burst of espresso, the conversation switched gears and he warbled on about two French shoemakers when I noticed an exquisite pair on his workbench. The bevelled sole had been lovingly restored for a discerning client. The leather was deep a mahogany similar in tone to a Victorian chest of drawers. It is no wonder he refers to most foot apparel manufactured today as dross.

So one fine afternoon with a little time on my hands, I dropped by to see if he had received any new vintage suits. The moment I crossed the threshold, he excitedly grabbed me by the hands and said, “Come let me show you some real suit making!” Given to justifiable hyperbole, I was led into the store room. This is where he guards his treasured stock for knowledgeable clients. Lo and behold, hanging on a rack were a dozen suits from Caraceni.

At first glance, I could see the meticulous details and hand stitching. This included hand constructed shoulders and buttonholes to die for. They were executed in the Milanese style in which ultrafine thread is looped around a gimp. It is almost impossible to see the exactness with the naked eye. Stephane had a magnifying glass at the ready to let me see the finesse. It was clear as a pike staff that Caraceni was a tailor’s tailor.

car2_italian-menswear

“Because you’re worth it…”

“You’re in luck”, he said. “These suits are your size.”

Oh goodness, I thought. Another folly in the making. The midnight blue number felt as comfortable as a t-shirt. The suit was weightless with complete freedom of motion. You had to pinch yourself. To make matters worse, he preceded to regal me with a brief history of the firm. What I learned was that Caraceni stands as an absolute testament to the art of sprezzatura.

The firm begins in the Abruzzi region of Italy. The founding father was a fou and this is how he instructed his sons Dominico, Augusto and Galliano to cut cloth. There first shop was established in Rome in 1913. Unfortunately, two world wars curtailed their activities, but with perseverance they managed to survive.

After WWII, Augusto moved up to Milan on 16 Via Fratebenefratelli in 1949. His son Mario went on to bring international glory to the firm by clothing film stars and the new emerging jet set. Since 1998, the firm has been in the hands of Carlo Andreacchio, his son-in-law and his son Massimiliano.

Their style has been characterized as structuralism in the extreme. You might think that a narrow chest and strong shoulder would be uncomfortable. Quite the contrary. The wonderful soft construction is elegance and comfort par excellence. If you have any doubts, a quick visit to Milan will answer all your questions.

caraceni_italian-menswear

“Because the details definitely count…”

So you must be wondering what is the price of admission to this exclusive club? Well, first there is a long waiting list. Business was never better. Secondly, as they say, a certain financial sacrificial offering must be made. I will leave you with the appreciation that this is best discussed between you and your new tailor.

Lastly, I should warn you, once a client of this house, you will be wandering around the streets of Milan warbling, “Here’s looking at you, kid”.

Article Title: Caraceni A Cut Above The Rest
Photographs: Caraceni

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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3 Keys To Successful Career Management

style_career-advice

“The right attitude is beyond holiday planning…”

Forget job security. It is the ultimate red herring. It is much wiser to challenge the known and embrace the unknown. Live in the present, but plan for the future. Quite a mouthful, but as Eckhart Tolle would say, “The only time you have is now.” Too many people wish their lives away dreaming for something that will never take place. Be fastidious. Work hard and play hard. If you don’t enjoy your life as it happens nobody else will.

Don’t worry about vulnerability. Think of it as a badge of honor for living with ethics and morality. Treat everyone else as you yourself wish to be treated. Sounds terribly biblical and it is. It is however, a good yardstick to live by. Don’t be like one financial accountant I know who treats people like expendable fodder. His lack of leadership and team building has driven an organization, I won’t name, to ruin and intense discontent among the staff. If you find yourself in a firm or on a team with a “France Telecom” mentality, look to foster your career elsewhere.

I’ve often heard it stipulated that years ago, career security was common. There was more certainty of what we could expect. In a globalized world economy, career security is dead in the water.

gentle_career-management

“Because you only live twice…”

Remember, how a corporation uses its human resources is subjective. Despite corporate platitudes, your career security is only as good as your last success. To better manage your career, you need a firm grasp of the reins. Planning change in your professional evolution is fundamental. Real security is having the power to manage your own career. If you do not manage your own development, nobody else will.

Take for example, the normally self-confident investment bankers or management consultants. Even they have their soft spots and must plan for change. One year you can receive a fabulous bonus, and the next year find yourself looking for Godot. Given this context, career evolution should be an exercise in PMP. Many experts counsel close stewardship of your personal brand, and depending on your goals, adding an MBA to your quiver if you do not have one.

While you’re doing so, don’t fail to enjoy your family and your friends. They won’t live forever and neither will you. Do you want to remembered for being the only one who can recall the sales stats for rhubarb crumble sales in Schleswig-Holstein or for changing the world even it is just your small corner of it?

We have found that a gentle hand with structured professionalism should do the trick if you are seeking professional counsel. Life coaches and professional advisors do not dictate; they are there to help you clear the detritus from your mind with positive thinking and a strategic plan when appropriate. Add a proper espresso made with Hawaiian Kona and you are well on your way to overcoming any hurdle. Don’t forget to keep your sense of humor. Humor is so important because laughter gives us the positive vibe so we don’t reach for Ayahusca.

cover_career management

“Just think, you won’t have to go undercover…”

Recently, we had a client, who for argument’s sake, I’ll call Captain Barbosa. He was not his usual self. The sparkle was no longer in his eyes. There was lassitude and forlornness. Dropping into his counseling session, I observed what was needed was first a sympathetic ear. Conversation began with his upcoming week holiday to the island of Ibiza. Immediately, there was a change. Anytime it seems is a good time to visit the islands off the coast of Barcelona. The water is turquoise and the tourist invasions are far off.

From his condition of vulnerability, we were able to get him back on track. Establishing a game plan, we then addressed a list a business schools we refer to as the usual suspects. The school, which held the most attraction for him on the basis of what he had done was Columbia Business School. Barbosa felt a bond with the culture of the school, the entrepreneurship program and loved New York City. Some people thrive in this environment and others cannot. It is silly to apply to a business school if you cannot acclimate to the culture of the school or the area in which the school is located.

Making The Right Choices
No matter which MBA you decide to apply for, everyone needs to be reassured that they are not making a mistake. Make sure that the right MBA application choices are made when you apply. This might be only a preliminary step but it is also in my view an essential one. The next step is also crucial. Find yourself dignified counsel. Please note that there is no one correct essay answer to any of the MBA application essays.

Community Service Activities Count
We had another client, who thought that her work for an NGO in Mauritania was irrelevant. How wrong she was. This experience enabled the MBA coach advising her to accent her leadership and team building skills outside of work to her advantage. It turned out that this NGO experience was her passion. Talk about a way for her to distinguish her file from other MBA candidates, this was perfect.

Everyone one of us has done something and is interested in a wide breath of activities. You owe it to yourself to learn how to leverage these experiences into finely tuned channeled messages. Another person once asked me where my confidence came from as if I had bought confidence at a store like a Louis Vuitton travel bag. MBA Coaching might seem like an luxury must have, but it is not an it bag.

Fostering Confidence
Confidence is innate to us all. However, to foster self-confidence you need to feel good about yourself. Do not chide yourself for things you have not done or mistakes you may have made. Everyone makes mistakes. Once you change your self-awareness about your self, a new vista will open and you will better perceive the opportunities, which lie before you. Imagine the impossible and make the possible happen. By shifting your awareness you can change your career. This is the type of career management that you not only need but also deserve. Aren’t you worth it?

Article Title: 3 Keys To Successful Career Management
Photographs: (1)highqualityfashion (2)archival, curated by ES (3)airows

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | MBA Admissions | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development |

Let us start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Why Dungarees Are The Real Deal

have_dungarees

“Who doesn’t love vintage jeans…”

We are witnessing the greatest denim revival of our times. Workwear and vintage fans are leading the way. They want the original heavy weights, detailing, and selvage. Connoisseurs treasure their jeans raw. Perhaps, this coincides with a corollary fetish for sashimi.

Great denim is dyed with real indigo. The color is unmistakable. The more it is worn the more nuances appear in the fabric. One pundit declares that real denim appreciation is like drinking the finest single malt whisky. We would probably say, a single batch single barrel Bourbon, but why quibble over trifles.

We’ve been doing a bit of research on the nature of denim and dungarees. Amongst real work wear fans there is quite a debate about when dungarees became jeans. The original fabric for dungarees was thick and robust, which is why big fans like their denim raw as sushi. The fabrics either woven in Japan on the original machines once used by Levi’s or at Cone Denim in North Carolina still produce some lovely material.

Crafted denim fabrics really do make a difference. If you own real vintage denim and not some of the reproduced copies you know the difference. Sugarcane is one of the brands whispered in small circles as the crème de la crème denim available on the market. They are manufactured from double ring-spun Zimbabwe cotton. The result is a heavy cloth, not the thin facsimiles bandied about as fashion jeans.

vintage_dungarees

“Faded indigo glory…”

In the first half of the twentieth century, America wove the best. Brands such as Levi’s, Lees, Wranglers and a clutch of smaller manufacturers provided the market with some excellent styles and weights to choose from. Remember, these were work clothes and they needed to be robust and last. A Wall Mart throw away culture does not understand nor appreciate this.

By the late 1960s the will to manufacture honest solid denim disappeared in the States. Levi’s iconic 501 XX and Lee’s 101B became the dungarees of folklore. Everyone wore these trousers from John Wayne, Gary Cooper to Marlon Brando and James Dean. Even Marilyn Monroe was captured wearing a pair.

Fashion is almost as fickle as the changing tastes of people. The 1970s gave birth to fashion jeans with perhaps Calvin Klein leading the pack. Brooke Shields was used as the model with the jeans literally painted on her body oozing the slogan, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s.” For lovers of real work wear the rest was downhill. Ironically, the Japanese saved these iconic American styles and their manufacturer in a similar way that they saved the Ivy League style of preppy dressing from disappearing. Sticklers for details and high quality, they trolled the States for every real vintage piece they could find. Others began to reproduce the originals according to the original specs and designs.

The good news is that vintage styles are big today. There is a hunger for authenticity and the selvage-denim dungarees, which featured a higher waist, loose seat, and had a stovepipe or straight-leg design. The term skinny whether for jeans or latte would have been an anathema to our forbearers who had common sense when it came to clothes and strong coffee with real milk.

A couple of weeks back when I was last in London, I stumbled into the Double RL store on Mount Street and had some rather interesting talks with the work wear fanatics at Ralph’s shop. It was quite a treat to discuss denim with others who are passionate. The Double RL brand has painstakingly recaptured the authenticity and quality of the original workwear.

crabs_dungarees-denim

“Perfect for crabbing…”

Double RL is absolutely obsessive when it comes to details. I should also add for purists that the dungarees are made in either Japan or the USA. Of the pairs I examined, I loved a circa 1920s pair used for hauling stones and the other model perhaps the most loved, the Levis 1955 501s with the zipper fly and slimmer tapered leg. The color and the nubs of the cloth made my heart palpitate. The style was relaxed and comfortable. Do not confuse the term slim with today’s term.

Another brand of which I am much enamored is Sugar Cane, which has masterfully recaptured the true color, look, fit, feel, quality and durability of the famous 1955 design. While the1950-pattern Levi dungarees are known for being the first new design introduced after World War II, they still retained a fit, cut and detailing similar to the earlier dungarees with button closures and stovepipe non-tapered legs. Sugar Cane and a few other, niche brands although hard to find will give real lovers of dungarees all that they are seeking. Sugar Cane comes in raw and once-washed denim. They represent the best of two worlds: Solid American construction and Japanese denim. Self Edge on Orchard Street in New York should be your next port of call if you are interested. They can also be ordered online. They ship worldwide.

Article Title: True Religion Of Dungarees
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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3 Keys To Become An Audacious Entrepreneur

LZ_entrepreneur

“Entrepreneurs do not always wear suits…”

When we are unafraid of risk, entrepreneurship appears as the ideal career path. Think how you learned to swim. Did you scream, Geronimo and just leap in? The road to become an entrepreneur is never smooth, but its exciting and generates a potent adrenaline kick. Can anyone be an entrepreneur? The answer is yes, if you’ve got guts and are unafraid of challenges, entrepreneurship is the best way forward. Guess what? If you’ve formed your own band, you are an entrepreneur!

As kids, we weren’t bothered by risks. We loved challenges. We did not posit multiple scenarios, cost benefit analyses, build spread sheets, or push our standing with social networks. We just “went for it”. This is the essence of entrepreneurship. All it demands demands is the right mindset. Whether or not you pursue a path to entrepreneurship consider the fact that even corporate management looks for people, who can act like an entrepreneur within their organization.

walk_entrepreneur

“Because some paths require you assume responsibility for your decisions…”

Let’s examine two career scenarios. Before we hit the milestone of “30”, we have many experiences. Some of these episodes go on to shape the rest of our lives. Nobody can forecast what will happen. However, they can condition our mentality to be handicapped. If we are fortunate, an entrepreneurial mindset will foster our audaciousness to act with precision. It is similar to effective career planning. A strategic roadmap is the perfect business plan. It will let you discover your true nature and identity.

The Age Of Reason
When we reach the age of reason, we discover our true purpose and responsibility. However, every time we have a setback, a form of negative conditioning kicks in and we slow down. We become gun shy and do not want to be criticized. We can even become afraid because we want to fit in. People often confuse standing out with being an exhibitionist.

Take the case of your average university student at the undergrad level. Many seek what they think is a land of security. They are open-minded and joyous, and in the freshness of their youth, find the type of employment, which will give them a decent income and satisfaction at a certain level. This person will undoubtedly please their senior managers and get a promotion. Afterward, our dear friend will gently touch the glass ceiling.

Now what? What does he or she expect?

If you are not an innovator or risk taker, the easy path suggests staying put, keep your nose down and do what you do. Then our friend hits forty. It happens to everyone. Trust me on this. The person is gently removed from the organisation. He or she is finished. Psychologically the impact can be devastating. Your sense of identity and self-worth is shattered. Did this person do something wrong?

No. He or she just followed a path of security to the dead end of mediocrity.

The Case For Audaciousness
Now look at another case. There is a woman who is audacious, almost a rebel in character. She knows to succeed she must push, and push she does. No glass ceiling for her. Staying put means being thrown to the wolves. So, she seeks to innovate, change perceptions, introduce new techniques, and take nothing for granted. Her profile is engaging, but for an employer does she have the promise?

The answer is yes. She is a catalyst or live wire. She is worth pushing forward and senior management do just that. Perhaps she will do an MBA or even become an entrepreneur. She knows something we should all know from the beginning.

The Meaning Of Success
To succeed in life, it is not just a question of money or job title. It is about taking and claiming responsibility for your self. Whether or not you become an entrepreneur in the real meaning of the term, you must act like one. We all most learn the “rules” in any business practice. However, once you do, it is necessary to shatter the “box” and express your true nature. You will find more than job satisfaction.

sean_career-advice

“What’s a nice girl like you, doing in a place like this…”

As an entrepreneur you will unleash your purpose and direction. You will bubble with inner radiance because work will no longer be just a “job”. In fact, it will no longer be work at all. It will be a pleasure of self-expression and mission accomplished when you can mentor others, leaving an indelible mark on the community where you live.

Remember, great men and women weren’t born great. In hindsight, it often appears this way. Gandhi wasn’t born the “visionary” he became. He used the soil of experience to harness his potential and then shared his expertise. So can you. Want to make a difference? Don’t just look up at the sky. Be an entrepreneur. Now is the time to spread your wings and fly. Once you do, you will see beauty in your Self and in all things.

(If you have enjoyed this article, click the thumbs up icon and let us know! Be social & share.)

Article Title: 3 Keys To Become An Audacious Entrepreneur
Photographs (1)archival, Led Zeppelin (2)urbanite (3)archival, curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Life & Career Coaching | MBA Admissions |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Why Aston Martin Has A License To Thrill

bond2_luxury-cars

“When you’re headed back in time…”

English cars have that distinguished cache of opulence, workmanship, and luxury. They are terribly aristocratic. Their names roll of the tongue effortlessly such as Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Bentley, and even the Range Rover. No car has as much charm however as Aston Martin, the one vehicle which since the early Sixties has a license to thrill.

As the authors of this article, we have had the pleasure of working for prestigious brands such as Gucci, Jaguar, Bentley and Range Rover. Even if we too are smitten by Aston Martin our analyses of luxury brand management have taken us into the realm of mega yachts.

Our research in this field has been extensive. We’ve been up close and personal with High Net Worth Individuals and recognize that the discerning consumer is the most demanding of them all. The brands which serve this distinguished segment recognize that their exclusivity harnesses the power of fantasy coupled to the practical reality of providing an outstanding product coupled to stellar post-sales service.

Success in the luxury automobile sector is predicated on pedigree, craftsmanship and a limited production. Perhaps this is why Aston Martin is one of the best examples of the genre. Super heroes and glamourous women demand cars with rotating license plates. Their extras may not be missile launchers and automated machine guns, but they can include built in bars, top of the line audio equipment, and a walnut lined dash board. The upholstery will undoubtedly leather softer than a baby’s bottom.

girls_luxury-cars

“Because you have a license to thrill…”

R.L. Polk and Company, a global automotive information and marketing firm confirms that cars in this class cost +$100K. A tidy sum to be sure however, money is never an issue with this crowd. For them it’s romance, distinctiveness, and above all standing out from the common herd.

So who actually buys an Aston Martin? Well for one thing, James Bond in any incarnation gets them for free. Call him the perfect brand ambassador for one of the sexiest cars on wheels. Put an Aston Martin in any Bond film and you generate immediate interest.

Studies indicate that your typical Aston Martin buyer is male, late 30s-early 40s, successful, and is extremely image conscious. They may have a partner or not. They thrill to adventure and if possible would probably re-enact the last part of SkyFall.

Considering the above persona, the makeup of a typical Aston Martin customer.is a male (no gender discrimination intended), in his late 30’s early 40’s, handsome, successful, possibly with an attractive spouse (or if single, a striking companion), possesses a deep knowledge of refined luxury, knows what he wants virtually at any price level, and enjoys adventure, as well as thrives at constant new challenges.

The Showroom Experience
Our research indicates the following treatment will accrue to any individual who steps across the floor of any Aston Martin showroom.

  • Greeted at the door by a brand ambassador; probably introduced to the person running the dealership if more than superficial interest is expressed.
  • Next the prospect is brought up close and personal with the dream machine by specialist who has memorized every detail such as the time it takes to go from 0 to 60 in X seconds.
  • Needless to say, beverages are provided. The type depends on the climate, culture, and customs of the country. We’s like to think that if we were to buy one, we’d be offered a flute of champagne.
  • Next on the menu would be the test drive. This is usually reserved for the second appointment. It can be in the street or better still in a specialized location where the client can really put the petal to the metal.
  • It is unnecessary that the sales process be initiated after the first contact. Sales people in this domain are not pushy. Discretion is paramount here. Take all the details, set up the next appointment. Contact information is kept in the the dealer’s database. Interestingly enough, statistics show that 60% of car purchases took place on the spot on the basis of the presentation and demonstration. Needless to say, sales follow-up takes place within 24 hours.
  • Sales & Delivery
    Sales and delivery invoke another set of procedures. First an appointment is made for the actual delivery date. This can vary depending on special features added to the vehicle or whether the car is a floor model. All customers are congratulated on their good taste by the GM.

    Post sales follow up is crucial now. It is likely that this will be the first time such a client has actually committed to such a car. Therefore, a complete run through on how to handle the care and how it truly functions is called for. Depending on the dealership, the client is offered a token of appreciation.

    How To Exceed Customer Expectations
    Since this client base is far from average, special attention should be paid to gratifying their fantasy. Value propositions prove effective. Listen carefully to the person’s needs and lifestyle. Do not be pushy. Such cars have indeed sold themselves to the client long before they entered the showroom. Choosing your dealership or another is a question of coddling and empathy.

    To indicate that staff must be customer centric is an understatement. Experience proves that dealers of this type are high caliber and understand the nature of human psychology and sound sales tactics. Brands such as the Aston Martin are essentially status symbols.Therefore, if you pardon the expression, your bond must match the client’s expectations. Customer loyalty is always emotional and sometimes irrational.

    In our view, the total customer experience is not an option but rather compulsory. It serves to underscore the allure of the brand. It takes savvy planning, execution and perpetual refinements to make your dealership stand out above the crowd. It’s how you get noticed and remain relevant.

    Article Title: Why Aston Martin Has A License To Thrill
    Authors: James D. Roumeliotis and Petrona J. Joseph

    Photographs: archival, curated by ES

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    Gents Shirts Jeeves Would Approve Of

    jeans_english-shirts

    “I can’t imagine what Jeeves would make of this get up…”

    Let’s get down to a serious sartorial issue: gents shirts Jeeves would approve of. No, I haven’t been visiting Jamaica again. Gave some shirts to be cleaned and pressed don’t you know? The chappie simply hadn’t a clue. Boiled the bally things. Collars too tight. Sleeves too short. We won’t even talk about the chest. The less said on that score the better.

    So I thought since I am in the metrop, I’ll just trundle over to visit Andy Rowley at Budd Shirtmakers. If anyone knows a thing or too about the perfect English gents shirts, he’s our man. In my humble view, they have been quietly making some of the best in the world. If you love all that is English Trad than you certainly can’t go amiss here. They have gentlemen’s shirts and paraphernalia galore such as cashmere dressing gowns, violet socks, braces, and pigskin gloves in caramel to die for.

    budd_english-shirts

    “When you want shirts fit for a prince…”

    Andrew Rowley is a living embodiment of English understatement. When you visit, put yourself entirely in his hands. He is hospitality incarnate. He won’t try to sell you anything. Budd shirts speak for themselves. Heritage here is more than just collars and cuffs. It’s about craftsmanship, fabulous cloth, and attention to detail.

    If you are going bespoke John or Martin cut the patterns. Once cut, the pieces are sent to Webster’s, where they are sewn. This firm goes back to 1847. I recognise that many people will not go the whole hog. Do not despair. The ready-to-wear shirts are made with the identical detailing as bespoke, with the same cloth, and sewn by the same people. Most ready-to-wear shirts are closed up and the sides sewn together. Not Budd’s ready-to-wear. They use only bespoke techniques. For example, the sleeves are put in separately. You will find these shirts are a delight to wear. Might as well pick up a bakers dozen.

    I am pleased to announce that Budd doesn’t do trendy. If its trendy you want, then there are other cretins to oblige. The body is generous in cut as it should be. If slim is your thing, better give this shop a miss.

    “We don’t do slim-fit shirts because most of our customers wouldn’t get in them,” states Rowley. “So don’t ask for slim cuts or an extra large collar – the company’s standard one hasn’t changed for 26 years. We don’t do fashion statements, only shirts Jeeves would approve of.”

    Although these gents shirts are often underrated because they are not flashy, you would be making a mistake to disregard their outstanding quality. Recently, I bought a brace and gave them a test drive. Well, I was in need thanks to that over zealous zombie who reduced mine to the size of postage stamps.

    I can tell you straight off half a dozen people queried me later that day about the shirt I was wearing. Budd’s does a raspberry Bengal stripe to die for. Looks great with my navy blue Italian knit tie with the red spots. Speaking of ties, Budd’s offers an excellent selection of bow ties, madder silk and Italian knits.

    That’s not all folks! Everyone in the know recognises that Budd makes the best dinner shirts. They even sell the appropriate studs and black tie.

    One of my dear colleagues was smitten with a pair of peccary gloves as soft as butter. I haven’t seen gloves like this in years. Perfect for driving that roadster in English racing green. If you are in need of a dressing gown, best follow the example of Noel Coward. If you desire one in merino navy wool with red piping, it’s currently being featured in the window with your name on it!

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    Article Title: Gents Shirts Jeeves Would Approve Of
    Photographs: (1)tommyton (2)(3) curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

    Red Herring |
    is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

    If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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    Fashion Under The Volcano

    sica_menswear-naples

    “This is fashion scene is getting ready to blow…”

    Because of its sulfurous reputation not many people come to Naples. I can rattle off a whole list of reasons why this fashion and style capital should draw your immediate attention. Starting with Marinella, the sunshine, and outstanding home cooking and you’ll find yourself on the next plane to the city under the volcano.

    You may claim that you have better things to do than to fly down to Naples in order to buy ties. All the more reason to discuss gents neckwear with Maurizio Marinella. He is affable and his store is charming. If you need further incentive, there are the beautiful women. Think Sophia Loren. Every beautiful woman loves a well-dressed gent who recognizes that fashion means the right tie. It certainly adds panache to any suit. Call it the perfect choreography to good taste.

    Marinella ties have become such a phenomenon, that more than one luxury group has proposed to buy this establishment. Fortunately, he has not succumbed. Berlutti and Moyat might be new editions to the “brand is mightier than the sword” way of branding, but Maurizio Marinella doesn’t believe this is the way forward.

    He is a gentleman who knows that quality cannot be mass produced and prefers to maintain the highest standards. His shop sits in the Chaia district, which is the chicest neighborhood in the city. His grandfather opened this boutique in 1914. Now, you can’t beat that for genuine heritage.

    “We grow up with the fear that we will be considered people who only have mandolins, make pizza and mozzarella”, states Maurizio. “But actually I, and many others like me, show that there is also a Naples that produces, that works, that gets up at six in the morning, and still manages to be successful on an international level.”

    nap2_italian-menswear

    “Where shopping is always paradise…”

    Unlike other manufacturers of ties, his are clearly in another league. The rich and the famous have all paid house calls: Bill Clinton, Luchino Visconti, Aristotle Onassis, Gabriele D’Annunzio, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Giovanni Agnelli.

    His business is a lesson in sustainability. Call it “Small is Beautiful”. Why tamper with excellence? Many pundits have asked him why he doesn’t open a chain of boutiques to satisfy global demand.

    “Because I am a craftsman and I wish to remain a craftsman”, replies Maurizio Marinella. “I am not interested in large numbers and I would rather keep the tradition alive and fruitful, together with the magic that accompanies it.”

    square_italian-menswear

    “Because panache is Neapolitan style…”

    Considering the price of a tie from Hermes, I wondered how much does a Marinella cost? The answer is surprising: “Between 80 and 90 euros”, he said. “Less than many ties produced industrially by some of the great names of Italian and French fashion.”

    I wondered, is it possible to survive on just selling ties? The answer is a demonstrative “yes”. There’s an attitude you can count on. I won’t suggest that you throw out your current tie collection, but I would give serious consideration to giving them to charity and heading off to Naples. The firm also does some rather nice cuff links. Still need another reason to fly down to Naples? Capri is just a stone’s throw across the bay and is picture perfect.

    (If you enjoyed this post, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know!)

    Article Title: Fashion Under The Volcano
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

    Red Herring |
    is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

    If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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    Shifting Your Career Into The Fast Lane

    fer_career-advice

    “When revving up to go…”

    Learning how to shift your career into the fast lane is this season’s must have. It’s almost like taking your new Ferrari for a spin. Why stay stuck in traffic? Get your heart and brain to work in harmony, and you’ll fly down the highway of professional life. Forget fighting your inner demons.

    Take Nasruddin for example, the consummate Formula 1 mechanic. To help his clients surmount the challenges of today’s business environment, he has taken to harnessing some rather unusual techniques to instigate career change. With this purpose in mind, he escorts them to an oasis in the desert. On the way, he speaks about the need for a strategic approach to personal brand management and career change.

    Once at the oasis, they refresh themselves. The client then explains his dilemma. Nasruddin listens intently. He says nothing, but gets up and walks over to the well. He spends the next 15 minutes lowering a bucket on a rope into the shaft to retrieve water. His client is perplexed. This is not the type of career advice that someone expects.

    thought_career-advice

    “Sometimes with the best intentions, we can loose our marbles…”

    Yet, Nasruddin persists. He literally stands at the well in the blazing light for hours. He repeats this simple action of lowering and raising the water bucket. While doing so, he laughs like a hyena. At a certain point, intense frustration sets in and the client walks away. Even Nasruddin’s donkey begins to wonder. Perhaps, this career specialist has been in the sun too long. Later at the caravanserai over a cup of mint tea, Nasruddin meets up with his client again as priorly arranged. The time has come for smart talk. He begins by explaining why his donkey’s reaction makes him a genuine jackass.

    Nasruddin was of course, really addressing us, our anxieties and insecurity. We are so used to hearing the usual recitation of what are the rules to succeed that we fail to consider alternatives. We are also trapped by our emotions and do not comprehend what it takes to tango with authority. The jackass is a metaphor for our minds trapped by unbridled emotions.

    On closer observation, we learn that our overly calibrated intellects see the rope binds the bucket. What we fail to recognize is that our senses represent the bucket. The rope constrains our ability to act irrationally. Uncontrolled emotions generate action with negative consequences. Only when we let go, do issues get resolved concretely. When the music swings your are caught up in the rhythm without thought. Your mind is free to release its creativity on the dance floor.

    start_career-advice

    “We all have to start some where…”

    Remember, the Self is independent of possession and transgression. It recognizes that in reality we cannot shape the conditions of the job market. Emotions however, rock our stature. We become possessed by our feelings and they become the master not ourselves. The end result is that we bob up and down on the river of fortune.

    The water bucket does not determine its own movements. It is controlled by the rope of the mind. Similarly, the factors shaping career management are within our grasp. We must avoid ignorance, attachment, and grasping. Like waves at the seashore, we must go beyond the obvious. Learning to compete is the art of letting go so you can do what you do best, namely be your self.

    As the second round of mint tea is being poured, we are now positioned to transcend our self imposed limitations. Helping others, Nasruddin explains, starts by first helping ourselves.

    “Once we are on the way, we are positioned to extending our insight to others. This demonstrates true nobility of character”, he stipulated. As a great Tibetan sage once said, “The more we help others to ford the river of life, the more happiness we feel with our own being and a remarkable sense of purpose”.

    (If you enjoyed our article, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know! Be social & share.)

    Article Title: Shifting Your Career Into The Fast Lane
    Photograph: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on |Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | MBA Admissions

    Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

    As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

    For further inspiration
    Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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    How 2 Beat The Interview

    boots_interview-training

    “Because you’re waiting for the sun…”

    An interview can feel like the Spanish Inquisition. So how do you proceed? By understanding human psychology. Learn how to drive the interview. In any interview scenario, focus your strategy on selling the product. Scupper the idea of getting up close and personal.

    Most people get stressed out of their heads by the interview. Simply put, nobody wants to feel that they are standing up to a police grilling. Some of the questions are classics and others are positioned to psyche you out such as Tell me about your favorite lost weekend and why? Start by by analyzing the interview process. When the interview is broken down into components, it will no longer feel like torture. It will feel like high stakes poker. Swallowing a cocktail of Rescue and Grey Goose on ice won’t give you courage. Solid coaching and practice will.

    Let’s start by deconstructing the interview inquisition. First, there are no thumbscrews. It is a battle of wits and chemistry. You might be a rhetorician like Seneca, but if there is no sale, you loose the game. Keep your objective in mind. Examine your motives. Play the interview as a game. Your success lies in the details. However, do not drown the interviewer with unnecessary minutia. Lay out clear points. Imagine you work at Cartier showcasing prospective clients precious stones.

    To hit your target, know the parameters, i.e. the added value you can deliver. Vary your message delivery. This sends a clear signal to the interviewer that you understand the game and its arcane rules of selection. There are volumes written on strategic interviewing. Familiarize yourself with some techniques. Research the position you are seeking. Know the title and the job function. Match your experience to the firm’s wish list.

    inter_interview-training

    “Remember, first impressions count…”

    Last week, we had a client who was interviewing with a major player in cosmetics. He already anticipated one of the key questions: Why would a guy want to work in cosmetics? The position in merchandising was to promote a woman’s beauty products.

    This question is challenging and makes several assumptions. First, can a man really know about beauty creams? In fairness to his quick study prior to the interview, he understood his handicap. He also had to prove why he was the best person the firm could select for this posting. The interviewer’s intention would be to get him flustered.

    Providing he was tops, he stood a chance. However, what happens when the interviewer has made up his or her mind before the interview. No one can “win” in a scenario where the result is predetermined. This is why we always counsel clients: address your worst fear, then go forward with confidence.

    job_interview-training

    “Sure, I’ll take the job…”

    Interviewing well demands intense prep. It means practice. It implies finding your stride under pressure. Another “faux pas” is first impressions. Presentation is not superficial. Body piercings may be all the rage in the hood but not at an interview. Life is a game. Do not focus on the consequences. Relax. Master your brief and leave the outcome to the Big Boss. If you do so, you will get the results you seek.

    May the force be with you.

    If you enjoyed this post, please click the thumbs up icon. Be social & share!

    Article Title: How 2 Beat The Interview
    Photographs: (1)szshap (2)gentlemenofthestreet (3)uh-la-la-land

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | MBA Admissions | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | Life & Career Coaching |

    Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

    As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

    For further inspiration
    Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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