Tamara Rosenthal, executive director of brand marketing at New York-based flash sales site ideeli, has worked everywhere from Lacoste to Ferragamo in marketing to Vogue in advertising to…A Small World. That’s right–the branding veteran’s most recent position was figuring out a branding strategy for the niche social networking site.
Now, she’s doing the same at ideeli, bringing years of retail and publishing experience along for the ride.
We recently sat down with Rosenthal to discuss ideeli’s present, its future, and why she’s happy she got into online marketing earlier than most.
Fashionista: First off, let’s talk about your role at ideeli, and how you got there.
Tamara Rosenthal: I’ve been in the fashion and marketing space some time. Prior to joining ideeli, I was at a A Small World–are you familiar with it?
Yep, I’m actually a member! It’s a good place to find sources when you’re reporting out longer stories.
Yes, well, it’s a great concept. But it’s very exclusive–that’s it’s reason for being, so it’s hard to grow a business that wants to stay small. Before that, I was the VP of marketing for Lacoste USA, I worked at Vogue on the publishing side for a while, and previous to that I worked at Ferragamo in marketing. I got my MBA from Columbia.
And what made you decide to come to ideeli?
My role here is to forge the brand identity, figure out our brand promise, the look and feel of the site, the voice. I also handle social media, public relations, and partnerships with other companies. Basically, my job is to craft and define the brand, and I work very closely with the merchandising team to make sure that the offers we have going work with the brand.
Are you happy that you go into marketing for the web early on in the game? It feels like most fashion brands were really scared of the whole thing no more than a year ago. Yes, I’m extremely happy that I did. When I left Lacoste, I could tell some people thought it was a risky move. But I realized this where everything is heading. Of course brick and mortar is extremely valid and it’s here to stay forever, but there’s so much happening with e-commerce. However, I think the principals I learned from publishing and brick and mortar have given me an amazing foundation. Those entering the workforce shouldn’t be afraid to start their careers there.
There are so many flash sale sites right now. What are ideeli’s differentiators? Well, we’re a warm and engaging brand. We’re fun–and we try to be very relevant to our consumers and how the site fits in their lives. We do a lot of trend sales. So, if a trend this summer is safari, we’ll do commerce and editorial around safari-inspired products. Over Memorial Day weekend we did a Sex and the City 2 themed sale, with different products complementing each character’s style. The trend sales are a big way we are different from the others.