Trendsetters: Marchon's Thomas Burkhardt Talks About the Art & Science of Global Marketing
Thomas Burkhardt joined Marchon Eyewear, one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunglasses, earlier this year in a newly-created position as Senior Vice President of Global Licensing and Marketing. The company distributes to more than 100 countries with a product portfolio that includes many fashion-forward licensed brands like Calvin Klein, Nike, Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo, MCM, Etro, Marni, DvF, Nautica, Columbia, Cole Haan, bebe and Nine West — in addition to its own proprietary brands like Flexon and Dragon. Burkhardt is no stranger to licensed brands having led Coty Inc.'s Calvin Klein fragrance and cosmetics division as vice president of global marketing for five years and prior to that P&G Prestige's HUGO BOSS fragrance license.
This summer, he added the responsibility for global product design and development to his role and now serves as Marchon's SVP Global Brands, Marketing & Design. (The company has design centers in New York City, Treviso/Puos d'Alpago (Italy) and Hong Kong.)
Deborah Malone of the Internationalist talked with Thomas Burkhardt at the ANA's video studios in New York. The goal of the conversation was to learn more about the concerns of top marketers to determine how they are applying new ideas and innovative thinking to overcome today's challengers.
Thomas Burkhardt talked about balancing the art and science of marketing today, and shared how storytelling is critical to a brand at the intersection of fashion and healthcare.
An interesting element to his role is that Marchon's parent company is Vision Service Plan, which was started in the US in the mid-1950's by a small group of optometrists who wanted to provide affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care insurance to the world. They formed the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit company. Today, VSP Global has five complementary businesses. In addition to fashion eyewear through Marchon, this includes eye care insurance, customized lenses, ophthalmic technology and retail solutions. In fact, not-for-profit VSP® Vision Care is the largest vision care company with more than 80 million members and a network of 32,000 eye doctors in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland.
To learn more from Thomas Burkhardt, play the video below.
For a longer version of the video interview with Thomas Burkhardt and Deborah Malone, play the video below.