Branding Essentials for Career and Business Success

Learn how to create a successful brand

student remote learning with laptop

Spring 2023 Dates (Remote)
SXB 001:
March 11 - April 22, 2023
Time: Every Saturday, 10:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 5:00pm EST
Tuition: $1,200*
Online Platform: Webex

Register   Get Updates

This certificate course will provide a set of tools for creating and managing “Benchmark Brands” as a company’s primary business asset. Learn how to create every part of a successful brand, how to apply brand power in the business world, what works, what doesn't, and why. The course material is useful for single brand owners, retailers, and for a corporation’s brand portfolio. The benchmark concept is a powerful analytic as it is category agnostic and draws from every business vertical, from mass to luxury, including automotive, retail hospitality, technology, finance, and funnels the insights into the fashion space. Based on an understanding of how consumers process symbolic information, proceed to choices in the form of purchases, loyalty and advocating of your brand, and its products, this course draws upon iconic brands and extracts their enduring principles as benchmarks or standards of success and re-purposes these as principles in light of neuropsychology, behavioral economics, and the digital age.

The web has changed business strategies forever. Barriers to market entry have fallen, competition has risen in intensity and numbers as consumers demand sustainability be a core brand value, and an unprecedented number of new companies, all striving to be different and relevant for consumer loyalty, enter the same market space. As the only business asset which, if properly developed and managed, can’t be knocked off, a brand can be the difference between marginal business success without a benchmark brand and optimal success with one.

Every student will leave with a Brand Marketing Plan of their subject matter choice and will be mentored through the process.


  • High-speed internet connection
  • Standard laptop or desktop with latest browser & streaming video
  • Video & speaker capabilities

*If you think you are eligible for the 10% Alumni Discount, please complete the Alumni Verification Form prior to registration in order to receive your discount code.

Note: This certificate was previously titled Brand Management: Creating & Managing A Benchmark Fashion Brand and Brand Management Strategies.

student remote learning with laptop

Learn How To

  • Create brand name/identity, manage it, and measure if it's working
  • Trademark and register branded products, messages, and brand assets
  • Brand supply chains and increase business efficiencies and ROI’s
  • Build brand value and assess its impact on financial performance and valuation
  • Brand Customer Relationship Mgt and increase customer loyalty
  • Brand retail initiatives to meet today’s fashion brands’ challenges

View Outline

Why FIT?

  • Program developed and taught by professional brand experts
  • Earn a certificate from FIT/SUNY, a world renowned college of art and design, business and technology

Meet Your Instructors

William D'Arienzo

William D'Arienzo
Lead Instructor, FIT's Continuing & Professional Studies; Chief Brand Strategy Officer and CEO, WDA Brand Marketing; and Author, Brand Management Strategies: Luxury to Mass Market

Bill D'Arienzo is the founder of WDA Brand Strategies and is the creator/lead instructor of FIT's Brand Management Certificate program. He has written widely on sustainability and brand strategy issues in fashion and beyond and is currently a strategic brand advisor for Actionnate; a web-based initiative that aligns people and their values with brands and their promises, and nonprofits and their purposes, all on a common vetting platform. It promises to be a revolutionary breakthrough in that it offers a central repository, a standardized language and meaningful metrics for assessing sustainability initiatives in the global marketplace. He also serves as Associate Strategic Advisor for US Markets for Ambrosetti, the # 1 think tank in Italy and the leading European premium and luxury brand advisory. His textbook on brand management strategies has been adopted by instructors in courses at 12 U.S. universities.

Larry DeParis

Larry DeParis
Instructor, FIT's Continuing & Professional Studies; CFO and COO, LT Apparel Group; Managing Director, FrenchToast; Board Member & Former President, Retail Marketing Society

DeParis is a veteran senior fashion and retail executive with experience in CEO, President, COO, and CFO roles at leading firms including Escada and Calvin Klein and is currently the COO and CFO of LT Apparel Group and Managing Director of its e-commerce division. He has particular expertise in strategy development and execution, business planning, sustainable business performance optimization and corporate culture development. He has been an instructor in the FIT School of Continuing and Professional Studies for more than ten years and an entrepreneur mentor in the FIT Design Entrepreneurs program. He is a former President and current Board member of the Retail Marketing Society, a learning and networking organization for retail professionals.

Robin Drake

Robin Drake
Brand and experience design solutions expert; Adjunct Professor, Exhibition and Experience Design, Graduate Studies at FIT

Robin Drake is a partner in a leading NYC brand identity design firm and an adjunct professor in FIT's graduate program in Design Exhibition & Experience; he also teaches retail branding strategies in the Brand Management Certificate program at FIT. Robin has been featured in the NY Times design section as well as in Interiors Magazine, calling upon his broad experience and expertise in how branding and interior design intersect.

Scott Kerr

Scott Kerr
President, Silvertone Consulting; Host of "The Luxury Item" podcast; and brand strategy executive

Scott Kerr is founder and president of brand strategy firm Silvertone Consulting. Scott is a seasoned global brand marketer and strategist who has held senior positions at some of the top ad agencies, media companies, and consumer brands. He is also the host of "The Luxury Item", a podcast on the business of luxury.


Module I: Creating a Brand That Makes a Difference in Your Business

  • How to Create a Brand Name, Image and Brand Stories + Icons, Logos & Taglines
  • A Brand’s Lifecycle: How/Why Luxury Does it Better than Premium & Fast Fashion
  • How Knowing a Brand’s Value is Useful for Pricing, Licensing, Loans & Loyalty

Module II: Protecting Your Brands: Why Trademarks Aren’t Enough

  • Different Business Strategies for Protecting Your Brand & Avoiding Legal Fees
  • Trademark Infringement and Brand Counterfeiting: Should You Sue or Not?
  • What We Can Learn From (15) US, China, and European Trademark Court Cases

Module III: How and Why to Brand Supply Systems, Corporations, & Circularity

  • How to Write & Tell a Brand Story for Supply Systems & The Circular Economy
  • Branding the Corporation: Why & When to Change Your Corporate Brand Name
  • Giving Back: How Your B-Corp, Charities, and Fashion Foundations Help Your Brand

Module IV: Branding Strategies for Reinventing and Reinvigorating Retail

  • The Brand Experience and Generating Customer Traffic
  • Branding the Store, Location, Private Brands, Displays, and Service
  • Site Location, Apps, and Geo Fencing: Marketing the Store Experience

Module V: How To Get Customers to Love Your Brand

  • Find Out How Successful Brands Are Putting Customers first
  • Learn How Great Leaders are Re-imaging the Customer Experience
  • See Why “People First” Strategies in Customer Service Drive Repeat Business

Module VI: How Strong Brands Increase Business Value

  • Learn How Brands Are Valued by the Marketplace
  • Learn The Myriad Financial Benefits of a Strong Brand
  • Learn How to Build Brand Equity & Why it Matters

Module VII: Capstone: Develop and Write Your Operational Brand Marketing Plan

  • Apply Prior Modules… Customize a plan for your own business, or one that you’re thinking of starting or a division you work in or a brand you’d like to re-position, re-vitalize, or re-purpose…any type of business, business sector or vertical can be used.
  • We will advise!

Center for Continuing and Professional Studies (CCPS)

FIT's CCPS offers credit and noncredit certificates and courses in fashion, business, design, technology, and marketing, to help you enter into or advance your career in the fashion and related industries. With short programs and flexible schedules, you can learn at a time and pace you can manage and afford.