PROFILE

Art Suriano

Chief Executive Officer, The TSi Company
Art Suriano is a business development executive with expertise in retail sales consulting, business culture analysis, and process improvements. He is a forward-thinking business intelligence leader who knows what it takes to run a business and make it a success. Suriano has had an extremely successful and multi-faceted career path that has been anything but conventional. Suriano’s career has provided him skills as CEO, VP of Sales & Marketing, Patent Owner, Published Author, Award-Winning Composer/Arranger, and Public Speaker.

Suriano’s talent includes a keen eye for mining, analyzing, compiling, and presenting data that consistently boosts company value. His patented methodology known as LTraining® has put numerous businesses back on track fixing disconnect, improving performance, consistency, sales culture, sales, and customer satisfaction.

In addition, Suriano is the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience...The Path to Victory for Any Business...Any Size...Any Time.” His leadership style is extremely creative, energetic, motivational, customer-focused, collaborative and ambitious.

Suriano began his career accepting work as a freelance composer. Soon he was scoring original compositions for television and radio for such programs as As The World Turns and Another World, and jingles/soundtracks for companies such as Subaru, Ford and more. From his success working for media directly as well as advertising agencies, Suriano soon figured out he could offer clients better and more effective creative campaigns for less than what they were paying. This led to founding his own company, PMI in the late 1980’s, which in time, became a full- service ad agency billing over $5 million annually, with local and regional clients.

From the success of his winning agency formula, a few years later, Suriano was offered an opportunity to offer his talent directly to broadcast companies such as WABC in New York and Kiss 108 in Boston. His assignment was helping underperforming clients get better results. Suriano would write and produce a new ad campaign that included custom commercials, and oftentimes, a custom jingle. It was during this period that his peers and clients coined him, “Mr. Fix It,” as every client he was handed began to see improvements in advertising results within 30 days.

Suriano’s passion for advertising continued, but as deregulation affected broadcast media and how they operated, he felt the need to move on and in 1994, founded the company he has today, The TSi Company. Starting out as an in-store marketing/advertising program for retailers, Suriano created an exciting program known as RadioPlusTM. Simply a better in-store music program, RadioPlusTM provided retailers with in-store commercials, complete with a custom client jingle, stations calls and personalities, making their in-store sound system appear as if it was the company’s own radio station. Soon, The TSi Company was signing local and regional retail clients who liked the idea of the added opportunities to build sales with customers through Suriano’s effective commercials and concepts.

By 1997, Suriano’s creative reputation was growing and clients were asking for his help in what was becoming a strong need: training. He began by creating and producing an in-store “before and after” hour radio program that quickly helped store associates learn about upcoming events, in-store promotions, customer service, and policies and procedures. Starting with Stern’s Department Stores, he was soon asked to expand the product to Macy’s, and other divisions after such as May Company divisions and other retail chains. Next, he turned his attention to part-time employees and created what eventually became his patented training method, LTraining®.

Today, LTraining® has been used by over 4 million trainees and consistently outperforms any other training method, scoring over 90% retention after a single session. LTraining® sessions have been created for every training topic necessary from orientation, POS and systems training, product training, sales training, customer service, and more.

As time progressed and Suriano recognized the strong results his training method was achieving, he realized that in order to get maximum impact for any business, he had to take it one step further. He began to look at the other areas of a business that, regardless of how effective his training was, would prevent a business from reaching its full potential.

Suriano met and spoke with clients and requested the opportunity to perform assessments, asking the right questions from top executives to the field and then comparing answers. Soon he found that every business was experiencing serious disconnect from the vision and objectives of the senior staff and what was actually taking place with lower level employees, especially the employees dealing with the customers. Soon he created his TSi 360TM, which became the footprint for helping clients increase sales, cut costs and improve customer satisfaction. Clients experienced over 15% increases in comparable store sales, saved millions of dollars that were being wasted, and saw increases in conversion of 7% annually. Moreover, clients saw long term growth quarter after quarter due to the improvements in performance and consistency.

Today, Suriano enjoys his role as Chief Executive Officer of The TSi Company which has expanded into a full-service company providing branding/marketing, training, communication skills and technology. He also provides his expertise as a consultant, teaching companies what they need to know to grow their business.

As the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience”, Suriano follows the principles in his book that help clients achieve their goals. Furthermore, as a public speaker, Suriano has been asked to speak at various functions and events all over the world including the Intercoifure International event held in Australia.

Suriano is an accomplished composer/musician who won numerous awards through the decades for original scores for radio/television and corporate presentations. Today, he is under contract with two record labels in the UK as the songwriter/arranger for Circle of Faith, an up and coming Christian pop band.
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  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Big Lots vs. Kohl’s

    Definitely two thumbs up for Kohl’s, Give Joy, Get Joy. Big Lots from the beginning was a little annoying on the ear with the contrived quartet singing Joy to the World. Using the Three Dog Night soundtrack was good but some of the inserts musically just didn’t work for me. I do like that Big Lots featured some short clips of their brand throughout the commercial because I felt the ad overall did not do a strong enough job of letting me know the retailer. Kohl’s, on the other hand, is a fantastic spot from the start. When the ad began, I immediately saw it was for Kohl's. It was fun to watch, smart and cute when the girl said, “We didn’t get you anything.” It was half the length of Big Lots with me wanting to see more while Big Lots was too much of the same idea. So my vote undoubtedly goes to Kohl's.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

    Do retailers need a new approach to store brand marketing?

    Retailers who do not promote their private label products are missing out on an opportunity for more sales. Today’s consumers are more price-conscious than any other time. Private label brands are typically less expensive, but the consumer still feels often that the products are inferior when it comes to quality. That is no longer the case for many of the private label items sold today, and it’s up to the retailers to make the consumer aware of that. So promote, advertise, use in-store signage and whatever it takes, like you would feature any other brand or item. The more consumers learn about the quality of the private label products along with the attractive prices, the more the retailer will sell. It’s a win for everyone.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Retailers get into Friendsgiving with Millennials

    I love the concept of Friendsgiving and see many opportunities for marketing through fun and personal experience. Retailers can treat the event like other promotions, but they must be creative in capturing the meaning. I can see a lot of two-for-one buying deals that let you buy one product for yourself and one for your friend -- like meal kits, for example. Retailers can have fun with this. It is a naturally warm and engaging concept so be creative and put together the right Friendsgiving program for your business. If done right, I can see this taking off and being very successful.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Who will be left standing after the next retail shakeout?

    I agree with Lee on the three brand positions. And I would say that for too many retailers the first two brand positions, unfortunately, are all that are getting their attention.Too many retailers are not focusing nearly enough on the Third Wave and are suffering because of it. Look at the brands Lee points out like Apple and Starbucks for example. Their prices are far from the lowest but their convenience, service and overall customer experience are fantastic. Too many retailers are too busy chasing after one another, not establishing any real brand identity, not providing exceptional service and other than their price they are not giving customers a good reason to shop them. Customers will still shop those retailers from time to time if the price is right and if it's convenient but those retailers are not building brand loyalty like Apple or Starbucks.So if asked the question which is most important for Lee's three brand positions, I would say the Third Wave. The reason: if the experience is right, you have customers willing to pay the higher price and even put up with a little less convenience like the often long lines at Starbucks because when they are sipping their coffee, it's worth it! It's all about the experience!
  • Posted on: 11/17/2017

    Is private label grocery about to go to the next level?

    Private label brands have a substantial opportunity going forward because the food industry has a chance to pick and choose from several niches that will attract customers. Pick one, do it well and the private label company will see great success. Today we have those interested in healthy foods, those who prefer gourmet foods and those who just like to eat. Some may be price-conscious while others are more interested in quality. Private label companies can cater to each audience with products those customers will like. The grocer who builds their business with a strong focus on the right private label mix blended in with the national brand products is most likely to be more successful than the grocery chains that do not.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – M&S vs. Sainsbury’s

    To me, the Mark & Spencer ad was the winner of the two. Not only remarkably creative but witty and fun to watch. It held my interest to the very end. It has warm moments, and you knew it was the Christmas season throughout the ad. The Sainsbury's ad was good but not as creative as the M & S ad, and I found myself losing interest at times. However, keep in mind that we typically look at 30-second ads, so if these were real TV commercials they would be cut down significantly, and it’s hard to say how they would work at a shorter length. If these ads ran in the U.S., I think the public would react well to both of them, but again my vote goes to M & S as the better of the two.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2017

    Amazon Go still plans to transform convenience in retail stores

    The concept of Amazon Go is excellent, but the fear will be whether the customer gets appropriately billed. Technology is fantastic, but there are always glitches. I can see mistakes happening, and the customer may get charged for an item they put back or didn’t buy. How does that get resolved? Also customers are human, and they may innocently not recall an item they purchased and become upset with a charge that although justified they may not remember.I think the technology is an excellent idea, but I would prefer the customer getting the purchase receipt on their mobile app before leaving the store. That said, this is still a great concept and no doubt will be the way of the future.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2017

    Tech lets gift receivers decide what they get for Christmas

    There are so many benefits I don’t know where to begin. We have all received that gift when we say “thank you for this gift” with a smile while our brain is thinking, “what am I going to do with this?” GiftNow takes that fear away. So for the givers and receivers, there is a tremendous convenience and guaranteed happiness. For retailers, it reduces gift returns, which are always that nail-biting time right after the holiday when retailers hope returns will become exchanges but they often still lose money. So this is a big win all around.Years ago, it was always about picking out the perfect gift, wrapping it up and hopefully pleasing the recipient. Today we no longer think that way. The gift card was the first significant shift in gift giving, but GiftNow lets the giver have a chance to put some thought into the gift, which makes it much nicer.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2017

    Will data breach concerns tank Forever 21’s holiday?

    Unfortunately, some customers may choose not to shop Forever 21 after hearing the news, but I don’t see them losing a significant amount of business. First, the problem has happened, and it is too late to undo what has happened. The company has been above board communicating with customers about the incident and what they are doing about it. And second, because Forever 21 is aware and monitoring everything carefully, it is unlikely it will happen again.The public today continues to hear about many breaches. As a result, they are becoming more accustomed to them. It doesn’t mean they are happy about it, but these constant breaches are making consumers more aware that each of us has to do whatever we can to protect ourselves by using strong passwords, changing them often and signing up with a fraud protection agency. Hackers are out there, and they are not going away anytime soon.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Macy’s vs. Nordstrom

    If I am forced to pick one that is better, I’d have to go with Nordstrom only because it’s lively and upbeat. But in my opinion, I doubt either will be very successful. For starters, neither ad does anything to connect me to the brand; there is no identity, nothing unique that stands out making me feel that I want to shop either retailer for Christmas.The Macy’s commercial is like a mini-Hallmark movie, but why shop Macy’s? What is that ad trying to tell me? Sure, we can say, "The Perfect Gift Brings People Together" which is a beautiful line, but I’m not feeling any connection to Macy’s. The pitchy vocal, slow-moving soundtrack doesn’t help either.As for Nordstrom, I’m sure those in the commercial, their families and friends will enjoy it but that’s about all who will connect with it. It too does nothing substantial to link me to the brand nor does it make me think of Nordstrom as the place to shop this year for Christmas. Television advertising today is difficult, many people don’t even watch TV and many that do record programs with DVR and fast-forward through commercials. But for those who do watch, they respond to something that gets their attention.Advertising mediums and technology have changed, but the basic rules of good advertising are still the same: 1.) tell me who you are, 2.) tell me why I should do business with you and 3.) tell me how to find you. We all know the third one, but neither ad does an excellent job of the first two.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Are data sharing concerns still holding back true personalization?

    I think consumers today are accustomed to giving standard information like name, email and possibly a phone number. However, they also quickly get annoyed when they become inundated with useless emails and texts. Retailers have an excellent opportunity to build relationships with willing customers through the practical use of personalization. But they need to be more careful with how they use the information they receive from the customers. They need to understand how often they should reach out to the customer and make sure that what the retailer is offering the customer is going to be something the customer finds interesting. Otherwise, it will become a quick delete and, if bothered too often, the customer will opt-out entirely. Retailers when asking customers for information need to create a series of smart, easy to answer, quick questions to better understand how often the consumers want to receive a message from the retailer, and for what purpose. We have the technology today to make personalization very customized and not generic so use that technology wisely, and you will build a long-lasting relationship with your customers.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Lowe’s and Macy’s join rivals chasing smart home opportunity

    I think smart home devices are becoming a part of everyday life. They offer excellent conveniences and, in many cases, they are fun to use. I see not only Macy’s and Lowe’s getting into the game but eventually more stores as well. As technology continues to improve we will find more ways to use the internet through smart home devices. I think there is a market out there already that is excited to learn about what they can do now through smart home technology and I would expect this holiday season for them to take advantage of the opportunities offered. We can’t stop how quickly technology is advancing, and the retailers who are getting in the game now selling smart home equipment will get a jump on their competition.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Are these the best or worst of times for consumer brands?

    I am not sure if today we see the best or the worst times. I would say what we are seeing is the most challenging times, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We have had many periods throughout our history when how we were accustomed to doing things seem to change overnight. In the late '80s the entire world of selling and marketing changed with the invention of the toll-free 1-800 phone number and direct mail. Suddenly every business was chasing after direct marketing. Of course, that is nothing compared to today’s challenges, competition and buying opportunities customers have both online and in-store.Businesses need to use today’s advantages to their benefit and find ways of avoiding today’s disadvantages. That's how they will be successful. It’s survival of the fittest as it always has been. Stores, yes you need to have the best service because that is how you’ll win and e-commerce you need to have engaging websites and mobile apps that are easy to use to keep the customer shopping.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Has Google solved the problem of long lines at grocery checkouts?

    I don’t see this technology as a big success. Your distance from the supermarket you want to go to can affect what the app is telling you. The lines look good on the app now and by the time you get to the store more customers have come in, and the wait is longer.I see solving the problem of long lines in two ways. The first is the old-fashioned method which is the easiest and still, in many ways, the least expensive and that is to open more registers. I sometimes wonder why grocers are so stubborn because what they think they are saving in payroll is costing them much more in sales. The second is mobile scan check-out technology. That’s the big win. We just started using it at our local ShopRite, and my wife loves it.I foresee the day when instead of having to scan each item on your phone, the shopping cart with having a scan strip so that every item placed in the cart will be automatically scanned and should you put something back, it gets automatically deducted from your bill. We’ll get there but, in the meantime, if grocers don’t have the technology, they should invest in staff to save the sales and, as technology continues to improve, invest in what is right for the business.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2017

    As Amazon looms, CVS rolls out next-day Rx deliveries nationwide

    I think this is an excellent move for CVS. Today it’s all about instant gratification; we want it and we want it now. So why not include something important like prescription drugs? Years ago, when we all did business with the local pharmacy, we had our prescription drugs delivered and it was a tremendous convenience. Today most of those local pharmacies are gone, but it will be nice to have that service again. I think CVS is smart to recognize Amazon as an upcoming competitor and they are doing many things right, most recently attempting to purchase Aetna, which if successful, will provide them with a substantial competitive advantage. So I see this program as a big win for CVS.

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