Sky Rota

My name is Sky. I’m 13 years old & in 8th grade. I am a blogger/vlogger, athlete, author, entrepreneur & Generation Z consultant.

I’m severely dyslexic & have ADHD. I attend a school for kids who learn differently. I am sadly considered disabled as far as the ADA is concerned. I don’t use the term (Learning Disabled) because I do NOT consider myself disabled! Just because I can’t learn in a conventional manner doesn’t make me disabled. Most of all, I don’t allow my differences to define me.

I know first hand how my Generation thinks, moves, plays, spends & creates. We aren’t like any Generation before us, and yes, we start at a young age. I consider myself a young ambitious entrepreneur who specializes in consulting with educators, parents, therapists, businesses & brands regarding everything Gen Z. I am an authority on Dyslexia, ADHD, learning disabilities & know first hand what it's like to be bullied for being different. I consult on everything generation Z related.

Author of: “The Gen Z Answer Key for Business” by Sky Rota -- The go-to guide for marketing to Generation Z .

I’m on an endless mission to give Generation Z an outlet to show the world their strengths.

Author of: "Look Mom, I’m the Dumest One in My Clas" -- The true story of nine-year-old Sky Rota, who during the fourth grade discovers he is severely dyslexic. Hopeful that his school would be understanding and help him embrace and develop his unique methods of learning, his parents soon realized that they would have to fight for him. Instead of encouraging Sky, his teachers punish him for his “weaknesses.” His school saw his dyslexia as a disability as well, labeling him as different and an outsider. Sky and his parents quickly learn dyslexia comes with as many gifts as it does challenges.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2018

    Should showrooms replace closed stores?

    I don’t like to see vacant stores. It is an eyesore for the shopping center, mall or street. I love the idea of pop-up-stores. Firstly because I hate to go shopping, let alone in a huge department store where you can’t find anything and no one around to help you. With pop-up-stores, you can get in and get out, and there is a sense of urgency as they won’t be around for long so you better get there fast. We are moving way faster then people used to. We don’t have to take all day to shop. Make it a place we have to hit and run! We’re good with that.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2018

    QR codes are back and ready to hit it big

    I only use one to go to the movies. I buy reserved seating movie tickets from my phone and they email my mom the QR code because I don’t really use email and don’t even get it on my phone. My mom takes a screen shot of the code and texts to me. Now if they could just text me the code directly that would be great. Oh, and I don’t want an app for it either, just like I don’t want to create an account. Text us the code after our purchase and you have a better chance of everyone using it. Make life simple for everyone and they will be glad to use them.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2018

    Should American Apparel bring its sexy image marketing back?

    I’m with you as I don’t get the “goal to appeal to female sexuality.” What? And if this is the best an “all female executive team” can come up with, we are in trouble!I personally have ALL my “merch” (logo merchandise) on American Apparel shirts. I tried lots of clothing out before choosing them for all my merch. You know why I chose them? Because they are Made in the USA and because the tag doesn’t scratch your neck and make you have to cut it out. But most of all, the shirts never ever shrink or fade no matter how many times you wash them! Why not keep it real and ask us why we like your clothes, and then base your campaign on the clothing, not lack thereof!
  • Posted on: 01/10/2018

    Should American Apparel bring its sexy image marketing back?

    I think it’s a disgrace! They say they will use different “body types”, yea right, they aren’t going to use the chubby girl or guy body type. Just variations of skinny. No one looks the way their models' bodies look and it only makes the rest of us feel badly about our unairbrushed bodies! No need to have inappropriate half naked people in ads. We do not want to see that! Just promote the clothes in a tasteful way. These aren’t pics you would post on your social media as your potential boss might see it. They just went backwards 10 years. Pretty sure they didn’t hear about the “Me Too” movement or obviously don’t care about it.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    What will The Company Store do for Home Depot?

    Is Home Depot going to start carrying bedding? Because I don't see my mom going to Home Depot to get a duvet cover. My mom actually shops at The Company Store online and likes the quality of their items but doesn’t love their limited selection.I assume Home Depot is trying to acquire broader offerings just to block Amazon from buying them. It seems like everyone is running scared and buying up things to block Amazon. Sometimes you should focus on being fantastic at what you already have and people will need you and want to come to your store because you are the best! Sadly no one helps you at Home Depot and my family hates going there, so this is just a reach for them and in my opinion not a good acquisition.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    Should Amazon have Target in its acquisition sights?

    Yes, a Target acquisition makes perfect sense for Amazon! They would be able to have places for distribution and Target is the perfect spot for this. The benefit would be Target gets paid billions of dollars and Amazon gets the distribution locations they are in need of. The Whole Foods acquisition was a waste in my opinion. Target is the right move. At the end of the day there is sadly only going to be the few big players out there. Walmart will still be standing, but I don’t see a good outcome like for a Kohl’s or other smaller stores. Sorry.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2018

    Is Walmart aiming for a new customer with personalized text shopping?

    Code Eight/Walmart knows what they are doing with incorporating “text” capabilities to the shopping experience or delivery etc. I just spent a few days in San Francisco. The people in San Francisco are open to any place/service they can “text” and receive “delivery” or “convenience.”What some (older generations, sorry) may still consider a “high net worth service” others (Millennials and Gen Z) consider a necessity.Don’t always be so quick to judge who is going to be the demographics for convenience these days. Keep in mind Millennials as well as Generation Z are the new shoppers on the block and we want delivery/convenience.I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday :)
  • Posted on: 12/20/2017

    Branding for a brand-averse generation

    I strongly agree with Jasmine's step four about using micro-influencers to reach specific audiences. However, It is not entirely true that Gen Zers prefer to be brand-less.The thing is, your definition of “brand” and our definition of the word “brand” has changed. Back in the day your brands were huge household names like: Coke, Nestles, Pepsi. Today, a “brand” may be a name that only one of your four kids knows about.Ex: “BigBallerBrand,” “Lance210”, some of you may know these brands and some may not, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t “brands.” So yes, it is possible to build a brand for what you call a brand-less generation. I think it’s time to rethink what you all consider what a brand is. Things have changed, we want more “merch” from brands we “follow” than ever before. They are Generation Z’s brands.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2017

    Did Netflix cross the data-disclosure line?

    I believe the Netflix tweet on social media TOLD people they are being watched. Yes, we all know they see every move we watch but keep it to yourself, don’t broadcast our business. People still want to believe their info or behavior is private.I don’t know where Amazon bragged about those stats last year. Was it on social media or their own site? But they need to be a bit humble as well and watch the bragging. I know I’m not happy when I go and get a bunch of snacks at Wawa and the cashier says, “you’re really hitting the snacks hard tonight!” It’s none of their business. No one should make those comments. They can say thank you for watching our Christmas specials, we’re so happy you enjoyed them. Or thanks for making this a successful holiday shopping season. But nothing specific. You can say “Netflix employees favorites” etc. but nothing about your customers. Keep your stats in-house and use them as your own reference. Now I gotta stop watching Space Jam after 32 times or my picture may wind up in the news!
  • Posted on: 12/15/2017

    Are micro influencers better for retailers than macro influencers?

    The most important factor should be what/who the influencer's demographics/audience are. Then research all the medium sized influencers. Check out how many likes they get on an Instagram post. Then check out how many comment their followers leave them on a daily post. It’s always a numbers game. Keep in mind lots of other people see their posts even if they aren’t followers.What ever you put on or in the hands of these influencers will sell off the shelf. But you must never try to make them what they are not. Most influencers will only represent a product, etc., that relates to them or that their followers won’t find strange that they are representing. It must feel like a natural fit for them. Remember, influencers today don’t want to look like sales people.You also must be open minded and let them have input regarding the content they are going to put out. They won’t want to turn their fans off, however you want your brand represented in the best way so keep communication open and let the creators give you input. They are the ones who are geniuses at holding onto their audiences. I personally believe communication is key. You’re not going to hand them a script and have them follow it. Those days are over. However they are team players, so it’s time to start talking not telling.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2017

    Would CVS + Aetna = lower healthcare costs?

    I guess Walgreens is now going to purchase Blue Cross. Isn’t that how it works? All the big players are trying to buy so Amazon doesn’t get their hands on everything. Can I go to CVS and complain when Aetna turns down my MRI for my broken foot?
  • Posted on: 11/22/2017

    Does it matter if social media is getting a bad rep?

    I don’t really know what bullish or bearish is but I don’t have trust issues with social media. My mom told me you aren’t supposed to believe everything you hear or read.I can speak for Generation Z and say especially for the younger part of us we are never creating a Facebook page or a Twitter account. I only have them for business and they only receive a feed, no attention. Gen Zers use YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat for all our social media needs and we will continue. We don’t want to post across 10 platforms. Advertising is going to be about keeping it fun, entertaining and most of all real. The companies that do that will get our attention.Happy holidays!
  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

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

    I love the real feeling of Big Lots! Winner!Have a happy and healthy holiday everyone.No school.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2017

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

    I cried my tears out after watching Macy’s commercial. I don’t feel like shopping. I didnt feel anything for Nordstrom until I saw their customer service and warehouse people singing and dancing in what looked like their real work place. The other singers didn’t mean anything to me. My generation likes seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff with real people. I still don’t feel like shopping, neither of the commercials made me want to shop at their stores. I really wouldn’t know what they were advertising unless you told me.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2017

    Will mobile make another big leap this holiday?

    No doubt mobile shopping gives you freedom to shop from anywhere just like I know my mom is shopping from her cell at my baseball games. Plus the fact that mobile screens are big makes it easier for older people (no offense) to navigate on a mobile version to shop.To retailers; no need to develop an app for every store, just have a good mobile version of your site that is quick, user friendly and please have your developers make sure they bring the customer back to where they were on the site after they clicked something to look at it. That is a top way to lose a sale when you are getting jumped back to page 1 when you just made a purchase or clicked on something to view from page 3.You don’t want to frustrate people. Leave their items in the carts, people are busy, they may not be finished shopping or they may need to wait to get paid or are having wishful thinking. Don’t be too quick to dump carts thinking the cart was abandoned.Offer a coupon at the checkout, not after we shopped. I never understood sending the coupon after we are finished all our shopping. I know you are hoping we come back and make another purchase but sometimes it just seems so mean. If you give people something it makes them feel special or even makes them pretend you are giving them something. Then they wouldn’t be searching on Coupon Cabin or Retail Me Not for coupons. Give them a promo code to make them feel like they have something to enter in that space. Oh and don’t lie about your delivery dates! Good luck shopping, it’s going to be a mobile shopping Christmas!

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