Friday, July 31, 2009

Organic private labels increasing on your store shelves

The Wall Street Journal recently looked at how the organic farmers are trying to keep in the eye-line of their customers in these tough economic times. Private label organic products have become 22.7% of organic food sales from June of 2007-2008, this is a 13.6% from the same period of June 2006-2007. Read more about the increase of organic private-label foods here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reasons to care about your shopper

In a recent article at Retail Wire, they look at ten reasons you should care about your shopper. Here are just a few:

#1: Fifty percent or more of product and brand decisions are made in-store; numerous shopper insights studies agree.
#6: Shopper insights are currency for building strong customer relationships.
#7: Advertising agencies must master shopper marketing to have a complete offering: those who do not offer shopper marketing services will be viewed as incomplete.

Read the full list here. Is there anything you'd add to the list?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kmart is Coming Back to Town

This latest article in retailwire highlights how Kmart, even though down 2% in sales this quarter,
has outperformed rivals Target and Wal-Mart which are down by a higher number. One of the reasons why Kmart might be bouncing back through the recession is because it offers its customers a layaway program so they have an opportunity to save for gifts, and this program is not available at Target or Wal-Mart. Kmart is also working with hundreds of designers to run a print campaign in Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky. It will be interesting to see how the Target and Wal-Mart will react to Kmart's recent success.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Driving Loyalty through Mobile Marketing

Jeff Weidauer, vice president of marketing, Vestcom International writes in Convenience Store News that we must use mobile marketing in order to keep shopper's focused during this economy. Weidauer refers to mobile marketing as "a virtual extension of the shelf edge." Weidauer also writes, by making use of this nearly ubiquitous way to communicate, convenience stores now have the opportunity to turn a simple communication device into an indispensable shopping aid that extends the shelf edge directly into the shopper’s hand. Mobile applications are poised to be the future of how retailers will communicate with shoppers in a way that’s most convenient for them.

How do you think that convenience store shoppers will utilize mobile marketing to their advantage? Will adding mobile rewards, games and discounts be the trick to gaining and keeping customers?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Private Label Is a 'Hotbed for Creativity'

Alex Palmer of AdWeek writes, private label products are anything but cheap imitations of brand-name items, according to a new report. The retail consultancy Mintel GNPD finds that manufacturers of private label food products are staying up on current food trends, including the use of premium and healthy ingredients as well as convenient packaging.

Those of you who have followed private label brands know how hot they have become with customers and retailers during this economic climate.

From Palmer, new private label products are being introduced into the U.S. market at a rate far above that from just a few years ago. So far in 2009, almost 1,800 new private label foods have hit store shelves. This comprises 27 percent of all new food products that have been introduced this year. In 2005, private label made up only 13 percent of new food products.

We welcome to you this October to The Private Label Conference, which is the only event that tackles the new realities of the private label market and the business implications for manufacturers, CPGs and retailers.

Private Label Is a 'Hotbed for Creativity'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Conference on Marketing Keynote Speaker: Jim Stengel Retired Global Marketing Officer Proctor & Gamble

Jim Stengel
Retired Global Marketing Officer
Proctor & Gamble

Widely known for reinvigorating P&G’s marketing culture during his tenure as global marketing officer, Jim Stengel personally led the transformation that has firmly established P&G as one of the most admired brand building companies in the world. His reputation for evolving marketing and branding to make a positive impact on the lives of consumers has influenced his global recognition as a leader in the marketing community. His new venture, "Jim Stengel, LLC" is both think tank and consultancy – conducting proprietary research, generating thought leadership and applying a new framework to drive business growth in today’s global economy. The Jim Stengel approach is strategic and holistic, with a mission to “rethink marketing, branding and life.”

Stengel is widely known for leading innovation and for his commitment to building breakthrough marketing capabilities. As a result, he was recognized in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007 by Advertising Age as the number one “Power Player” in marketing. In 2005, he was recognized as Grand Marketer of the Year by Brand Week Magazine – that same year P&G was named Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age. A prolific speaker and writer, he has delivered dozens of keynote addresses around the world. His groundbreaking speech, “The Future of Marketing,” delivered at the American Association of Advertising Agencies 2004 annual meeting, has been quoted thousands of times and is considered a catalyst for changing the 50-year-old TV-centric brand building model. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review and has been featured in The Financial Times, The Wall St. Journal, The New York Times and Fortune as well as CNBC and many other print, broadcast and online media outlets.

In his seven years as P&G’s global marketing officer, Stengel helped guide the organization to creativity, innovation and optimal performance. He also lead implementation of systemic changes in the Company’s marketing organization that have positioned P&G and its leadership as a world-class leader in the marketing and brand building. Stengel brings this experience to his new venture as a consultant to help companies who are “seriously motivated” to embrace change and are open to rethinking their current approach. He offers consulting services on a range of topics related to purpose-based marketing and branding as well as organizational transformation, leadership and innovation.

Jim's biography courtesy of Washington Speaker's Bureau

About The Conference on Marketing 2009

THe is an experience that will come to life just once and never be replicated. The specific information represented and the dynamics of the group participating will draw diverse perspectives resulting in inimitable conversations and sharing of best practices and from that – the most unique outcomes will be delivered. Share your questions, your challenges, your biggest threats and through productive interaction, uncover solutions you would never have imagined on your own, at your desk, in your office.

Get out and think greater.

* Harness collective intelligence and bring back insight and innovation
* Make more informed decisions that guarantee measurable results
* Protect and ensure the future role of marketing in influencing business strategy

Event Website

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Barnes & Nobles Might Steal Thunder Away from

This article in RetailWire discusses how Barnes & Nobles will give Amazon some competition with its plan to open an online store with over 700,000 titles that will work on smartphones and other electronic readers, unlike

William Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble mentions:

"Our goal at Barnes & Noble is to build a service that revolves around the customer, enabling them to have access to hundreds of thousands of titles and read on their smartphone, PC, and many other existing and future devices. We want to make eBooks simple, accessible, affordable and convenient for everyone."

Will Barnes & Nobles be able to steal market share away from Amazon by allowing more consumers to view titles through smartphones?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Whole Foods adopts new verification standard for private label products

According to the Pacific Business News, Whole Foods says it will submit its private label products to testing for genetically engineered organisms--a move that will add a new level of certification to what's on the organic and natural grocer's shelves.

Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Market global vice president of quality standards said, "We searched high and low for years for a way to do this and now, thankfully, the Non-GMO Project has answered that challenge by creating a standard and a practical system by which manufacturers may measure their products. At last, shoppers concerned about foods made with genetically modified ingredients will be able to make informed choices."

Whole Foods adopts new verification standard for private label products

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shopper Insights in Action Conference 2009 Wrap-Up

Thank you all, those in attendance, and those of you who followed our online coverage for your participation during the 9th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference. We hope you enjoyed this year’s event and have taken the time to review all of our great coverage as we updated our event site, blog, and twitter with images, video and descriptions of all the great speakers at the conference. Below you will find a summary of all of that coverage during the three days of the conference. Even if you did follow our coverage closely, be sure and review many of our posts again, we’ve updated many of them with video clips of the presentations. Finally, be sure and subscribe to our updates on our blog, twitter, and event site as we continue to provide resources and information regarding the conference as well as the latest industry news and insights. Be sure and share and forward all of these updates to your colleagues who were unable to participate in this experience.

Click the link below to view our wrap-up newsletter from the event.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How Manufacturers Use Analytics to Brand Successfully, Ryan Monahan of Kimberly Clark Corporation

Everything has changed in the wake the Walmart's Project Impact initiative which began last year. It essentially evaluates categories and reduces SKUs while changing the rules of merchandising. That means less clutter in the aisles.

Ryan Monahan, who has been on Kimberly Clark's Walmart team for three years, said the change means that shoppers have to be engaged before going to the store. As a first step, Kimberly Clark Corporation obtained the analytic tools to tell who the shoppers are, how valuable they are to the brand and what needs to be done to succeed.

As an example, he pointed to a direct mail program for the recently-launched gender-specific Depend underwear at Wal-Mart. KC developed an off-line and online campaign to identify seniors in the local trading areas and provide them with information on what to look for in the store.

In brief, the campaign was a big success.


Bass Pro Shops has been called "The Ultimate Customer Experience." That's because each store is customized to the area it is in, and has 50% of the store dedicated to non-selling space (aquariums, rock climbing walls, etc.). Customers are so loyal to these outdoor living themed stores than more than half of them travel over 50 miles just to shop there, and then spend an average of 2-4 hours in the store. So is it any wonder Stan Lippelman, Vice President of Marketing, told attendees at this afternoon's Shopper Insights Conference that "CRM is not the icing on our cake -- it is the cake."

Lippelman advocates creating a customer culture that utilizes highly targeted marketing efforts, which he refers to as "One to some instead of one of ton." In fact, 70% of what they do is targeted. And the key to Bass Pro Shops' sales success can be summed up by the following five guiding principles:

1. Change the conversation from "Are sales up or down?" to "Are sales up or down with our best customers?"

2. Leverage data beyond segmentation. (While their customer base info is proprietary, Lippelman did reveal that they segment customers first based on behavior, then on interests, and then finally based on demographics.)

3. Treat your best customers better. (Bass' Stealth Program rewards the top 10% of their customer base with special rewards and opportunities.)

4. Inspire passion and create handshakes. (Bass Pro Shops places a special emphasis on special in-store events, all of which are free to any who want to attend, such as an old-fashioned Santa's Wonderland and Summer Family Camp.)

5. Be uncommon -- Go beyond the expected.

How Deep Ethnographic Insights Help Drive Emotional Connections with Shoppers, Michelle Adams and Donna Romeo of Frito Lay

What exactly is ethnography and what does it have to do with snacks? According to Michelle Adams and Donna Romeo of Frito Lay, it is an inductive research method that relies on indepth interviews, video, analysis, participant observation, re-enactments and so forth. The mega-snack maker has been using ethnographic research to drive consumer-driven innovation in its overall shopper marketing programs.

The executives presented a case study on the 360 Shopping Process. Its goal is to understand the food shopping cycle from a holistic perspective using ethnography.

There are three phases to today's shopping:

(1) Pre-Shop (make list, gather coupons, research via web and word of mouth)
(2) Shopping Experience (provide consistency in the store; use end caps as anchors)
(3) Post Shop (food is easy to store in pantry and fridge; got value via deals; pleased family).

Nowadays, perhaps because of the recession, Mom has taken on more responsibilities and sometimes opts to stay at home with young children.

Three key insights:
(1) The New Frugality (Mom bears the brunt of deciding no Disneyland vacation this summer)
(2) Wants vs Needs (nutrition and main meals are first)
(3) More work and less pleasure.

Times are tough. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.


Hormel Foods, long famous for canned meats and stews, believes that "Convenience is King." 68% of consumers feel the same way, but only 35% said they knew where to look in the store to find convenience lunch items. They also said that they were confused by what they described as "too many products out there." Thus the challenge became "Improve the Shopping Experience" by making the search for convenience food items more intuitive for shoppers AND more profitable for retailers.

Because research indicated that consumers shop by need state, Hormel advocated creating a Convenience Food Aisle which would contain all convenience meal occasion items in the same place, instead of having them scattered throughout the store. Working in partnership with several major retailers such as Family Fare, Food Lion, Spartan Stores and Winn/Dixie to create this Convenience Aisle, anchored by microwaveable soups adjacent to ultra convenient products (meals that can be prepared in five minutes or less).

The results were impressive. Bob Samples told attendees at the Shopper Insights Conference that this solution works because ultimately it is for an aisle, ot just for Hormel Food Products. And retailers that implemented the Convenience Food Aisle outpaced competitors in their market by 19% in this category.

Leveraging Shopper Insights to Reinvent Categories, Jill Boyce and Don Baker of Sara Lee

Sara Lee has its own brand of shopper marketing which the maker of refrigerated meats sees as the key to success. The approach delivers value at the Moment of Truth in the store when shoppers select products to load into their basket.

Shopper marketing links shopper needs and attitudes with action against the brand. Jill Boyce and Don Baker said category leadership drives that linkage. In the end, aligning the brand and the category plan is a win-win for both trading partners.

The executives have customized the traditional eight steps of category management to work for their shopper marketing initiativies. Here are the new steps:

(1) Learn (category definition and role)
(2) Build (insight generation and strategic/tactical plan; translate insights to grow the category)
(3) Plan (initiative development; create great shopper plans with building blocks of distribution, shelving, merchandising, pricing and activation).
(4) Act and Measure (plan launch; shopper activation translates brand and category strategy into an in-store plan).

Bottom line: Sara Lee develops the specific initiatives that they will execute to deliver against the retailer and category opportunities.


While Daila Bufford, Senior Consultant with Psyma International, does not believe that any single research technique is a panacea, she extols the value of ethnography (in-home observation and discussion) as the best way to assess lifestyles and understand the ways in which consumers use and store particular products.

At this afternoon's breakout session at the Shopper Insights Conference, Bufford detailed three rescent, and very different, ethnographic studies that she has been involved in. The first involved interacting with automotive services sales associates; the second, consumer interaction with products in public restrooms; and the third, understanding how females choose, use, store and transport cosmetics.

As ethnographic studies, all these projects employed the same basic components: observing and assessing the environment; interviewing the consumers; sending the consumers out on mystery shopping exercises, during which hidden cameras videotaped the experience; reviewing the tapes; debriefing the consumers; and then observing how the consumers used and stored the products involved.

And the key take-away? Ethnography is a valuable research tool because of its ability to turn the participant into the researcher.

Contact information for Daila Boufford:

Daila Boufford | Senior Consultant
Psyma International Inc. | a PSYMA GROUP company
661 Moore Road, suite 120 | King of Prussia, PA 19406 | USA
Phone: 610-992-0900 ext.114 | Fax: 610-992-0905 |

Shoppers in a New Economy: A Live Shopper Panel Featuring Shoppers of Various Life Stages and Demographics

Moderated by: Christine Holt, VP & Jennifer Keller, Research Director, C&R Research’s Shoppereyes Division

Looking at four real women shoppers, we get some insight into the mind of the Mom shopper—which we’ve learned is so important for us during the conference. Today’s panel discussion discusses what is most important to these shoppers and to their families. Below is a dialogue that we had the pleasure of hearing during today’s panel.

“How many times a week do you go to the grocery store?”
Christina “Two to three times a week”
Debbie “The same, about 2 times per week”
Melissa, “I try to do it once a week, but a lot of times I need to run out during the week to grab something.”
Allanna, “I shop once a week. I have a meal plan going.”
“Where do you do most of your food shopping?”
Allanna, “My major shopping for groceries is Jewel, they have a good coupon policy. They still take the internet coupons, a lot of places don’t take the internet coupons. I also go to a smaller grocery store about 10% of the time. Household items, I go to Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens.”
Christina,”I don’t use coupons. I gave up on it years and years ago. I shop at Ultra because Jewel has higher prices. I go to Target, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club for bulk items (shampoo, cereal). Wal-Mart has good prices on condiments.”
Debbie, “Wal-Mart or Meijer is easier to go to because you don’t have to worry about coupons. Jewel and Dominicks have higher prices.”
“Are there certain types of products that lead you to a certain stores.”
Melissa, “I go to a smaller chain for lower prices on lunch meats and other meats and their meats are very fresh.”
“What is the experience in the different stores? Where do you really enjoy to shop for food and household products?”
Debbie, “I enjoy Meijer’s. I enjoy shopping. I like Wal-Mart because I like the layout and I can get bath items, clothes, etc. Its one stop shopping. Its enjoyable for Meijer because there is always something to catch your eye and something new—I like the shoes.”
Christina ”When I go to Wal-Mart, I can pick up food and bathroom type items. I can get enough food items. I go to a little deli for lunch meat.”
Debbie, “I buy a lot of toys for my grandkids at Wal-Mart.”
Allanna, “I enjoy going to a smaller retailer for groceries because people are really friendly and always ready to help out. They automatically bag and take out your groceries to your car.”
“Where would you prefer to go at the end of the day on your way home from work?”
Christina, “I hit the Jewel, its close to home.”
Allanna, “I send my husband to Jewel on his way home.”
“Is there a place you dread shopping?”
Debbie, “Jewel because the prices are so high.”
Allanna, “I dread shopping at Aldi’s because of the lines.”
Everyone on the panel agrees to like self-check out because it makes things smoother and its convenient.
Allanna, “I like to self-check out because it gives my kids something to do while I check out.”
“Is there anything you would change about self-check out?”
Debbie, “As long as there is someone there to help me, then I’m happy.”
Allanna, “As long as there are people to help out the other people who don’t know what they are doing then I’m happy.”
Debbie, “A couple more conveyer belts would be nice.”
“Tell me about something you saw, in terms of the set up of the store that made it easy or enjoyable for you to shop.”
Allanna, “I like when everything has a clear price. I don’t want to look around for the prices. A smaller retailer has everything on one aisle that’s on sale in their circular.”
“How many make lists?”
Allanna, “I make a list and stick to it.”
Debbie, “I make a list, but I don’t stick to it.”
“Why do you choose the place that you do choose for shopping?”
Unanimously it’s price.
Debbie, “Wal-Mart and Meijer have such low prices that I’m fine with shopping there all of the time. Even if they are a little higher on a few items, I know I’m saving money on something else in my cart.”
“What are you cutting back on?”
Christina, “I have cut back on cereals in order to save money. We now have cheaper cereal in bags and we are okay with that.”
Allanna, “I am cutting down on kid’s treats because of sugar, high fructose corn syrup. I make my own granola bars now. We do more fruits now.”
Allanna, “I make my own hamburger helper, its fresh and its tastes better. My motivations for changing were because I had everything on hand.”
Allanna, “We went from making $75,000 per year to now $25,000 per year and with my skills and coupons we have been able to save $4000 this year for our vacation.”
Melissa, “I buy store paper now. I poked a hole in the store brand to test its softness and it seemed okay with me.”
Christina, “I will try a store brand if it’s on sale.”
“Are there things you won’t trade to private label for?”
Debbie, “Coffee”
Melissa, “Deodorant”
“What was the last interesting new product you saw?”
Allanna, “A new Bounce product that reduces the amount of dryer sheets. I found out about it via email, that came with a coupon to try it. The coupon was $4 off $10.”
Debbie, “I like the microwaveable sausage and bacon products.”
Melissa, “Tide has a new stain remover thing that you can throw in the washing machine. I got a coupon from Tide about it, via email.”
“How do you find out about new products?”
Christina, “I like to sample things at Sam’s.”
Allanna, “I belong to a grocery message board, we give hot tips about what’s out there to try. There are about 10,000 women and men out there. I look for opinions that way.”
Melissa, “Sometimes the pop ups on the internet, newsletters and alerts from different companies help via email.”
Today’s panel gave valuable real insight into the mind of the Mom shopper.

Track Presentation: How to Continue Building Luxury Brands in a Down Economy

Bette Chabot, former SVP, Marketing, Saks Fifth Avenue
Luisa Uriarte, EVP, Maddock Douglas

Luisa begins our discussion this morning talking about the three main issues that she wants to discuss during today’s presentation:

• Innovation best practices—infusing outside experts
• Innovation success stories
• Real implementation choices and lessons

Luisa and Bette each chose a video to represent who they are—Luisa chose a piece from 30 Rock in which Jack uses “market research” to figure out Liz Lemon’s personality and demographic.

Bette chose a video that uncovers an engaging customer experience—the first time that Julia Robert’s character in Pretty Woman has an unlimited credit card and, coupled by “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison, we see a customer in love with the retail experience.

Need + communication + idea = Innovation.

For innovation to be successful we need to think outwardly, to think about our consumer’s needs and we need to work together to overcome the roadblocks that keep innovation from being successful. We must work to infuse outside investors to help us achieve innovation.

“You can’t read the label if you’re inside the jar.”

What Maddock Douglas has done is create an outside network of experts called the GEN: Global Expert Network. These are senior level executives who love to help clients solve problems.

What are the four benefits of your business? As an assignment, look to what the four things that your business does for the industry. Looking at the four benefits, what experts can you employ to help move your business forward?

In addition to understanding the demographic through segmentation, it’s important to look at how the particular person actually interacts with the media and the retail stores that they encounter.

Classroom Activity:
We did an “in classroom” activity in which participants today were asked to use a board provided to solve a puzzle and create a solution to a difficult problem.
Thinking about the exercise we were asked:
• What was the solution?
• How long did it take?
• How did you find it?
• How quickly could you do it again?
• Who raised their hands?

We found out that many of us didn’t ask for help, even though it was an explicit part of the exercise to do so. Its important to ask for help, to ask for questions and it will help you to embrace the challenge and work for the best possible way to solve a particular issue with a great outcome.

Bette discusses the role of retailers for innovation:

What do retailers do now to innovate?

The current economy has caused a major change in consume behavior and consumption, its integral to know about your customer right now, what issues are driving them to make particular purchases.

Consideration and behavior may vary by category and occasion. They may maintain spending in some categories; whereas they could drastically reduce spending in other categories.
Its important to look at customer focused retail innovation, today, Bette takes us through four case studies: Apple, Starbucks, The Buckle and Best Buy.

Apple stores represent the most productive retail square footage within the retail space, with $4000 per square foot. Steve Jobs had a vision and he infused a solid strategy for retail by inviting experts—to create a retail space and a gathering place.
“It’s not about selling. It’s about creating a place where you belong.” Ron Jonson, SVP/Retail, Apple

Starbucks transformed a commodity into an experience.
Our stores become a haven…a place where you can meet with friends. It’s about enjoyment at the speed of life—slow and savored, sometimes faster. Always full of humanity.” Starbucks Mission
What went wrong? It compromised itself leading to a reduction in value to customers. Things are turning around now for Starbucks as they are working to redesign themselves to return themselves to their original focus.

The Buckle
Buckle is a mall-based mall chain that targets fashion forward men and women, ages 12-24. This relatively small company’s performance is knocking the socks off of the competition. The specialty store experiences have been very difficult, but the Buckle has reached 33 month of store increases and 22 months of double digit increased.
What are they doing right? The Buckle is focused on fashion, balanced formula of private label and branded clothing—and sticking with denim. The company emphases personalization and offers layaways, free altering and they take pride in their “guests.”

Best Buy
“Any business only exists because it meets the needs of its customers.” Brad Anderson, Vice Chairman & fmr CEO of Best Buy

In conclusion, look to:
Opportunities created by trends, the shopping experience, helping customer’s choose and use technologies and media to drive your brand forward at retail.

Could An Application Suite Be The Solution for UK Multichannel Retailing?

Multichannel Retail: Using Integrated Technology to Achieve Cross-Channel Brand Consistency

Focus on the customer experience has become a top priority for retailers. Maintaining consistent customer service levels is made all the more complex as consumers are now shopping across many channels. Whether the customer shops through a bricks and mortar store, a transactional website or by mail order, the consumer expects consistent service.

The retail sector has evolved from a store only business to one that sells through multiple channels. With customer experience being a top priority for retailers in a recession, it is important that multichannel retailers provide a consistent service, no matter the channel. In this report, Datamonitor’s analyst specializing in retail technology will discuss the developments in multichannel retail and will identify the key vendors with end-to-end multichannel offerings.

This report is essential reading for those looking to gain insight into multichannel retailing in the UK and the technology. You can gain insight into the different technology providers offering end-to-end multichannel technology to the UK retail sector.

Learn about the leading multichannel retailers and their technology strategies with this report.

*Updated* Keynote Panel Discussion: Shopper-Centric Strategies for Convenience-Stores

Videoclip Below

Sonja Matthews, Director of Customer Strategies & Insights, PEPSICO
John Dranow, President & CEO, SmartRevenue
Dard Neuman, Ph.D., SVP, SmartRevenue

John Dranow begins our discussion today discussion with, “A targeted revenue strategy begins with knowing where the purchase decision is made.” Thinking about the consumer, the shopper, what decisions are made pre-store and what decisions are made in-store.
At SmartRevenue, they are “passionate about data” looking to quantitive ethnography as it merges multiple streams of data to deliver differentiated and integrated insights, strategies and solutions. Its important to quantify our wins, it has to do with identifying conversion percentage. How many people go in to the store and leave without a purchase? What is the potential dollar amount that you could spend to change that? Remember, what people say and what people do is entirely contradictory.
Moving on to PepsiCo, why is there such a focus on convenience store?
There are 135,000 convenience store locations. Thanks to research that c-stores are actually a place for an oasis and a place for refueling—its air-conditioning, it has food and beverages—and it has gambling. But convenience stores are at risk, house hold penetration of convenience stores go down about two points per year. Also, there is channel blurring, other formats are targeting c-store shoppers (drug, dollar and grocery). On the upside, there is about 15-20% revenue that could be pumped to the store. It’s a big brand hit, 4.5B hits, with brand loyal customers (Mountain Dew is top seller at c-stores).
How do you make coolers cooler?
How do people shop for beverages in the store? (Their movement, products considered and the browse vs. buy differences).
Going on a fact-finding mission, SmartRevenue and PepsiCo went into 80 different convenience stores to watch customers.
Most of the decision making happens within 15 seconds of the final purchase decision. Shopper decision trees require knowing what drives a shopper to a category and to a specific product.
Need states: What drives a shopper to the shelf?
• “I am thirsty”
• “I need something to give me energy”
• “I need something to help me relax”
• “I want a drink with nutritional value”
Purchase Drivers: What is important when selecting a specific product?
• “I like to try something new or different”
• “I trust this brand”
• “Low calories”
• “The packaging caught my eye”
It’s important as we get into the behavior of the shopper to understand how important it is to connect needs and drivers to products. This tells the story of how shoppers make their decisions at the shelf. Also, purchase driver based segmentation provides a clear insights for targeting shoppers and understanding attitudinal and behavioral differences is the key to targeting shoppers where they live in store. From brand affiliation to variety shoppers, its all about understanding the differences and similarities that customers have when going to a c-store.

Insights to Action
• Define shopper behaviors and expectations
• Quantify the unproductive browsers
• Build a path to increased sales and happier shoppers

It takes about 12 seconds for customers to select a beverage, and if it takes longer they don’t find what they are looking for but it translates to the shopper not purchasing other items. Shoppers are working too hard to find and make selection in the cold vault. People open the doors to pick up and look at the bottles; put the bottles back not purchasing it and opening cooler to look at the back of the packaging of a particular product. Today’s speakers call this the “cooler mambo.”

12% of folks who came to the cold vault and interacted with it did not purchase a beverage.
• They couldn’t find the brand
• They couldn’t find a particular flavor
• Product was not cold enough to purchase

We have the possibility of increasing sales, for every 10% reduction in walkaway rate; there is a $250M in incremental sales for retailers.

It’s important to recognize that 57% of buyers plan ahead for their beverage purchase, while 43% of buyers are undecided on which beverage to purchase. Juice is the highest impulse item and beer is the lowest impulse purchase.
85% of purchases made in c-store are for immediate consumption and 70% of shoppers in c-stores are male.


*Updated* Keynote: Breaking the Habit—The Truth About Shopper Behavior and How to Change It

Videoclip Below

Siemon Scammell-Katz, Founder, TNS Magazine

ROI on shopper marketing Habituation vs decision making in-store
Siemon spends much of his time following shoppers and interviewing academics to understand what people buy and how we influence what they buy.

We start out today’s discussion with a big question:
“What has the most impact on the buying point?”

Looking at the physiology of the eye, Siemon shares with us about the eye that we must know when studying eye tracking of shoppers. Our vision process is continuously moving to gather the information in front of us. Or heads are continually moving around to create the scene of what’s around us. If we can understand what information is being sent from the eye to the brain, we can begin to find out all about what the shopper actually sees in-store. Eye tracking can reveal what respondent’s thought processes are, so it’s highly important that we understand how this process occurs.

Eye movement is sub consciously controlled; your eyes are moving all the time.

Sub conscious behavior
The vast majority of things that we do, we do subconsciously—nearly 80%. If we just listen to what shopper’s tell us what they are going to do, we would be wrong. We must study what they actually do.

Category roles

The way that we shop the different categories is fundamentally different, from dairy to health and beauty. Mapping category framework is integral to understanding the behaviors of shoppers before, during and after their visit to the particular category. We need to understand what kind of category that we’re working with, is it a complex category (champagne) or a less complex category (milk).

Habit and Decisions

Subconscious behavior exists in everything we do, to differentiate the different types of subconscious processes, Siemon shares with us the differences between active and implicit learning. Implicit learning is a subconscious memory, low attention—making color the most important thing to recognize. As we move for marketing and in-store behavior, connecting color to the brand can be the most important thing we do to ensure brand loyalty.

Remember: Most shoppers buy similar products each week—it’s called habituation.

In summary, connect consumer and shopper using low and high attention understanding. Evaluate habituation and floaters and measure behavior of both groups.


*Updated* Keynote: Bend it Like Hendrix

Videoclip below

Tim Manners, Author, Relevance, Editor, The HUB Magazine

We’re thrilled to welcome Tim Manners this morning as he discusses the relationship between Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix—noting that their similarities as musicians were present, but Hendrix did something a bit different—tweaking—making it a difference experience. We as marketers should look at what’s happening, whats out there, and look to make our brand relevant; but how to make something relevant with a bevy of other brands and retailers out there?

“An epidemic of irrelevance has brought once power brands to their knees.”

Relevance is about a “big fat reminder” about what we think we already know, but we should get a reminder on to stay ahead of the curve.
There are six principles of relevance that Manner’s shares with us this morning
Innovation: Solving problems and helping people live happier lives
“If you are perfectly relevant, there is less need to innovate,” Former Head of Innovation, Audi
Case Study: Starbucks
By completely reinventing a commodity product, they completely rebranded an experience. Starbucks really built their brand using retail as their space, the medium to connect with shoppers and customers to Starbucks.

Insights: Understand people as people and treat them with respect
“(Shut up and listen)”
Case Study: Saturn
Though their prices are reasonable, Saturn can be considered as a luxury brand. Because Saturn treats its customers with respect, they become relevant across different demographics.
Design: A kinder, simpler experience
Case Study: Bottle Rocket, NYC (Wine Shop)
The idea is to make picking wine based on theme (poultry, seafood, gifts, dinner with boss, green wine, third date, spirits, and value). The owner wanted to simplify the wine experience but also make the wine purchaser seem educated and informed.

Experience: Connecting with people in the real world

Case Study: Economy Candy (NYC)
Having a religious focus on one thing can be beneficial, especially with Economy Candy’s store. They keep the aroma simple and intoxicating, the aroma was sugar. Its cluttered and chaotic but that’s what makes it appealing to some shoppers. Think about Woolworths, the thing that people liked about it was because it was cluttered—but ultimately that became the demise of the store.
“Are we overdoing it with shopper navigation? “

Value: Its about making people feel valued
Case Study: The Guitar Store
An associate at the The Guitar Store trusted Tim and his son with a 17,000 guitar just to enjoy and to play while in the store. Ultimately, Tim and his son purchased a different guitar that day, they felt valued.
One of the best opportunities to make customer’s feel valued is at the check out.
“Is there an opportunity to brand the check out experience and use that moment to make the shopper’s feel valued?”

Investment: measure the relevance of the brand experience
Case Study: Stew Leonards
Ultimately, retail as media is all about the experience, that’s what Stew Leonard, Jr. did by investing in a long term investment by creating a truly spectacular seafood buying experience.
“Sometimes its important to put a “crowbar” into it and make it better.”

“Is shopper marketing a contradicition in terms?”

Perhaps this term shopper marketing puts the emphases in the wrong place and moves us on a different trajectory. Retailing is more about making sure the shopper has the best possible shopping experience, not about the marketing. It may have more to do with customer service than marketing.

Two takeaways from Tim:

Relevant brand never forget what made them relevant to begin with.
Case Study: FAO Schwartz
FAO got off trajectory by competing with lower priced Big-Boxed retailers. They forgot that they were a luxury toy store with a legacy and they neglected to give shoppers that different experience. Now acquired by Toys R Us, we wonder what may become of FAO’s original strategy.
Case Study: Avis
“We’re number two but we try harder.” Avis deserves a lot of credit for this great ad slogan, because its part of the company’s personality from execs to the sales level. Their slogan means that the customer is number one and Avis, as a company is number two.

Stay Connected
Case Study: Paul Newman, Newman’s Own
“You can get straight A’s in marketing and still flunk in ordinary life.” Paul Newman

If irrelevance got us into the business, relevance is what will keep us in the picture


Live from Shopper Insights in Action Day 2!

If you missed out on yesterday's coverage Shopper Insight in Action, we've compiled it into one daily newsletter!

Read it here:

Today will be the Day 2 of main conference, so keep your eyes on the action by following along all of our resources:

Shopper Insights in Action 2009


Thursday, July 16, 2009

In-Store Exposed: What will appeal to tomorrow’s shoppers in this new world?

Videoclip below

Candace Adams, SmartRevenue
Chris Borek, Target
Tom McCann, Staples
Ryan Mathews, FedEx

John Dranow, SmartRevenue

What this evening’s discussion will focus on is the future, product proliferation, media fragmentation and unlimited information (and how these elements) have created an environment in which 50% of decisions are made at the point of purchase. There has been a paradigm shift from big brands, big media and traditional research working to the challenging present where differentiation is essential, impulsivity is required and smart media is a winner. We now have skeptical and highly informed consumers.
Now it seems that economic volatility and changing values have created an uncertain future that has an identity defined by non-tangible assets and the conspicuous accumulation and consumption of goods.
First Panel Question:
“What do you think the future is going to be?”
Candace Adams: We are on the edge of radical change with retail. We will begin to see a huge push. Retailers will be required to lead, to follow or to move out of the way. Thinking about a mall, how many more customers can be brought if I am collocated with other retailers? Some retailers try to tap into the fact that customers are time starved, so we’ll see more retailers following suit. So many retailers have been pushed out of the way, Linens&Things, Lord&Taylor and the auto industry, for example. Consumers are becoming very savvy and we’ll being to see a proliferation of in-store messaging.
Chris Borek: At Target we look at a few different things, we are looking to become more transparent and we think about presenting the shopper with what she wants. Specifically from a store and from a retailer perspective, she wants to know what is on sale, what is new and what things matter the most. Don’t be complacent because your brand needs to evolve.
Tom McCann: The retailing world of the near and possibly distant future means that we will see about 35% of shoppers will have money and be ready for luxury but the majority of customers will look for value. We can’t see the credit card crunch ending soon, and it makes shoppers think more about the purchases that they are going to make.
Ryan Mathews: I live in Detroit, we have been in a recession for 30 years now. I think that we will see more people living under one roof and I don’t think that they will necessarily be all family. The idea of family will evolve and change as people cut back and look for ways to stretch their money. We are on the verge of perpetual change at retailing. Things will never be the same—ever and change will accelerate like a “snowball down the mountain.”

Second Panel Question:
“How are you preparing for the future or how would you recommend others prepare for the future?”
Candace Adams: One of the things that should be done is to enhance customer loyalty and moving away from just wanting to turn a product. By doing so, competitors will become more savvy and steal those customers from you. No longer are we students of commerce, we are students of psychology and behavior. It’s important to embrace technology as customer’s become even savvier. It’s also important that you take ownership in your retail space. You should make your shopper’s experience clean and clutter-free. Be true to your brand and don’t go off strategy.
Chris Borek: We are doing things that we haven’t done in the past, but providing price points in advertising. There has been a departure from shiny glossy figures to the affluent, savvy soccer mom who is the CEO of her family. Target is looking to a multi-channel focus to create a guest experience; Target provides information where she wants it when she wants it.
Tom McCann: It’s about brand, how you treat your brand and using technology to connect with your shoppers. Being where your shoppers are when they want to hear from you. Over the future, small business people are very conscious about value and will be continually interested in value and quality and making sure that they understand how much Staples values them and their role as business owners.
Ryan Mathews: Uncertain does not mean unknowable. The future will be science and social science and art. We should create sustainable relationships with customers, a lifetime relationship with a customer. “You have to own your own identity as a retailer,” Candace Adams and Mathews is in agreement. In a retail environment you create your identity around the things that you have available to your customer and that is an art form. Information, in and of itself can be dangerous.
Candace Adams: It will be crucially important moving forward to be instilled in the digital technology around us, to connect with shoppers.
Ryan Mathews: Increasingly, customers will be agnostic about platform they will enter and exit wherever they see fit. Digital media will make it easy for everyone to be a marketer of a particular product. You should use these tools in the digital space but use them naturally.
Chris Borek: It’s about earning her trust, it’s about figuring out how she really feels when she thinks of Target first and then other retailers second.
“What about bad online reviews?”
Tom McCann: When you open up your websites for reviews, you have to accept that sometimes customer comments may be bad or detrimental to products.
Ryan Mathews: You are either open or you’re not.
Chris Borek: You have to be a part of the conversation, you just can’t avoid it.
Final Thoughts:
Candace Adams: You must continually work to evolve yourselves. It should never be static.
Chris Borek: Knowing what you stand for and knowing what you don’t stand for. Figure out what is appropriate to evolve and not deviating from that evolution.
Tom McCann: Your brand and your customers, how you are going to relate to your customers and looking at how to adjust your strategies to those things around you is so important.
Ryan Mathews: Challenging times produce great successes.


Improving Your Payback: Keys to Assuring that Shopper Insights are Used and Activated

Bruce Vierck, VP and Andy Cremer VP, Retail Planning and Design, RTC

Preconceived Ideas Limit Success

As shopper marketers, you get a lot of ideas and solutions thrust upon you from brands to retail but you get handcuffed to figure out what the real solution can be to success. Working with a beverage company, RTC started out at the water aisle, which needs sectioning to properly appeal to the shopper. Shoppers in the water aisle are very educated and savvy consumers, so research had to be done to figure out a solution that should work for the shopper, for the retailer and for the brand. RTC did a “quick and dirty” research of interviews, feedback, etc. RTC gave participants tasks like finding specific brands and then recorded what shoppers did was surprising. Participants sometimes did not notice signage pointing to a product and had difficultly finding their specific product among the bevy of brands.

RTC identified key principles:

Shoppers look for “red or blue” (Coca-Cola or Pepsi)

Shoppers filter and brand logos on signage

Shoppers have difficulty locating new products

Shoppers often look down, rarely do shoppers look up

So what RTC did was created a “color” coded aisle, making Coke framed and working to frame other big name beverages by color. It’s important that we start by framing the problem.

In the dairy aisle, it has not changed its overall organization in the past 50 years. What RTC wanted to get to was, “what is the path to purchase?” “What drives a purchase?”

They asked participants in the study of the dairy aisle to make a journal about their purchases of dairy products and RTC did “shop alongs” with participants to see how they make purchases and what is the most important to them and to their family. What occurred is a transformation of the dairy aisle to make sure that shoppers get information quickly and are able to make purchases based on what’s important to them as shoppers.

There is no bridge from knowledge to vision.

RTC did a study for a cell phone manufacturer within the Big-Box retailer space. Shoppers didn’t understand that they could walk out of the store with the phone after the purchase and shoppers were unclear on the process involved to purchase the cell phone. Because the Big-Box retailer had such low prices, many shoppers did not believe that the phone was “real” because the purchase was so low. It was an interesting learning experience for RTC. They were able to put out display cases for the products to show the shoppers that the items were real. Utilizing display cases, despite the price will instantly ensure a product’s credibility to the shopper.

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS, REAL SOLUTIONS, with Candace Adams (formerly of Wal-Mart)

Playing to a standing room only crowd at this afternoon's Shopper Insights conference, Candace Adams, CPG manufacturers Kimberly Clark, Sara Lee and Unilever, and representatives from Red Dot Square exhorted the value of using virtual technology to improve store layouts.

All agreed that collaboration, not only between retailers and manufacturers but between manufacturers and other manufacturers is necessary to enrich the offering and opportunity for insights that will benefit all concerned. Virtual technology particularly improves departmental merchandising, enhances the customer experience, identifies the strongest category adjacencies, helps optimize SKU assortment, and improves use of signage both inside and outside the store.

All agreed that the top benefit of virtual research is the ability to collect data points and customer reaction without having to ask any questions of the shoppers; all their responses are measured through the use of biometrics. Eye movement, brain waves, and pulse rates are evaluated to gain insights on the emotional and cognitive impact that consumers experience from different sections of the store.

Most importantly, the goals of increasing shopability, browsing time, and money spent can be efficiently realized in an manner not possible without employing virtual technology.


While flavor companies have always been driven by technology, it was revealed today at the Shopper Insights conference that inspiration also plays a big role in developing flavors and driving innovation.

Symrise, working with Socratic Techologies, wanted to take a new approach in product development by positioning taste as a point of differentiation. They knew that, to be a success, a new product needed to resonnate with consumers, so they built a community of consumers with expertise in product and flavor development. But they chose to build this community online.

Because it existed online, their community of "foodies" could be international in scope. It consisted of people who were very loyal, dedicated, and passionate about food and flavors. The community consistently delivered a high response rate to questions posed, with high quality responses to large amounts of open-ended questions -- and in an extremely timely manner.

Case studies presented in the session by Laroche and Wydra revealed flavor preferences that this group of foodies had for new coffee beverages and alcoholic drinks targeted to millennial female consumers ('Fruit 'n Java' for the coffee, and strawberry and tropical flavors for the alcoholic beverages). And while folks have traditionally struggled with early stages of innovation, utilizing an online community takes the process away from marketing and puts it in the hands of consumers on a quantitiative as well as a qualitative basis.

Most importantly, it allows you to truly know what the customer wants.


At this afternoon's Shopper Insights breakout session on Reengineering the Store, Newell Rubbermaid shared the results of recent consumer research designed to enhance their position as the leader in the writing products category. While a sound research plan can provide insights and implications, the approach must also be collaborative to gain acceptance of the facts and buy-ins for its recommendations.

When Newell Rubbermaid decided they wanted to elevate their category leadership in writing products, they started with in-store research with shoppers -- both in-aisle observations and intercept interviews with shoppers. After mining the insights and collaborative work sessions with marketing, channel marketing, sales and their retail partners to prioritize their key challenges, they looked at the facdts and created a Shopper Based Action Plan.

This plan was based on the following key insights that came from their initial research:
  • Most shopping trips are planned
  • Good value is the #1 reasons people shop at a particular retailer
  • Their typical shopper is female, college educated, who is shopping alone and buying from an everyday perspective
  • These shoppers believe there are too many products on the shelf.
Through planogram optimization, Newell Rubbermaid was able to work with their retail partner for their mutual benefit to organize to drive value, educate to increase in-aisle purchases, and produce attraction to create impulse trips.

Advanced Analytics to Better Understand Customers

Dick's Sporting Goods won't be running in circles when it tries to sell more athletic footwear. By digging deeper into its shopper data, the chain has figured out how to vary its merchandising approach and get a leg up on the competition: Kohl's and The Sports Authority. Why were consumers shopping there for their Air Jordan's instead of at Dick's?

Research showed that consumers preferred full-service help in the store for football, tennis and soccer footwear, while self-service was the preference for running, walking and cross training gear.
John Schulte of Maritz Research explained that the goal was to improve shopper satisfaction. What to do?

Dick's gained a competitive edge by adding self-service racks in some stores, and providing employee training programs in others.

Store Trips: Technology Enabled Segmentation and Need States Analysis with Hershey and Video Mining

The Hershey Company has figured out that winning in C-Stores depends on being in the right place at the right time to capture incremental purchases. The world-class company conducted a test in six C-Stores in which 350,000 shopping trips were video recorded and analyzed by cutting-edge technology provided by VideoMining Corporation.

To increase candy sales, Hershey had to understand the path to purchase by day-part because the shopper behavior changes with the hours. For example, 7-8 am the "need state" is a daily snack; 12-1 pm, it is a meal enhancer, 3-4 pm, it is for energy, 6-7 pm, it is a snack, and 9-10 pm, it is habit/social.

Technology-enabled segmentation and need states analysis using VideoMining programs help Hershey place its products and vary its approach by: location in store (be on the path to purchase), assortment at each location, promotion partner (if any), message content, and time of day messaging.

Speakers Susan LaPointe of The Hershey Company and Rejeev Sharma and Priya Baboo of VideoMining Corp. stressed the need to keep the shopper at the center in three ways:
One, Understand the decision process of the various shopper segments; two, track segment composition and behavior trends, and three, test the response of each segment to new strategies.

VideoMining's proprietary in-store measurement technology gives an unprecedented visibility into the shopping process at every retail touch point. Sounds like a sweet idea.

*Updated* Keynote: Emotions in the Aisles: Quantifying In-Store Emotional Response with Bio-Sensory Metrics

Video Clip Below

Michael Lee, Found, Chairman and Chief Science Officer, EMSENSE CORPORATION
Elissa Moses, Chief Analytics Officer, EMSENSE CORPORATION

Michael starts off this morning’s discussion presenting the EmSense Enabled headsets that combine both neuroscience and other bio-sensory inputs to create a robust model of human response. The primary focus is measuring brainwaves and it also measures heartbeat, among other bodily responses.

EmSense delivers deep insights is not the impact of on the shopping experience on consumers by capturing such bio-sensory measurements as emotional response and cognitive thought.

The headsets have been used by all types of shoppers across varying retailers.

During the course of the EmSense headset experiment, researchers ask the following questions:
How do shoppers feel thorough the journal?
How do they behave?
Where do they look?
What products they think about?
What emotions do the products garner?

EmSense has created, essentially a new box of tools and metrics to use for market research purposes. By utilizing breakthrough shopper insights and world class partners, they’ve earned unparalled resources and a new research paradigm.

Case Study: The Retailer’s Perspective, Foot Locker
Background and Objectives
1. Explore the Visual Search and Selection Process
Focus on shopper experience, communications and visual merchandising
2. Examine bio-sensory shopper response patterns
Eye tracking
Cognitive response to store stimuli
Emotional response to shore stimuli

Elissa shares with us an example of a shopper going to a London location of Foot Locker wearing the EmSense Enabled device. We were able to see the approach, threshold, browsing, considering, payment and exit of the shopper in the store. We found that the average person gives a “No” to about 116 shoes. The average point of sale fixation is 2.43 seconds.
EmSense discovered that the negative emotion while browsing for an item until an item is selected for evaluation, at the point of decision, emotions overtakes cognition.

Another element to the in-store experience relies on how staff can enhance the customer’s experience. As the staff is highly influential, there are a few keys that lead to purchase of a product. By interacting at the right time with the customer, it can have a direct impact on a shopper’s decision to purchase a particular item.

Case 2: The Manufacturer’s Perspective
Brand X (will be masked for this conference)

Context makes a big difference for shopping. Shoppers remain cognitively engaged through their journey at Big-Box; Emotion is highest during navigation and evaluation. At specialty stores, the shopper journey shifts from high cognitive engagement to positive emotional response as the shopper moves from evaluation to selection.
Specialty shoppers scan over 20% more times than Big-Box shoppers, driven by the larger category. At the Big-Box, Brand X is dominated by Cognition throughout the journey. At the specialty, Brand X is dominated by positive emotion.
Context is “King.”

Case 3: The “Wrong Emotion” in the Aisle or “How to Prevent the Next Tropicana”
EmSense and PRS have combined technology to offer the most comprehensive quantitative approach:
Assess Current Packaging and competition (guide re-design)
Evaluate New Packaging (select/optimize)

Depth of insights provided by overlying eye tracking with congnitive responses
Not since the New Coke in 1985 has there been such a blatant shopper backlash in rejecting a new form and package change for a beloved product. FF to 2009 and Tropicana creates a 20% decline in sales based only on a packaging change.
Showing the dashboard, EmSense notes that the old Tropicana packaging got the highest marks whereas the new packaging had seriously low remarks. They also looked at competitive products; Florida’s Natural was neutral where Minute Maid was positive.

New packaging failure is objectively predictable when:
New packing does not evoke cognitive engagement
Consumers do not note the brand logo and are unlikely to recognize their brand
Shoppers do not easily see the SKU type demarcations
Negative or absence of emotion when viewing the packaging


*Updated* Keynote:A Fresh and Easy Place to Shop

Video Clip Below

Simon Uwins, Chief Marketing Officer, Tesco’s Fresh & Easy

The recent rise in popularity of shopper insight and shopper marketing is a bit “amusing” to Simon Uwin’s and his company. For them, their kind of business, what people think about the brand is wholly dictated by the shopping trip. The shopping trip is absolutely fundamental to their brand.

Tesco has a simple purpose, “To create value for customer to earn their lifetime loyalty.”

Embedded in this purpose are two simple ideas:
1. We have no right to exist unless we create value for customers
2. We must earn their lifetime loyalty

Our (Tesco’s) values
1. No one tries harder for customers
2. Treat people how you like to be treated

Talking to people is the key to research, by moving from desk research/store visits to qualitative exploration of grocery shopping behavior to the drill down on specific aspects: however, if you just talk to people and ask them, what they tell you is not necessarily what they are going to do.

After talking to people, shoppers really like convenience but convenience can sometimes bring highly processed foods. A lot of times, people felt that they had to go to other stores in order to stretch their budget further. By talking with people, Tesco realized that there is a need for a convenient, fresh and healthy place for people to shop—that didn’t break the budget.
By creating a simulated shop Fresh & Easy was able to conduct a brand positing study near Los Angeles that allowed them to showcase their differences from other grocery stores.

The way to spread the word about Fresh & Easy was simply to keep talking to people. By doing so, you should plan to explain what you’re trying to do (and body language is absolutely essential), ask for feedback and always make sure that you do something about the feedback that you receive.

Fresh & Easy follows these strategies to ensure their brand and their organization:
A Fresh & Easy Shop
A Good Neighbor
A Great Place to Work
We Keep Things Simple
We’re Passionate About What We Do

Simon offers this great mantra for retailers, “You will not have happy customers unless you have happy staff.”

Fresh & Easy is now building a broad customer appeal and earning amazing customer advocacy.


Improving Your Payback: Keys to Assuring that Shopper Insights are Used and Activated

Bruce Vierck, VP and Andy Cremer VP, Retail Planning and Design, RTC

Preconceived Ideas Limit Success
As shopper marketers, you get a lot of ideas and solutions thrust upon you from brands to retail but you get handcuffed to figure out what the real solution can be to success. Working with a beverage company, RTC started out at the water aisle, which needs sectioning to properly appeal to the shopper. Shoppers in the water aisle are very educated and savvy consumers, so research had to be done to figure out a solution that should work for the shopper, for the retailer and for the brand. RTC did a “quick and dirty” research of interviews, feedback, etc. RTC gave participants tasks like finding specific brands and then recorded what shoppers did was surprising. Participants sometimes did not notice signage pointing to a product and had difficultly finding their specific product among the bevy of brands.

RTC identified key principles:
Shoppers look for “red or blue” (Coca-Cola or Pepsi)
Shoppers filter and brand logos on signage
Shoppers have difficulty locating new products
Shoppers often look down, rarely do shoppers look up

So what RTC did was created a “color” coded aisle, making Coke framed and working to frame other big name beverages by color. It’s important that we start by framing the problem.
In the dairy aisle, it has not changed its overall organization in the past 50 years. What RTC wanted to get to was, “what is the path to purchase?” “What drives a purchase?”

They asked participants in the study of the dairy aisle to make a journal about their purchases of dairy products and RTC did “shop alongs” with participants to see how they make purchases and what is the most important to them and to their family. What occurred is a transformation of the dairy aisle to make sure that shoppers get information quickly and are able to make purchases based on what’s important to them as shoppers.

There is no bridge from knowledge to vision.
RTC did a study for a cell phone manufacturer within the Big-Box retailer space. Shoppers didn’t understand that they could walk out of the store with the phone after the purchase and shoppers were unclear on the process involved to purchase the cell phone. Because the Big-Box retailer had such low prices, many shoppers did not believe that the phone was “real” because the purchase was so low. It was an interesting learning experience for RTC. They were able to put out display cases for the products to show the shoppers that the items were real. Utilizing display cases, despite the price will instantly ensure a product’s credibility to the shopper.

*Updated* Keynote: Shopper Marketing Strategies in a Challenging Economy

Video clip Below

Diane Wallace, SVP, Shopper Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company

Diane Wallace comes with a bevy of shopper marketing knowledge as she walks us through key strategies of shopper marketing. From making a look of success at the store to recreating the family meal by increasing awareness of the value that Coke can bring to the family meal, Diane offered great insights in what we can do in this current environment to make sure that we create as much efficiency and productivity with the shopper.

Below are a few highlights from Diane’s presentation:

What does shopper marketing mean for the Coca-Cola Company?

The Coca-Cola Company believes that they have been doing shopper marketing for over 100 years, in that they connect with their customers on personal level. Knowing your shopper and creating an irresistible experience is key to successful shopper marketing .

Shopper marketing strategies in a challenging economy:

“How can we sell our products and connect with shoppers, when those shoppers are under a lot of pressure?” Execs at The Coca-Cola Company.
Are the changes that we’re seeing with shoppers temporary or will they last? We know that trips are changing from grocery to dollar stores, people are looking for private label—we believe that these pressures are real and they will not change instantly when the economy picks up.
What are we hearing from our customers?

Retailers are asking Coca-Cola to look at these points to create relevance and return to the bottom line:
• Maximize shopper relevance
• Create easy-to-shop environments
• Provide shopper solutions
• Create efficiencies

The Coca-Cola Company, being a global giant, has seen economic roller coasters with other markets. Its an advantage for Coca-Cola as they are able to study from these countries and apply working strategies to the US market.

Coca-Cola’s Shopper Marketing Strategies

It is critical that we go back to basics of foundational and time tested strategies during this economic environment.

Creating irresistible shopper experiences through our (Coca-Cola’s)Leading Beverage Portfolio: Create & Grow leadership brands in each beverage segment. Enhance consumer relevance and trade sales and profit via product and package innovation…to drive profitable growth and value for our customers.
Distinctive Shopper Solutions
Enhance portfolio relevance & performance via distinctive shopper services. Drive excellence in commercial execution to maximized joint value creation.

Leadership Brands & Shopper Solutions
Diane briefly covered different solutions that Coca-Cola utilizes when they work with retailers and shopper marketing.
1. Occasion Based Approach
Focusing on relevant occasions to drive shopper & consumer connections by segmenting consumer drinking occasion—the two largest for Coca-Cola are “Chilling Out/Watching TV’ and “Family Home Meals”
2. Segmented merchandising
Each store serves a different mix of shoppers, occasions & needs. It’s the store’s “shopper DNA”. We know that we have to figure out a way to get the right brands, the right occasion messaging and the right price within the store.
Instead of creating one solution for millions of shoppers, develop smaller shopper segments and tailor solutions to these segments.
3. Shopper bundles
Bundle for shoppers to create convenience, minimize shopping time and increase value.
4. Packaging solutions
Matching packages, occasions and shopper/retail value.
All elements come together to create a look of success.

Case Study: Family Home Meals
Family home meals are one of the largest beverage drinking occasions in the USA. Family home meals include the quality of life for family members, coke and meals make for a catalyst of social interaction and nothing beats the taste of Coke with meals.
Coke has driving incidence and frequency of Coke brands with Mom.
Coke is now working to create television ads that embrace the experience of the family meal, the home meal by making Coke an integral part of the family meal—showing it to be a member of the family.

Three key takeaways:
“Looking at the shopper’s DNA as one of the first steps in this process is critically important”
“There is so much science before figuring out the DNA, but we want to make sure that is transparent to the shopper and make sure that its done is a simple way”
“Shoppers do not shop at random, they shop within occasions”


Track 1: What Shoppers Really Want

Phil McGee, Director, Shopper Insights & Category Management, Campbell Soup Company

Meal preparers are not prepared for the new role of having a spouse, a baby or living alone. Successes in the roles of a meal preparer are largely dependent on the success of people in the roles of family, caregiver or individuals on their own. Putting the meal on the table has a bevy of rewards, from it tasting good to being under budget. Meal preparers want to have the people that they are serving to be happy with their role. What the meal preparer do is transmits her nurturing and sharing her love with the people that she is serving. It’s important that we understand this, to work with the meal preparer to ensure that they feel confident in their role as the primary food giver. At the highest level, there is a reward of self actualization; it becomes core to the meal preparer’s identity to be the meal preparer.

Understanding the role of the meal preparer:
Every meal preparer has about 20 different questions that they are asking themselves whenever the people they are caring for ask, “What’s for dinner?” It’s incredibly stressful for the meal preparer, and they will answer this question or related questions about 10,000 times. At some point, it happens that the meal preparer gets overwhelmed and that’s where we as retailers and product developers can step in and help the meal preparer by making their life a little easier.

One strategy that meal preparers do is depend on easy meals (easy to prepare, takes no planning, having all of the items on hand and low in cost). The biggest trend we are seeing is a big demand for simple, easy to prepare meals.
Another strategy is that meal preparer’s seek help, in the areas of planning, preparing and executing the meal. Going to a restaurant is sort of “cheating” for the meal preparer. The most fulfillment that a meal preparer can have is if they create something themselves and its well received. Having help from others, via recipes and quick heat and eat meals, do not offer the same amounts of pleasure for the meal preparer.

As retailers, there is a white space in the areas of enabling meal preparers to execute a healthy and tasteful meal that is well received. It’s the “Home Depot” effect, i.e., “You Can Do It. We Can Help.” What grocers can do is find a way to help the meal preparers do it themselves—or making the grocery store their partner. Merchandisers can help meal preparers by showcasing entire meals not just the ingredients, doing so can be tremendous help to the meal preparers.

This can not only benefit meal preparers, but it can benefit the retailers. In-store recipes that are used by meal preparers—and those meal preparers promote retailer loyalty. A good recipe from the store means that the store provides something that the meal preparer needs and that loyalty to brand, to store and to product is ideal.
The center of the store is a retailer’s most valuable—but least productive—asset. The center store refers to packaged goods.

What they’ve done, Campbell’s, is help to solve the meal preparer’s dilemma of creating a meal by creating an in-store, center store located prototype that provides all of the information that meal preparers need.

Retailing in a Recession - The Opportunities for Outsourcing

Retailers want to cut costs and achieve business flexibility from outsourcing.

The recession has hit consumers and retailers alike. A large number of retailers in North America and Western Europe are suffering as a result of low consumer confidence. Heavy discounting is a way of maintaining footfall, but falling retail prices have a negative effect on the economy, causing further financial uncertainty. The increasing economic pressures affecting the retail industry means that companies will increasingly look to outsource technology and business processes to cut costs and focus on core skills. This report provides a detailed analysis of service providers capabilities of selling to the retail sector in the current recession.

This report:
• Contains analysis of the difficulties and opportunities retailers face in the current economic downturn.
• Looks at the opportunities available to IT and BPO service providers in North America and Western Europe.
• Provides analysis on leading players in the market and discusses future predictions.
• Offers recommendations to vendors about how best to target the retail sector based on recessionary requirements.

Key findings from this report:
Cutting down on staff and inventory, the two biggest costs for a retailer, will be the principal areas of focus. Retailers are also cutting costs in other areas: one of the biggest current hurdles to outsourcing is the industry-wide reduction of capex in retail.

Choosing the right service provider is very important. Retailers will expect outsourcers to not only know the demands of the retail industry, but also the challenges of their particular retail sector. As such, a service provider must take strides to understand the pulse of the business in order to work in partnership with the retailer.

Holding almost a quarter of the market between them, Datamonitor believes the top 2 services providers to the retail, wholesale and distribution sectors are IBM Global Services, and HP Services. Datamonitor estimates that in 2008, IBM held around 14% of the services to retail market, and we expect similar results for 2009.

The Art of the Possible: Strategies for Achieving the Phenomenal

David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama’s Presidential Campaign 2008

David discusses how using grass roots organizations and online campaigns can make the impossible happen. Changing over time, they created websites and utilized social networks to raise money – and they did, in the billions. Also, the Obama campaign used grass roots to organize—they changed the elective. Using online and grassroots instilled in younger votes, also having a candidate who appealed to the younger population helped, too. Utilizing community involvement was critical but this involvement came from friends/family of individuals to spread like wildfire for the Obama campaign.

Volunteers organized themselves using,, allowing the movement to expand in ways that campaign couldn’t imagine. These volunteers, who were organizing themselves, contacted the campaign headquarters as they demanded information, data, etc to enhance their efforts.

In turn, campaign headquarters was able to feed videos and information directly to the volunteers and to the people interested and supportive of the campaign. By using videos online, they were able to create their own television station.
“When you talk about politics, people tune you out.” But during their campaign, 50% of their supporters/volunteers had never been involved in politics before, which proved to be an advantage to the campaign as people started listening to those who were passionate about Obama—not about politics.

What the campaign used primarily was very “old school” visual tactics. The campaign did not utilize Twitter as it was not yet popular, nor did they use texting. The technology was not yet there to connect with individuals on that platform. The issue came to make a home for all of the information that volunteers and supporters would need.
However, they announced Joe Biden’s appointment as VP pick via text.

People should get information direct to them; it makes it valid and more authentic. In our businesses, we should work to connect with shoppers and with our employees on a direct and authentic manner to build up a solid relationship and achieve growth.
98% percent of organizations out there do too little communication to employees and clients about changes to the company and it’s important, again, to achieve authenticity and ensure a solid foundation for future growth.

You don’t want people spending time during their day, worrying about direction and strategy. You have to be clear and communicative about strategy, doing so allows members of the organization to feel secure in their position so that they can do their job effectively. Communication is key, on all levels, for a company’s growth.

If you are trying to empower people, they have to understand how important they are to the achievement of the company/brand. Because the Obama campaign relied so heavily on volunteers, it was integral that they encourage and empower people on a personal level.
Anytime that the campaign did not follow a “traditional playbook on how to win the Presidency” in the USA, they succeeded. Go against the grain, the status quo and be confident in making these changes—doing so can mean success. This does not mean that it’s important to be needlessly risky but every time that the campaign became stagnate, failure followed. It’s important to have a daily briefing on trajectory to ensure that the strategy stays the same.

A Look At Shopper Insights in Action 2009

Take a moment to look at some photos from the conference:


In May 2007, Staples undertook a large, in-store, SKU rationalization test for one of its key product categories: 3 ring binders. Over the course of the next twelve months, they spent $100,000 testing planogram varriations to see which one would produce the most binder sales.

To validate the results of the test, in January 2008 they launched a validation study of virtual planogram technology using the in-store binder test as the control.

The result? The virtual planogram test completely mirrored the results of the in-store test, but it only took a few months and $20,000 to complete -- a fraction of the in-store test's time and cost.

In both tests, the planogram that had the least number of SKUs but the greatest number of facings performed the best for Staples. But in addition to being more cost effective, the virtual planogram test also yielded a lot of data on customers' browsing and buying habits that is still be evaluated by the company.

During this Wednesday afternoon breakout session, McCann was quick to point out that virtual planograms will not work for all products, since the virtual environment doesn't have the imersive quality of lighting, sounds, smells and personal interaction that you get in an actual in-store experience, but for the right products it can make a lot of sense.


When a corporation defines itself as an entity that "Delivers Happiness," you know you're going to experience something outside the norm. During the Wednesday afternoon breakout session, Zappos CFO/COO Alfred Lin explained, "Zappos is a service company that happens to sell clothing, shoes, handbags, eyewear, watches, and eventually a bunch of other stuff."

Lin went on to expalin that a committment to customer service, creating a personal connection and "wowing" the customer is what has built the Zappos brand. And he believes that this is something every company is capable of doing. He explained, "People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember exactly how you made them feel...It doesn't matter what your [company's] core values are, as long as you commit to them."

To follow the Zappos success model, companies must adhere to the following steps:
1) DECIDE if you're trying to build a long term sustainable brand
2) FIGURE OUT VALUES AND CULTURE sooner rather than later
3) COMMIT TO TRANSPARENCY within your company
5) BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, not networking. Be interested rather than trying to be interesting
6) BUILD YOUR TEAM; hire slowly and fire quickly
7) THINK LONG TERM; the key to this is repeat customers. Remember the importance of outstanding customer service, and the fact that there is no "get rich quick" formula.

Vision Critical Announces Groundbreaking Full Service Community Panel Offering at the 2009 Shopper Insights in Action

This announcement was released Wednesday. As part of this announcement, we met with Matt Kleinschmit, Senior Vice President of Vision Critical, at the Shopper Insights in Action Conference in Chicago to discuss the details of this announcement.

Eclipse combines industry leading proprietary panel technology with custom sector-focused research consulting to deliver unprecedented research ROI and longitudinal consumer insight

July 15, 2009 – Chicago, IL – Vision Critical, strategic research company specializing in custom panels, private communities and online research, officially announced the release of its new groundbreaking online research product: Eclipse.

Designed specifically for the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, Eclipse provides companies with the latest techniques for gaining deeper consumer insights while maximizing cost, timing and research design efficiencies. Built upon Vision Critical’s industry leading community panel technology (SparqTM), Eclipse extends proprietary panels into greater levels of research sophistication by offering the ability to deploy immersive virtual shopping and advanced analytics typically only offered in custom research engagements.

“With consumer shopping habits and purchase behaviors being ‘reset’ by the current economic climate, our clients are increasingly asking for innovative technology and smart research solutions that are nimble enough to keep pace with the shifting marketplace,” says Matt Kleinschmit, Senior Vice President of Vision Critical’s Chicago office. “Eclipse’s unique blend of cutting edge proprietary panel technology and full service strategic research consulting has really struck a chord with our clients, allowing them to develop an efficient longitudinal research program that provides ongoing incremental learning and ultimately, a more complete understanding of consumers and their relationships with brands, retailers and products.”

The unveiling of Eclipse is taking place at the Shopper Insights in Action conference in Chicago from July 14-17, 2009, where attendees will get a first glimpse of the new groundbreaking online research product, and have the opportunity to speak with industry experts on hand. To find out more about Eclipse, please visit

About Vision Critical

Vision Critical is a strategic research company specializing in custom online panels, private communities, and innovative online research methods. We deliver both the technology and full service research to help global brands build stronger connections with their customers using interactive surveys, discussion forums and 3D environments.


Matt Kleinschmit

Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Chicago

Vision Critical