Monday, August 31, 2009

Coca Cola's push to connect with customers

A CPG Matters, Coca Cola shares how they're keeping connecting with the customers and staying in the front of their minds through this economic recession.

Four key solutions they're focusing on are:
-Occasion based approach
-Shopper segment and merchandising
-Bundled solutions
-Packaging solutions

How are you keeping with your customers through this economic time? Are you providing a great alternative to what they currently could have been shopping for in previous times? Read the full article here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Registered for another October event but wish to attend Fusion? We’ll pay your cancellation fee.

That’s right, we’re so confident that you’ll find all you need at Shopper Marketing Fusion 2009, that we’ll pay your cancellation fee if you’ve signed up for another October 2009 event.

Check out our event website:

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone’s making split second decisions. We recognize the challenge in breaking through the clutter and “popping out at desk” and that many events often look quite similar on the surface. Fact is, ours is quite superior and we’d like to highlight the premium benefits for you right now.

What makes Shopper Marketing Fusion different from any other conference or trade show?

Large Shows...what you can expect
The needle in the haystack. Having to navigate through hundreds of attendees, most of whom AREN’T RELEVANT TO YOU
Large WAREHOUSE LIKE SPACES that are conducive to rows of booths, but not to connecting on next generation learning
TRANSIENT ATTENDEES that come and go, depleting connectivity and in-depth conversations
TACTICAL-FOCUSED professionals
The star of the show is the BOOTHS, not the content
RECYCLED presentations, overused speakers
Pay per session that can lead to you MISSING crucial breakthrough IDEAS
VENDOR-LED presentations that come across as SALES PITCHES.

The difference with a PREMIUM event…Shopper Marketing Fusion
SENIOR-LEVEL ATTENDEES who want to discuss STRATEGY and co-create real solutions
The star is the CONTENT that elicits the RIGHT CONVERSATIONS.
Not about fixtures, pop-ups or lighting, but instead on strategy, ACTIONABILITY and insights
Continuity in your experience, develop long lasting relationships with THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS
An isolated, retreat-like venue that lends itself to OPTIMAL LEARNING with minimal distractions.
COMFORTABLE MEETING ROOMS to set the mood for strategic conversations.
Walmart Smart Network session at NO EXTRA CHARGE sharing new, never-heard before information
Answers to your MOST PRESSING ISSUES within category management and in-store marketing.
NO COMMERCIALISM from the podium, just real case studies, by client-side leaders
ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS with speakers.
NEW TOOLS to assist you in executing on your ideas including a post-conference report, user-generated report, return on attendance toolkit and more.

Join our LinkedIn group for 15% off the standard rate.

To learn more about the content that drives the right conversations, visit


Shopper Marketing Fusion
CMSI LinkedIn Group

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Only the Strong Will Survive

Retailwire discusses in this post how recent research from Grant Thornton predicts that the number of store closings will nearly double from last year, reaching nearly 10,000 closings across the country. Last year, the closings focused primarily on home furnishings, electronics stores, and clothing stores. According to the research these same types of stores will be joined by book stores, food/beverage locations, and large department stores.

Scott Davis, principal at Grant Thornton's Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Services, mentioned:

"Although there's high risk in the retail industry, now is the time for companies to fine-tune their business and take advantage of new opportunities.The winners will be the disciplined companies investing the time, effort and resources to reexamine their strategies and position themselves for growth."

In other words only the strong will survie.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whole Foods and its current brand perception

On August 12, the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about his personal stance on health care. He doesn't believe in government run health care, you can see more of his views here. However, the general consumer at Whole Foods does not take this stance, which has lead for many consumers to start an online boycott of the store.

Mashable recently examined Whole Foods reputation online after these comments were made. Using YouGov, they saw that on a scale of 100 to -100, 0 being a neutral point, Whole Foods score started at 22.8 on August 12 before the op-ed column and fell to 13.6 on August 20. Mashable credits this to the Boycott Whole Foods Facebook group, which has grown to over 28,885 members.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oklahoma Lawmakers Provide Incentives for Grocers to Bring Healthy Options to Shelves

Barbara Hoberock of World Capitol Bureau writes that two Oklahoma lawmakers to will begin an interim legislative study that aims to provide information about incentives to attract grocers selling healthy, affordable, locally grown produce.

Rep. Seneca Scott, D-Tulsa said that providing incentives to healthy grocers helps the economy, lowers health care costs and means Oklahomans won’t have to choose between convenience and health.

What incentives or ideas could you share with Oklahoma lawmakers or grocers?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Retailers Cranking Up AC to Bring in Shoppers in the Dog Days of Summer

There are many retailers that prop open their doors to lure in potential consumers with air-conditioning, but NY is the first city to ban large retailers from doing this. According to this post on retailwire, most of society are viewing this as a shameful sign of energy waste.

A survey conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council points out that keeping the door open with the AC on raises energy costs by as much as 25 percent but can lower temperatures outside the store by as much as 20 degrees. With environmental issues becoming a huge concern for consumers now, it's no wonder why many shoppers are angry. The lesson learned for retailers is keep your doors shut when the AC is on to not only save on energy costs, but to keep consumers happy as well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shoppers not making it to the checkout

In a recent article at the Associated Press, they discuss how the number of items left behind before the check out has risen. As many customers are thinking twice before checking out, up to 25% of them leave items either before or at the checkout. The numbers of abandoned carts online have risen too, from 47-53% over the past seven years up to 59%. Not only does this result in less revenue earned, but also gives more work to the already low staff levels at stores. Read the full article here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jamba Juice to Develop Grocery Store Line of Smoothies reports that Jamba Juice will be selling the blend-and-serve kits in retail environments, namely grocery stores.

“The make-at-home smoothie is an emerging category and represents perhaps the most literal extension of the Jamba brand to date,” said Susan Shields, vice president for consumer products and licensing at Jamba Juice Company. “We want to serve the healthy habits of our consumers wherever they live and shop.”

Will Jamba's reach spread to groceries around the country? One question is if Jamba Juice is recogizable across the country. How can in-store marketing introduce customer's to the brand?

We'd like to hear how effective you think this may be.

Jamba Juice to Develop Line of Smoothie Kits

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Online Ads for CPG Compared to Television Ads

This post on retailwire highlights how recent research conducted by comScore has found that online ads have driven sales for CPG (consumer packaged goods) at or above the levels of when associated with television commercials.

Over the 12-week period of the research, sales from online ads for CPGs grew to percent which is higher from previous research done by Information Resources which came to 8 percent. Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of comScore mentioned,

"These early results confirm the ability of online advertising to successfully build retail sales of CPG brands on par with the impact of television advertising. It is likely that the more precise targeting ability of the Internet - especially in terms of accurately reaching the desired demographic segment -- is a key reason for its effectiveness."

Will we see a huge shift in companies moving most of their television ads for CPGs to online ads?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shopper Marketing Fusion Speaker: Jesse Spugin, VP, Shopper Marketing ConAgra Foods

Jesse Spungin,
VP, Shopper Marketing
ConAgra Foods had a fascinating discussion with Shopper Marketing Fusion speaker, Jesse Spungin in February of this year. Here are a few excerpts that we thought were particularly timely.

PROMO: So ConAgra has embraced shopper marketing.

SPUNGIN: We used to call it customer marketing, but we changed the name a year ago to shopper marketing to be more in line with the industry standard. The one thing manufacturers and retailers can all agree on is the shopper. It's the common ground we can start with and put all the other issues aside, like fighting over trade dollars and slotting efficiency.

P: Is your customer shopping any differently in this economy?

s: In many ways. When gas prices were up, for example, the number of trips to retailers went down and so did the total basket ring. This crossed all income levels because people with higher incomes love great deals and people at lower levels need great deals. ConAgra has a diverse portfolio that has value, and that provides a big opportunity for us and for retailers.

P: Have you launched any value-driven products?

s: We launched Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, a lunch product, last September. It's a great at-work option for $3.

P: What role did shopper marketing play in this?

s: It was part of the integrated plan. We understand who the shoppers are, and we developed customized programs for the launch at SuperValu [grocery retailer]. These included point-of-purchase communications, in-store shippers and other tactics that were different from what we did at Walmart. The Walmart shopper is different, so the messaging has to be different. The programs paid off with profitable results.

P: Is shopper marketing more important in a recession?

s: : In these times, there's a danger in pulling back on marketing. Now more than ever, you need your message to break through.

We look forward to hearing from Jesse at this year's conference!

Shopper Marketing Fusion 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Private-Label Sales Up 7.4% reports that private-label sales are up 7.4% with a strong emphasis on food products. The Nielsen Co. Its study, "U.S. Store Brand Development," found that both private-label dollar and unit sales significantly increased for the 52-week period ending July 11, 2009 versus the prior year.

"When categories are sorted by store brand share, from high to low, some patterns emerge," said Todd Hale, senior vice president of Consumer & Shopper Insights at Nielsen, New York. "Store brand performance and share is strongest in commodity categories. Milk, fresh eggs, sugar and substitutes and canned vegetables top the list. Where store brand share is the lowest is among categories where we see strong marketing support for top brands including candy, gum, beer and those where a high-level of innovation occurs like detergents, deodorant and cosmetics."

Join us this October in Chicago for The Private Label Impact Conference.

Private-Label Sales Up 7.4%

Friday, August 14, 2009

Paying Full Retail Instead of Seeking Discounts

This post on retailwire highlights how many luxury fashion designers are to get consumers over the notion that spending a premium for a product is a bad thing. In order to help consumers get out of this mindframe over 700 stores will stay open in NY during Fashion Week until 11:00pm. The designers who will be showcasing and participating in the stores have all agreed to not cut prices like the rest of discount outlets and retailers.

The post though highlights that consumers since 2007 have viewed luxury in a different light. According to a 2007 Conference Board study most agreed that, "Luxury is less about the material things one has or one owns and more about how one experiences life, a sense of happiness and satisfaction."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heinz CEO Sees Private-Label Growth Slowing

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chairman and Chief Executive William Johnson of Heinz said that the growth in private-labels will soon diminish as customer's turn back to brand name products. Consumer goods companies like Heinz, Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) and Proctor & Gamble Co. (PG) have lost market share in some categories to retailer's lower-priced private-label brands products, which are posting record-high sales at some chains.

But private-label growth appears to be waning, and branded food companies hope to begin to regain some of the share they lost as the economy improves.

"Consumers still prefer leading brands like ours in most businesses," Johnson told shareholders Wednesday at the company's annual meeting.

Do you side with Johnson? Are we going to see a drop in private label sales as the economy picks up? We'd like to hear your thoughts via Twitter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shopper Marketing Fusion Speaker: Robert Spector

Robert Spector
Author, The Mom and Pop Store and The Nordstrom Way

Robert Spector is a bestselling business author and international speaker.

Robert gives keynote presentations and conducts customized customer-service workshops for a vast cross-section of companies and organizations throughout the world.

He is best known for writing the national bestseller, THE NORDSTROM WAY: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company, the first and only up-close and personal look at how this company became the national standard of customer service. Robert is the only journalist ever given total access to the inner workings of the Nordstrom culture.

He is the author of corporate histories of an eclectic array of companies, including Chevron, Eddie Bauer, Kimberly-Clark, and the Space Needle.

Robert has written on business for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, UPI International, NASDAQ Magazine, Customer Service Management and Corporate University Review; fashion for Women's Wear Daily and Details, and civil liberties for Parade; and has been a ghostwriter for Dr. Joyce Brothers. His humor writing has been published in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and National Lampoon, and performed by Don Imus and Stiller & Meara.

Robert's biography courtesy of

Be sure to join us at this year's Shopper Marketing Fusion this October in Bonita Springs, FL.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shopping Malls and Social Networks?

Retailwire recently posted that The Mall at Robinson in Pittsburgh became the latest mall to launch a social networking site, Shoptopia.

What's interesting about this network, is like others, users will have to signup and create profiles and personalize shopping preferences. The site is able to give exclusive deals and perks to consumers depending on the preferences users selected in their profiles. Shema Krinsky, marketing director at The Mall at Robinson mentioned:

"Shoptopia helps us build relationships with customers and provides them with information about the retailers and promotions that are specifically relevant to them. This allows us to translate the online shopping experience into a trip to the mall for people who love the experience of shopping in a store."

Will we see other shopping malls across the US launch similar social networks?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shopper Marketing and the CEO

Steven Skinner recently wrote a great post about why CEOs should turn to shopper marketing and make it a higher priority.

According to the article:
Miller Zell research indicates that while 65% of customers are now making lists prior to entering the retail store, 60% of those same shoppers will make brand decisions inside of the store.

Read the full article which looks at such questions as: Where does shopper marketing begin? Where does it in turn end and category management begin? What about brand management?

Read the full article here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

CMSI LinkedIn Newsletter: Meet the Leaders in Shopper Marketing & Category Management at Fusion 2009

This is an excerpt from our LinkedIn newsletter that we distribute regularly to our Category Management and Shopper Insights Executive Group members. If you aren't already a member, we encourage you to join over 1,200 other professionals in retail, category management, branding and private label executive positions.


Hello! We’re thrilled you’re a member of the Category Management and Shopper Insights Executive group. We hope you’re finding value from the ability to connect with over 1200 people in your industry.

As a member, we’d like to extend a special discount for you to attend Shopper Marketing Fusion 2009 this October 14-16 in Bonita Springs, FL.

Please join the group for the exclusive discount.

This senior-level event will focus on synergizing category management and in-store marketing to build a seamless shopping experience for shoppers from start to finish. It’s a unique participatory format where speakers drive rich, purposeful conversations so that collectively, challenges are solved and industry standards are created. You’ll be propelled to improve external and internal collaboration and inspired to build a business model that will equip your brand and organization to long-term success.

Event website:
Brochure download:

Highlighted Speakers:

• JB Steenkamp, Professor of Marketing, UNC, Author of The Private Label Strategy
• James Beck, General Manager, Walmart Smart Network, Walmart Stores
• Mark Bennett, Group Manager, Media Production, Target
• Jeff Swearingen, Group Vice President, Customer Sales & Marketing, Frito Lay
• Michael McMahon, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing, ConAgra Foods
• Alison Chaltas, Principal, Interscope
• John Dranow, President & CEO, SmartRevenue

New speakers added:

Featured Category Management and Shopper Insights Executive Group Discussions:
Store specific shelf plans, and the challenges they face when they hit the store. New data.
70% of purchase decisions are made in-store...

Shopper Marketing News On Shopper360:

Category Management program set up for tomato sellers
According to The Packer, Farmer’s Best International LLC has decided to create a tomato category management campaign in order to better educate those both buying and selling different types of tomatoes…

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shopper Marketing Fusion Keynote Speaker: JB Steenkamp

JB Steenkamp, Author, The Private Label Strategy: How to Meet the Store Brand Challenge

Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp researches global marketing; the effectiveness of marketing strategies such as branding, private labels and new products; interorganizational relationships; and marketing research techniques. He teaches in these areas and in innovation and strategy.

Dr. Steenkamp is the author of Private Label Strategy: How to Meet the Store Brand Challenge with Nirmalya Kumar of London Business School (Harvard Business School Press, 2007). An award-winning researcher, he has written or edited five books, and over 100 scholarly publications.

He also is executive director of AiMark, a global center studying key marketing strategy issues, which brings together academics around the world, two of the top-four market research agencies, and brand manufacturers. He has consulted with numerous companies, including Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Zurich Financial Services, KPMG, Sara Lee and Johnson & Johnson.

Dr. Steenkamp serves on the editorial boards of all top marketing journals and is past editor of the International Journal of Research in Marketing. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences awarded him the Muller lifetime prize for “exceptional achievements in the area of the behavioral and social sciences.” It was the first time the prize was awarded to a researcher in any area of business administration.

Before joining UNC Kenan-Flagler, he taught at universities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, South Africa and the United States.

He received his PhD, master’s and bachelor’s degrees, all summa cum laude, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

About the Shopper Marketing Fusion Conference

The Category Management Conference was transformed into this Shopper Marketing Fusion Event because brand and retail community wanted an event to feature the big picture of what next generation category management is able to achieve – and that’s only possible through the collaboration and convergence of other integrated marketers.

FUSION is based on the vision to overhaul an organizational mind-set to embrace shopper-centricity, beginning with the synergy of all marketing functions using shopper insights to innovate product offerings, product adjacencies, in-store environments, formats and more in order to increase basket size, improve brand differentiation and raise loyalty.

It is the first event to truly echo the progress the best-in-class brands and retailers are making.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Category Management program set up for tomato sellers

According to The Packer, Farmer’s Best International LLC has decided to create a tomato category management campaign in order to better educate those both buying and selling different types of tomatoes. Farmer's Best is hoping to have this educational program in place no later than this fall in order to educate those for the Mexican tomato season. Read more about the upcoming category management project here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Private Label Impact 2009 Chairman: Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham has more than 15 years of creative brand building experience with an emphasis on marketing strategies, innovation, award winning design, product development, package design, POP, retail campaigns and cross media promotions. As the founder of the first ever-private brand group on Linked In – MY private brand, his blog is the musings of a retail-branding veteran.

Christopher's experience includes: Brand Development, Product Launch & Marketing, Creative Direction, Revenue & Profit Growth, Creative and Strategic Planning, Corporate Branding & Identity, P&L/Budget Management, Direct Mail, Ideation/Concept Development, Web Strategies, Art Direction, Team Building, Customer Relationship Marketing, Agency Management.

Christopher's Biography Courtesy of

The Private Label Impact Conference

October 27-29, Chicago Marriott

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kroger Experiments with New Displays to Simplify Shopping for Beverages and Snacks

According to this post on CPG Matters Kroger, the Cincinnati-based retailer, has come up with a concept to design a 4-aisle section where signage and color will help direct shoppers to select their drinks quickly and easily. The same concept will also be applied in their snack aisles in some stores.

Companies like Ocean Spray, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Coca-Cola, Lipton, Tropicana, and Gatorade are already major participants in this new concept, with other companies edging to join as well. According to Ocean Spray there sales were up by 10% in Kroger stores and they believe this is hugely accredited to Kroger's consistent focus on working on innovative shopping concepts, ideas, and theories to make shopping easier for consumers. It will be interesting to see if other retailers will roll-out similar concepts since it is working so well for Kroger.