Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Retailers Have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season

This post in retailwire highlights that retailers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Economist feared a total economic collapse, and so far we have not yet seen that. They have been though entering this year's holiday season with a little more caution than they have in the previous years. What are some positives coming into the retail industry this year?

Monday, November 23, 2009

British Retailer, Marks & Spencer Hold Live Web Chat with Customers

Last Friday, British retailer, Marks & Spencer held a live web chat with their customers. According to Marketing, a number of people have complained the Advertising Standards Authority claiming that M&S' star-studded TV campaign is sexist, because of ‘Life on Mars' actor Philip Glenister's comment about model Noemie Lenoir "prancing about in her underwear."

This is the second live web-chat M&S has hosted on Facebook. In June customers put questions to M&S' head of sustainable business, Mike Barry, about the retailer's Plan A - M&S' 100-point eco-plan.

McIntosh said: ‘Facebook is a fantastic platform for communicating with our customers. It's direct, responsive and popular with almost 100,000 fans of the M&S facebook site.

‘We want to hear what customers think of our marketing; what we've done well, what we've done less well and what they want more of,' McIntosh said.

What do you think? Do you believe that this life Facebook will help the retailer?

Marks & Spencer marketer to hold live web-chat with customers via Facebook

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reminder: CALL FOR PRESENTERS: Shopper Insights in Action 2010

Call: 1-646-895-7332 or email

The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking corporate practitioner presenters for:

10th annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference

Shopper Insights in Action

Fore more information, please click here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Web Seminar - Do Consumers Prefer Private Label? A Look Into Consumer Attitudes About Private Label

Date/Time: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

Do consumers know the difference between national brands and store brands? Do they care? How do they describe private label compared to national brands? Does this differ across categories? How about across markets?

Private label and store brands are having an impact on many consumer purchases today, both in the US and Europe. And within these markets the definition of private label compared to national brands varies according to category and retailer.

When is a brand important? What makes a national brand different? Do consumers feel the same way about brands today as they did a year ago? Why or why not?

Showcasing BuzzBack’s unique portfolio of award-winning online research techniques, this webinar will highlight new consumer research conducted in the US and UK about purchasing behavior and attitudes associated with private label versus national consumer brands. The study will present ways to identify consumer behavior and attitudes about shopping via an online survey.

As you listen in, you will learn:
• What drives consumer purchases of private label brands and why
• Consumer perceptions and attitudes about private label compared to national brands
• Types of people who purchase private label compared to national brands

Featured Speaker
Brendan Light, SVP, Research and Development, BuzzBack Market Research

Mention priority code MWS0020BLOG

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

7-Eleven Adds Wine to its Private Label Offerings

Convenience store powerhouse, 7-Eleven has now introduced its own wine to stores in the US and Japan. At just under $4, the wines will be sold under the Yosemite Road label and will be available in the U.S. and Japan. The wines are being made by The Wine Group in California, which is the world's third-largest wine producer. The Huffingtom Post says the wines are, "zesty with notes of apricot, peach and honey, and the cab as full-bodied with juicy plum overtones." To hear more about 7-Eleven's entrance into private label wines, check out NPR's coverage.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Costco No Longer Does Business with Coca-Cola

According to this article in retailwire, the largest warehouse club store in the US, Costco, has decided to stop doing business altogether with Coca-Cola. Costco has mentioned that Coca-Cola has not given the warehouse competitive pricing and so Costco is not able to pass along the discounts over to their members.

Brands associated with Coca-Cola like Coke Classic, Cherry Coke, Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite and Squirt, Dasani Water and Vitamin Water along with several energy drinks will also cease to be sold at Costco warehouses.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shoppers changed this holiday season

Marketing Week recently looked at how shoppers behaviors have changed from holiday shopping seasons past, as shoppers are now more conscious by making lists and sticking to them when they make their trips to the mall or grocery store. According to a recent survey, 68% of shoppers have increased their budget settings, 57% have increased the number of price comparisons they do across multiple stores, and 61% are using more coupons. Marketing Week credits shoppers with looking to the simple, and encourages stores to navigate that way. They use Apple and IKEA stores as great examples of keeping things simple while still meeting the customers needs. Read the full article here.

What are you doing in-store to cater to your customers who are now more budget conscious?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shoppers look at more than just price in recession

Daniel Palmer of Australian Food News writes that shoppers are not simply looking at price tags when stretching their food dollars. Palmer writes that the initial findings of a shopper marketing study released by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Booz & Company and SheSpeaks, titledShopper Marketing 3.0: Unleashing the Next Wave of Value, concludes that price is not the only focus of consumers and also looks into the effectiveness of in-store promotions.

“This research shows us that even in a recession, more often than not, shoppers are making purchase decisions based on factors other than price,” said Brian Lynch, director of sales and sales promotion for GMA. “This key finding reinforces the notion that there is significant opportunity to influence shopper behaviour by having the right messages in place along the entire path to purchase.”

For more information, please click on the link below.

New research shows grocery shoppers still looking beyond price

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shopper marketing can help the small businesses

In a recent article at the Epoch Times, they look at how small businesses can use shopper marketing to their advantage during these hard economic jobs. They begin the article by stating that shoppers are people who come into your store, and engage with you and they may become your customer. Your customer is someone who has made repeat purchases and comes back to shop with you.

With small businesses, they can focus on their shoppers on the store level and encourage them to come back. Ways to do this are:
• Shelf-talkers (signage that attaches to the shelf)
• Floor graphics (non-slip stickers on the floor)
• In-store broadcasting on TV, public announcement system,
• Displays/Kiosks
• Promotional: contesting, sampling,
• In-store interviews

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Private Brand: Private Brand is Front Page News at Duane Reade

New Yorkers will notice that there are a few changes to the Big Apple-centric drugstore, Duane Reade. The venerable retailer has unveiled its line of private label goods, "deLish." Here is Private Brand expert, Christoper Durham's take on the retailer:


The ubiquitous New York drug retailer Duane Reade has been featured here on a number of occasions over the last few months and I admit to a certain fondness for this David fighting off the Goliaths of drug retail that are quickly invading New York. However it is more on principle than reality, I have visited many of their stores over the last few years and the redesigned stores are a great improvement from many of the classic shoebox city stores that they are known for. So I am excited to see the progress they have made with both their retail experience and their brand. They are uniquely New York and seem to have taken that to heart in their new branding efforts. This reinforces Duane Reade’s brand mantra of New York Living Made Easy.
Duane Reade has long been the place where New Yorkers could find everything from prescriptions to potato chips. So it’s only fitting that the city’s largest drugstore chain, now undergoing a substantial transformation, is introducing hundreds of new Private Brand products and featuring them in the new magalog, The Duane Reader. This is a tried and true Private Brand promotional tactic that retailers including Trader Joe’s and Loblaws have implemented with great success.

Hundreds of new products will appear in the inaugural 20-page Holiday Edition, which will be inserted this week in The New York Times and The Daily News, as well as handed out on commuter trains and in office buildings throughout the city. As well as in the more than 250 Duane Reade stores in the metropolitan area.
According to a Duane Reade press release: Joe Jackman, acting chief marketing officer, commented, “The Duane Reader represents our most recent effort to strengthen our brand image in order to match the positive changes that we are making to our customer experience. It’s our hope that busy New Yorkers will find it to be a relevant, useful, and entertaining companion for city-living during the holidays.”

The Duane Reader spotlights hundreds of products at hot introductory prices. It also profiles exciting new – and New York-centric. Many of the products highlighted make their debut under one of the exclusive Duane Reade Private Brands:the expanding DR Delish Private Brand of delectable food and beverage items Apt 5, Duane Reade’s quintessential New York Private Brand, which now includes a new environmentally friendly line-up called Apt 5 Goes Green
the beautiful new beauty Private Brand Look NY, and the long-standing and recently relaunched Christmas In New York Private Brand.

“Virtually all the products in The Duane Reader have a connection to city living, with many created especially for the joyous holiday season,” said Joe Magnacca, chief merchandising officer at Duane Reade. “We are thrilled to use this unique publication to highlight the great values and wonderful array of new and exciting products that our team has been busy creating. Whether stocking-stuffer gifts, easy entertaining, or quality food choices on-the-run, we had fun tying in these items to the everyday events and happenings that we experience as we get ready for the holidays in New York.”

The premier issue of the Duane Reader, which debuts this week, focuses on the holiday season, with a number of new and relevant items for entertaining (DR Delish French sparkling sodas), decorating (Christmas in New York cards, wreaths and apartment-sized trees), stocking-stuffing (Apt. 5 corkscrews and LookNY make-up brushes), and just plain New York “survival” items (sheer hosiery, vitamins, stain removal sticks and ‘green’ cleaning supplies).
Accompanying the perfect-for-holiday items is a pull-out Holiday Planner providing a New Yorker’s view of things to see and do this month and next, and other sections with fun tidbits such as which restaurants are serving Christmas dinner, and the hours of the Central Park Ice Rink.

In addition to the exciting product news, The Duane Reader publication is packed with bargains, useful tips and hints, historical notes about New York City, and holiday ideas. It is a must-read for city dwellers and visitors.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shopping for Clothes is Not a Positive Experience for all Women

This post on retailwire highlights that research done in Australia shows that while thinner women view shopping as a therapeutic and pleasurable experience, many obese and slightly overweight women do not find shopping for clothes a positive experience. A professor from the University in Australia mentioned that the difficulty for larger women to find clothes that fit make the experience a negative one.

Women in the study were asked to rate their shopping experience a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being extremely pleasurable. Most of the thinner women rated their experience high while overweight women rated their experience lower on the scale. The study also concluded that thinner women shopped with fashion in mind while more obese women had intentions of camouflaging their figure when they went shopping.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: Shopper Insights in Action 2010

Call: 1-646-895-7332 or email

The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking corporate practitioner presenters for:

10th annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Monday, November 30, 2009 to Amanda Powers, Senior Conference Producer at or call 1-646-895-7332. (Only proposals from brand and retail corporate practitioners will be considered, for all other submissions please see sponsorship section below).

Shopper Insights in Action is recognized as the world’s leading conference focused on understanding shopper behavior and translating insights into action. 2010 will be a true best practice and idea exchange for those responsible for driving shopper-centric programs in the brand and retail worlds. It is the only unbiased shopper-rooted platform where practitioners can properly benchmark their research/marketing practices against the leading brand and retail companies.

2010 Main Themes & Topics:
• New Methodologies for Understanding Shoppers
• Bringing Insights into the Next Era: New Qualitative & Quantitative Techniques
• The Psychology of the Post-Recession Shopper
• Adopting to the New Era of Simplicity
• Clear Messaging Amidst Media Saturation
• Holistic Solutions on a Global Level: End to End Insights to Activation
• Connecting Emotionally in the Store
• The Impact of Culture in the Private Label Boom
• The New American Shoppers
• Segmenting Based on Shopper Occasions
• The Ultimate Integrated Marketing: Bridging the Gap between Brand, Digital and In-Store
• Taking Insights to Scale in a Portfolio Benefiting Manner
• Packaging Insights
• Pricing Thresholds and Awareness with Shoppers
• The Strength of Mass Engagement and What it Means for Shopper Marketing
• Social Media in the Store: iPhone and Technology Revolution
• Tying Store Design and Layout to Shopper Insights: What Shoppers Do and Don’t Want
• The Blurring Lines between the Shopper and the Consumer: Where Does Branding Meet Shopper Marketing? (Opportunities, winning stories)
• In-Store Metrics & Measurement
• In and Out of Store Technologies that Engage Shoppers
• Change Agents: Getting Your Entire Organization to Embrace and Breath Shopper-Centricity (are you a change agent and catalyst in your org?)
• Small Shops, Big Lessons (If you’re a smaller retailers or a brand that has had great success partnering with alternative channel formats, let us know)
• New Technologies: Virtual, What’s Next?
• Communicating Insights through Storytelling Techniques

Within each of the above topics we are looking for presenters in the following formats:

Storytellers - Presenters sharing 10 minute stories around one of the key themes above. We will select the top 3 proposals within each of the themes to participate. Each storytelling cluster will be conducted in an intimate format concluding with Q&A and/or discussions after the set of stories.

POV Contributors – In recognition that there isn’t just one way to solve issues, we will tackle one topic using a panel format with diverse point of views. We are looking for panel contributors to share their Point of View on a specific hot topic. Please submit a short description of what unique angle or perspective you'd like to share within the specific topic and we will pick the top five proposals from each of the areas.

Champions - Case Study Sessions presented by Executive Level Corporate/Client Side Practitioners only. Practitioners please submit in-depth case studies which focus on the how-to, not just what, and whys.

Discussion Catalysts - Collective intelligence is the key to sparking new ideas and innovation. We are looking for expert facilitators to conduct collaborative activities or discussions around each of the key themes above. Please indicate which topic you'd like to facilitate, your background in facilitation as well we a proposed activity around one of the topics mentioned above.

Change-Agents – Activating insights requires an immense amount of collaboration between various business units, cross-functional teams, outside vendors and partners. If you’ve been a change-agent and have a success story tell, let us know.

Speakers receive FREE admission to the conference as well as any pre-conference activity such as workshops or symposium.

What if I am not a corporate practitioner (from a client side company) but still would like to participate?

More than 75% of our content will be delivered by corporate practitioners. If you are a consultant or solutions provider and wish to be a part of the program, please contact Jon Saxe, Senior Business Development Manager at or 646-895-7467. We will customize opportunities to fit your needs from speaking, branding, networking and/or exhibiting.


For consideration, please e-mail with the following information by November 30, 2009
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and e-mail
• The main theme you plan to address
• Which format you'd like to present
• A brief summary
• Please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
• What the audience will gain or learn from your presentation (please list 3-5 deliverables)
• Previous conference presentations
• Short Bio & speaker headshot

Due to the high volume of proposals we receive, not every submission is selected. We rely heavily on three components:
1. Content matches interest of audience identified through research
2. Compelling topic that showcases something new and exciting. It must show how to insights were leveraged to drive action/sales/loyalty
3. Speaker is able to provide details in the format of a case study or interactive session. This event is about sharing with members of your industry, so the speaker must be willing to showcase the "how-to" details.

All the best,

Amanda Powers
Senior Conference Producer
Institute for International Research

Phone: 1-646-895-7332
Fax: 212-599-2192
Mail to: 708 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017

Monday, November 2, 2009

Brandweek: Battling Brand Malpractice

Terri Goldstein of Brandweek discusses today how though the rise in private labels has been good for retail, it may be detrimental to the "big brand" CPGs because of design theft. Goldstein writes, A national or retail brand imbued with its own positioning, a unique selling proposition and a one-of-a-kind look and feel is a gold mine. However, the fact that retailers have access to the newest products and latest positioning by leading national brands enables them to steal valuable colors, shapes, symbols and keywords for the design of their own private label brands—a phenomenon that can and should be described as “brand malpractice.”

Further, Goldstein writes that Rather than continuing to play favorites and practice private label thievery, retailers would do well to develop store brands that create their own experience with the consumer via unique visual triggers and brand positioning.

While it’s easy for private label brands to capitalize on the cachet of their competitors by changing a few letters around, fully developed store brands fight fairly for the hearts and minds of consumers on the retail battlefield.

What do you think? Are too many private labels stealing from "big brands"? Can products be successfully sold if they look nothing like their "big brand" inspiration?