We’re fascinated by perspectives from inside the retail and shopper community. Recently, we had a chance to get an insighter scoop from Kathryn Henkens, the VP of Private Brands at Petco. Here’s what she told us:
I am a BIG fan of both Costco and Trader Joe’s. If these stores ever went out of business, I would be sorely disappointed! Costco has such terrific products- both private brands and branded and always seem to have something new that inspires my husband and me. I always feel like I get great value for the money there and even though we rarely have to return anything, when we do, they are always gracious and professional. Trader Joe’s has great meals for small families and something new all the time. They have increased their organic offerings and dream up new, healthy items that are always fun to try.
Retail pet peeve [no pun intended]:
Out of stocks! Since I am on a limited time “budget”, I find it really aggravating when I make a trip to the store and they are out of stock of what we need. Once is okay but when it is a consistent problem, I just stop shopping there.
Overused, Industry Jargon:
“We will have to mitigate the risk…”
9 times out of 10, this means they are too scared to take a small risk or are trying to talk their way out of doing the right thing because it means it will be extra work for someone. Another reason could be that they don’t trust someone on their team to execute. In retail, we must always weigh the risks to make the right decision but making excuses for not addressing an issue or doing the right thing will only prevent you from staying ahead of the competition. I’d rather hear them tell me what we should do and ask for help in ensuring great execution.
Don’t miss the Private Brands Retail Panel: The Strategic Importance of the Customer in the Growth of American Retail with Kathryn Henkens,VP of Private Brands, Petco, Juan C. De Paol, SVP Brand Management, Ahold USA, and Liz Berman, Director of Portfolio Strategy, Safeway moderated by Christopher Durham, Founder, My Private Brand and VP of Retail Brands, Theory House at the 2014 Shopper Insights in Action Conference taking place July 14-16 in Chicago.
Bala Mallela is currently the head of Shopper Insights and Category Management at Kimberly-Clark with responsibility across all of KCs consumer brand portfolios (Kleenex, Huggies, Depends, Kotex etc.).
We recently had a chance to chat with Bala on his own personal shopping experiences and what influences his own purchases:
What discount percentage will get him to buy something:
10 to 20% is a good discount to be motivating. Especially true for me in the consumer electronics / games etc….
Retail pet peeves:
Get off your smart phone when checking out. Very irritating to the checkout clerk and the shoppers in the line.
Favorite retail website:
Amazon. I really like the product blogs as well as the suggested items. Very easy to shop a win-win for both the shopper and the retailer.
Consumer product he could not live without:
Quaker Oatmeal. A bit boring though. I love the product and can eat it anytime of the day.
Most Overused Industry Jargon:
Big Data. Not really sure people know what they are talking about. It is a buzz word everyone likes to use.
When the iGen and Gen Z shopper grow up, what can we expect:
Highly connected to their information gadgets and will not be able to function (especially shop) without them…..
Bala Mallela is a Global Consumer leader with over 20 years of Marketing, Consumer and Shopper Insights, and Category Management experience at leading marketing-driven global consumer packaged goods companies, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and J&J. He has consistently delivered innovation to drive top-line growth, bottom-line growth and market share, and has extensive experience in US and Global / Emerging markets. He will present Definitely Gen Z: “45 million loyal for life shoppers” at the 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action in July.
“As the US market place becomes defined by retailers and suppliers who are struggling to adapt to rapid technological change and unprecedented shopper polarization across age, income and culture we will look at some foundational insights into how you can win with our “youngest” shopper cohort “Gen Z” and how the new capabilities you need build to address this cohort will stand you in good stead for winning with all your shopper segments. This Generation has many values and shopping habits in common with the Gen Y Millennial shopper, but is more extreme in their habits and beliefs: socially hyper-connected, extremely tolerant and socially liberal, extremely environmental. Interestingly, they are also more pragmatic, realistic, and fiscally conservative than this Millennial shopper as well – which will impact their shopping habits. We will be sharing some selected learning’s from Kimberly Clark into how winning with this group of 45M consumers can pay back in a lifetime of retailer and brand loyalty”
We are committed to showcasing the best in best and retailers and brands doing it – utilizing omnichannel opportunities to leverage insights and impact basket growth. After all, that’s the central focus of Shopper Insights in Action: Strategy & Activation. Meanwhile, every year the web honors the best uses of social media with a Shorty Award. Here is a close-up look at all of the finalists chosen from the industry who are accelerating social, delighting fans and blending the science and creative art of both the physical and digital worlds to drive consumers to purchase.
Best Use of Social Media for Retail or E-Commerce: Driving foot traffic, web traffic and sales can often depend on how engaged a retail company or e-commerce site is with it’s consumers on the social web. From exclusive deals to incentiving social sharing, retail stores and e-commerce sites now rely on growth from their social presence and strategies to sell merchandise.
1. #ZapposRecharge Takes Over New York Fashion Week: Zappos leveraged New York Fashion Week as an opportunity to remind consumers that Zappos is more than just shoes.
2. DollarShaveClub.com – One Wipe Charlies Launch: DollarShaveClub.com would not exist today without social media. DSC takes a unique approach to bringing the club to life through its social platforms.
3. Get Social with Duane Reade: Duane Reade (DR) and its Social Agency created the “Get Social” program, a comprehensive social media marketing campaign to increase brand awareness for the retailer and its suppliers.
Best Use of Social Media for a Consumer Brand: honors marketing campaigns that have integrated social platforms in a creative and meaningful way to successfully launch or promote a consumer brand.
1. Glad’s #SAVEITSUNDAY Movement: Glad Food Protection shifted its brand positioning to “love food more and waste it less,” making it one of the first brands to take on the global issue of food waste with its #SAVEITSUNDAY campaign.
2. Lowe’s Sims Social: Second Life Gaming comes to Lowes
3. Gatorade Heritage Bottle Campaign: Gatorade defines it as being driven from the inside, measured in sweat, reps and preparation. But for 13-18 year old athletes, their definition isn’t so clear. So we set out to increase consumer awareness and understanding of what athletes think it means to #WinFromWithin.
4. Project Drive-In: Drive-ins operate on very low profit margins, making an $80,000+ upgrade to digital projection unaffordable. So Honda led the charge to save them by donating five digital projectors…
5. WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real -Time Giving: At a time of year when flights are at capacity and stress levels run high, Canada’s preferred airline, WestJet, aspired to spread the joy of the season by activating something remarkable, sentimental, and interactive for its guests and employees.
6. Virgin America Remixes the Safety Video: Virgin America decided it was time to revisit its already irreverent and fan-favorite safety video to create a transformative, fun experience.
7. Pantene: The BriefConnect Pantene with its consumers through its greater brand purpose of helping women shine.
Best Use of Social Media for Consumer Electronics: A look at marketing campaigns that have integrated social platforms in a creative and meaningful way to successfully promote consumer electronics. Campaign objectives may include new product launches, offers and promotions and building a strong fan base.
1. The Most Retweeted Brand Tweet Ever: Nokia phones have been in a range of vibrant colours for some time. So when Apple abandoned their well-known colourless product line and launched their iPhone 5C in a range of vibrant colours, we thanked them.
2. Samsung Recharges Galaxy Phones with a Tweet at SXSW: At SXSW 2013, Samsung Mobile US reinvented how brands use Twitter by introducing #PowerOn—a first-ever program that allowed Samsung Galaxy owners to recharge their phones with a tweet.
3. GoPro: GoPro took a distinctly different approach, creating a series of always-on campaigns, each focused on different customer segment, to fuel a virtuous cycle of content capture, creation, & sharing. The company tapped into its customers to drive awareness of GoPro by entertaining a growing audience of potential customers with engaging, immersive and aspirational stories.
4. The Warner Sound at SXSW Captured by Nikon: For the second year in a row, Nikon partnered with Warner Music Group (WMG) as the title sponsor of their SXSW music showcase. Overall, the program generated 46 million media impressions and 166 million social media impressions.
Best Use of Social Media for Luxury Goods: The best use of social media in a marketing campaign by a luxury brand. Campaign objectives may include increasing awareness among consumers with contests and apps, promoting the launch of a new clothing or cosmetic line and creating compelling, shareable content.
1. Benefit Cosmetics: Their Instagram account visually celebrates what makes Benefit Cosmetics unique: a fun, lighthearted approach to beauty. Filled with beautiful product shots, LOL-worthy real-time content (like #SelfieOlympics & #StarbucksDrakeHands), how-to’s, stop-motion videos and bold, uplifting quotes, it’s become one of the top brand Instagram accounts in beauty & beyond.
2. Need For Tweed: Gave the real Agent Mendez a new Harris Tweed jacket at an underground event in New York City. As a the story struck a chord in arts and fashion culture, they then used the story to launch a new destination for Harris Tweed culture on Tumblr called ‘Need For Tweed’. The site had grown to feature collaborations with Harris Tweed and other brands including Nike, Range Rover, Supreme and UrbanEars. NeedForTweed.com has generated a new and growing following for Harris Tweed in American fashion culture –constantly promoting the brands authentic heritage amongst a new generation of fashion.
3. NET-A-PORTER.COM: The pages of NET-A-PORTER feature high fashion editorial, updated weekly with new content and product, which is viewed by over 2.5 million women each month.
Best Use of Social Media for Food & Beverage: The best use of social media in a marketing campaign by a food and beverage brand. Campaign objectives may include the launch of a new liquor line, the opening of a restaurant, the promotion of a sustainable food brand and more.
1. Hot Pockets’ “You Got What I Eat:” With hot rhymes and the world’s hottest woman on our side, Threshold Interactive and Hot Pockets made a microwaveable sandwich sexy.
2. Naked Juice Power Garden: enabled users to become their own gardeners by creating the first-ever social media powered-living vegetable garden
3. Beefy Crunch Burrito: The Beefy Crunch Burrito is Taco Bell’s most popular limited-time menu item. And people are totally obsessed with it. They’ve tirelessly blogged, tweeted, posted and even protested to get the burrito back on the menu. So when Taco Bell brought it back for a limited time, we didn’t want fans to thank us, we wanted them to thank the obsessed. We turned the spotlight on our passionate fans like never before. First, we sparked the obsession by becoming the first major brand to leverage Snapchat and created the world’s first limited-time announcement for this limited time product. Then, we turned to Twitter to ask fans how far they’d go to prove their obsession to grab a BCB before anyone else. Many responded. But two caught our eye. And we did something they never expected: we called their bluff. We used the resulting videos to amplify the obsession and spread the love for the BCB across the entire Internet.
4. Hostess: Prepare Your Cakeface: Three weeks before Twinkies and CupCakes hit shelves we asked consumers to stretch their mouths and contort their faces to get ready for the return of Twinkies and CupCakes. They would simply share a Vine (or Instagram) video with the #cakeface hashtag and our aggregator tool would then sort and display the consumer-generated social content on PrepareYourCakeFace.com.
5. Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Love Songs: Seeing the virtual love letters written about the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger on Twitter and Facebook during the test market phase, combined with our audience insights, inspired them to promote the Pretzel
6. Say It With Bacon: We observed grocery shoppers and noticed that people meticulously inspect bacon before making a purchase. In fact, people shop for bacon a lot like they shop for fine jewelry. So with Father’s Day around the corner, we created an experience that would allow women to gift luxurious bacon products to the leading men in their lives.
7. Green Giant – Raise A Giant (Bully Prevention): What does it mean to Raise A Giant? received 8,262,828 traditional media impressions.
8. Lay’s 75 & Sunny: Lay’s wanted to celebrate their 75th birthday in a big way, by tapping into our collective nostalgia for summertime. The challenge: deliver a socially-focused strategy to bring their summer packaging program, 75 & Sunny, to life and inspire the audience to converse, co-create and share the brand’s story.
So who is your choice for favorite and who do think will win tonight?
Barbara Kahn is a Professor of Marketing and Director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She is an internationally recognized scholar on variety seeking, brand loyalty, retail assortment issues and patient decision-making whose research provides marketing managers with a better understanding of the consumer choice process. We had a chance to pick Barbara’s brain and get some personal insights on her own shopping experiences and retail favorites:
On a recent shopping experience that wowed her:
I was really impressed with the beautiful changes to Macy’s Herald Square store in NYC. The shoe department there is beautiful. It’s such a large store, anything you could possibly want is there—the assortment is enormous – but it’s not intimidating.
Her favorite retail website:
My favorite retail website is Burberry’s. I love the art of the trench, I love the fact that they stream their fashion shows on the site. The photography on the site is beautiful. You really get an idea of the DNA of the brand.
The one consumer product she could not live without:
Obviously, my iPhone. It is amazing how much a part of my life it has become. It’s my communications-central, my wallet, maps, camera, alarm clock, the mall, TV, radio, music — you name it, it’s on my phone. I am astonished how quickly iPhones have changed my life – and how everything that is important to me can be in such a tiny little container.
With the addition of online assortment, retailers can now offer almost endless variety. However, is this always a good thing? When is there too much choice? Such that consumers may delay making a choice or opt out altogether?
Barbara will distinguish between actual variety (number of SKUs) and perceived variety (the amount of variety the consumer can embrace) and illustrate strategies that can increase perceived variety while holding actual variety constant at the upcoming 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference during her Keynote Address on Assortment Variety: Too Much of a Good Thing? Using a case history of the online retailer Warby Parker, Barbara will illustrate some of these concepts:
- Distinguish between actual and perceived variety—remember always measure from the consumer perspective
- If perceived variety is overwhelming, reduce the complexity of the assortment
- If perceived variety is underwhelming, increase attraction and effect of the assortment
The 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference is here: SHOPPER STRATEGY & ACTIVATION: Synthesizing Across Platforms, Channels and Partners. The full 2014 agenda is now available – download it here.
This year’s Shopper Insights in Action is resetting expectations and synergizing ecosystems:
• No matter how much we’ve evolved we’re 100% focused on the “IN ACTION”
• The program reflects the evolving strategic role of insights to activation and the roles of all key stakeholders
• The heart and soul SIA: Insights content has not been sacrificed
• We invest in our speakers to give you fresh perspectives
• Collective Action: Collaborate across disciplines to develop strategic activations — no more silos
And on that note, Shopper Insights in Action emerges into a holistic Shopper Strategy Summit with a curated narrative of experience, expertise and new ideas.
NEW CONTENT AREAS THAT MATTER THE MOST:
Commerce Everywhere I Data Slaves Revolution I Shift from Transactional to Interactional I Passion Economy I Phygical: Seamless Blending of Physical and Digital Worlds I Big Data & Super Analytics I Intersection of Big Data & Leadership I Monetizing Millennials I Innovation at the Shelf I From Insights to Actions I The Future of Retail: Defining its Pure Purpose I Selling Like Amazon I Storytelling & Actionable Research Delivery I The Evolution of the Shopper Researcher I Collective Action I From Conceptualization to Design to Implementation I Implement Behavior Design into Shopper Marketing I All Categories are not Created Equal I In-the-Moment Research and much more! See the full brochure here
PLUS, Stories Shared By: AT&T I Nestlé I RadioShack I Green Mountain Coffee Roasters I Ahold USA I Kraft Foods I The Coca-Cola Company I Lowe’s I ULTA Beauty I The Campbell Soup Company I Petco I ConAgra Foods I The Dannon Company I MillerCoors I Henkel I Raley’s Family of Fine Stores I Safeway I Fairway I Meijer I Walt Disney Parks and Resorts I Kimberly-Clark I GSK Consumer Healthcare I Mars Pet Care I Samsung I The Clorox Company I Dean Foods Company I 7-Eleven I Pernod Ricard I Unilever I PepsiCo and many more! See the full 2014 speaker faculty here
This is BIG. Join us at Shopper Insights in Action 2014, July 14-16, 2014, at the Navy Pier, W Chicago.
The folks at Mars Advertising look into the Mars crystal ball and follow some shopper trends to keep our eye on.What a year it promises to be! The digital revolution continues and is opening a world of options for shoppers, brands and retailers. Coupled with an increasingly positive economic outlook and a couple of massive sporting events, we can expect an increasingly positive year in the shopper world:
2014 Trends in Shopper Marketing explored below:
1. Trick or Treat?
2. I want it now
4. Who to trust
5. High Meets Low
6. Social Shopping 2.0
7. The Post-Nuclear Family
8. Stay Smart
9. The Internet of Things
10. The Great Meshpectation
It’s cold and snowy but definitely not soon enough to think of brighter horizons like July, Navy Pier Chicago, Sunshine, a breeze off the Chicago River and of course, The Future of Shopping: Resetting Expectations and Synergizing Ecosystems.
Whether you’ve been before or are thinking of joining us this year for the first time, here’s an exclusive preview of what your experience will be like at Shopper Insights in Action 2014.
2013 Executive Summary is now Available
Download the 2013 executive summary to see the breadth and depth of the only industry event that champions the value of activating intelligence fore basket growth.
And finally, get a taste of this year’s agenda and what’s to come by attending today’s webinar:
Spearheading Innovation-How to Generate Consumer-Centric New Products
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 10:00 – 11:00 PM (ET)
Presenter: Prof. Dr. Hans-Willi Schroiff, Founder of MindChainge, Faculty at RWTH School of Business and Economics
Reserve your webinar seat now.