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Live from #shopper360: How to Use Weather to Increase Sales

The weather forecast predicts a hurricane. It’s approaching fast, what do you do? Buy as many boxes of strawberry Pop-Tarts as you can, right? According to Paul Walsh, the Vice President of Weather Analytics at The Weather Company, that is exactly what you do.

In his presentation, “How to Use Weather to Increase Sales and Save the World,” Walsh explains just how companies use weather forecasts to sell their products to consumers.

With most of the world planning their days around the weather, advertisers can focus on marketing certain products to areas in need.

Expecting a heat wave? No problem ladies and gentlemen, Pantene has you covered with their official frizz protection hair products.

Situations like these are driving sales for certain brands like never before. With the increasing accuracy of weather predictions, climate change has become a major opportunity for brands.

Mr. Walsh even has his own weather paradigm: anticipate, execute and win. Anticipate impending weather and come up with a way to reach customers who will need your products in the near future. Execute your advertisements and proceed to monitor your market growth, simple as that.

What is so ideal about weather predictions is that they are based on physics, unlike trends, which are formed by educated hunches. Advertisers and retailers are then able to communicate with and reach their audience with the products and services they will require during the harsh weather.

About the Author:

Sam Wisenberg is an Advertising major at Boston University who sure loves a satisfied audience. He can be reached at


Live from #shopper360: Implementing Behavior Design into Shopper Marketing at a Major CPG

Will Leach, Founder, TriggerPoint Consulting, Behavioral Design Instructor, SMU’s Cox School of Business and former Director of Shopper Strategy, PepsiCo shared a Practical Guide to Implement Behavior Design into Shopper Marketing at a Major CPG.

5 Things learned becoming a behavioral dealer:

1. Replicability is a real issue for insights.

Most research and marketing is outdated. 78% of CEOs believe Marketers are disconnected from business results.

Preferences change within the environment you’re in.

People hate to think, if you it difficult for people to choose your brand you will lose sales.

If you start designing for behavioral change, you can demonstrate how you influenced a new shopper behavior.

2. Teach yourself first.

Leading academics are way ahead and just need practitioners to try out their models.

The last 10 years have been a golden age for understanding & changing behaviors.

Behaviors are driven by two decision-making systems: considered & conscious and non-considered & non-conscious

The behavioral content: our preferences aren’t stable, they change by where we are, who we are with, how we are feeling, how choice is structured. They aren’t guided by consistent belief and rational thought.

3. Small is the new big

Small experiments, small agencies, small budgets – do them really fast and learn how to replicate the behavior/results

4. Work with Passion Partners

5. Look for desperation

Tackle big issues with little experiments to drive results, innovations, ideas, tactics, designing for behavior.

The battle ship is turning.

You want a seat at the table, you should be driving the conversation at the table.




Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at or @Literanista.



Live from #shopper360: What Shoppers Can’t Tell You

Barry Lemmon, Global Head of Retail and Shopper at TNS, and Aske Van Der Werff, Global Shopper Insight Director at Unilever, split the stage during their session about in-the-moment research and the implications for shopper marketing.

The pair described the present complexities of influencing shopper behavior. These complexities are due to shoppers being either decided or open, meaning some consumers already know what brands they will buy before they even enter the store.

Percentages of decided shoppers are staggering with 60 – 80 percent of shoppers knowing which brands they will choose prior to buying. In order to influence shoppers to think differently, brands must understand the “shoppers journey.” It is not always as easy as it sounds, though, there can often be trouble when it comes to researching the reasons behind consumer choices.

Shoppers are often ineffective when explaining their decision processes. Many consumers simply can’t remember why they purchased a certain product or they merely don’t know. In order to understand the consumer’s mindset when shopping, researchers must ask “what” and not “why.”

The presentation followed a step-by-step process of how to understand and influence consumer behavior. First, brands must figure out how to influence shoppers. Trouble with research soon follows, but as research is slowly gathered, brands begin to understand what exactly influences shoppers and they are finally able to appeal to the consumer and encourage them to buy.


LIVE from #SHOPPER360: Health + Wellness by Dannon

The Dannon research and insights team started with how their research effort fit into the original Danone mission: “Bringing health through food to as many people as possible.” The tie was further elaborated on with the specific objective behind the research team, paraphrased, the Strategy and Insights team at Dannon is a catalyst for change and creative inspiration in the organization.

One of the insights eluded to early in the presentation was equating Times Square in NY to how a shopper feels entering a grocery store. It as a key takeaway to consider how overwhelmed a shopper feels and that we all contribute to this (retailers and brand owners). This research was designed to get into the deeper emotional context state for consumers shopping around their health and wellness needs.

The variation of spelling is intentional, one is the corporation the other is the consumer brand we all know.

The research team designed the methodology to be blended for both depth of data and insight across consumer types and retailers. The outcome was a stretch far beyond the traditional focus groups and an information gather gluttony – pardon the contrasting term with a health and wellness discussion. The visual dashboards from the 96 shoppers, 4 weeks, and 3,465 shopper stories was a quilt of gargantuan portions when it came up on the screen.

While all this was exotic for the researcher in me, we all know research is only as good as how it is leveraged for inspiration, ideas, learning and changes in behavior. This is where team moved into a discussion about the 14 insights and 75 ideas that came out of the research. They discussed their methodology for coming up with the ideas, but also some detail on the ideas. So, below, two insights and two ideas, from what these feeble fingers could type, we had some quick speakers with a bucket full of great content.

For instance, one of the insights was a best epitomized by a Target shopper who equated the retailer to a teacher as a great comparison. Wouldn’t it be nice if our favorite retailer was structured on the model of your favorite high school teacher and not the used car sales person from down the street? The comparisons did not fall on “hard of hearing” ears and we didn’t hear any protests from former used car sales people in the audience.

Another one was particularly intriguing to me, “when shoppers have a health and wellness goal in mind they are less price sensitive when they are in the store.” Okay, we could hear the audience sit up and forward on their chairs when “less price sensitive” was mentioned. Yes, we are always intrigued by any behavior or contextual state where price is less of the focus. This was a bold insight to present and defended with an iron shield of data points.

And, an idea that came out of a session with retailers was co-opting the Whole Foods #100daysofhappy – in partnership with Whole Foods – to be #100daysofhealthy. This is a marvelous way to socialize a new behavior and give Whole Foods shoppers a place for motivation and ideas when keeping on the healthy track for 100 days. Which, we all know, turns into 100 days more once we’ve achieved a goal.

Last, the tie of technology, like the Fitbit into rewards programs. So, when someone achieves a certain number of steps they are not only rewarded with a buzz but also a set of coupons they would use. This tie in needs to happen and likely is already, but it was good to hear it coming from this style of research, ideation and collaboration.

The Dannon team of Holly Rozelle (@rozelleholly) and Simone Schuster (@simone_schuster) delivered a marvelous presentation of research metrology to idea generation. Well done.

Aaron Keller
Managing Principal
Capsule Design


Live from #shopper360: Definitely Gen Z

Bala Mallela, Senior Director Category and Shopper Insights, Kimberly-Clark, presented today Definitely Gen Z: 78 Million Shoppers Loyal For Life

$5oB market for 2020 in the Baby and Childcare Category. How will you win Gen Z’s loyalty? A quarter of the population is under 18.

50% of teens are shopping online. 20% of girls under 12 regularly visit online shopping sites. This behavior will carry over into tomorrow.

5 universal truths about Gen Z:

1. Unbound Reality: they don’t treat physical and virtual worlds as separate, literally they have the world at their fingertips. Expects tech to be highly integrated.

Blend the physical and virtual reality: provide a seamless experience

2. Open & Real: Demands an honest dialogue with brands and retailers. They don’t want to just listen to you, they want a two way conversation.

Make real conversations, show her you know her.

3. Always connected, never alone: Always on with friends and connections, and information.

Technology is perceived as essential to survival, breaks all age, income and cultural barriers.

Always be there – be there on their terms.

4. Creative Soul: rather artistic, always looking to personalize and curates/shares content both owned and advocating.

Expresses herself through purchases but retail assortment is sometimes one-size-fits-all.

Provide a unique experience: enable customization, give her control, evolve with her – cocreate with her

5. Heart of Gold: She has an expansive worldview and cause conscious one.

Help them make a difference in the world.


Follow these tips to win this shopper forever.

Also of note: Insights Chief Marries Category Strategy and Shopper Centricity




Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at or @Literanista.




Live from #Shopper360: Panel on Retail, Strategy & the Shopper

English: Petco store, Lewiston, Maine.

Christopher Durham moderated the discussion and brought up questions about retail strategy, brand management, social media, and consumer insights. The panel answered these and had a continuous discussion.

Kathryn Henkens is the VP of Private Brands at Petco and she starts the conversation by discussing the increased focus on the consumer experience. She mentions the Bowl Mates line from Petco which involves a series of colorful bowls and mats to mix and match that pets can eat out of. Henkens also said that families care more for their pets now than ever before and that 50% of families take their pet on vacation with them. The increased love for pets has led to a Petco brand development team that did not exist ten years ago. She mentions that brand development has also changed form an earning money strategy  to a brand loyalty focus.

Juan C. De Paoli is the SVP of Brand Management and Own Brands at Ahold USA continues the conversation by mentioning the  ”renewed emphasis on quality” in products. He also discusses the  ”double wow factor” which includes the first  ”wow” on the shelf at the store, focusing on the packaging and appearance. The second “wow” is the delivery of what the package promises in terms of functionality.

Liz Berman is the Director of Portfolio Strategy at Safeway and added that the brands related to  health and wellness have had the most growth over the past several years.  O Organics is one such brand that has recently had a new packaging implemented. Berman mentioned the importance of phrases such as “USDA Certified”  allow consumers to find what they are looking for.

When asked about social media, Juan answered “If you are not active on social media then you are way behind in the times.” He continued by saying the social media is necessary to support the marketing of private brands.

Berman mentioned that social media has helped the Safeway loyalty card program optimize on the private brand side and figure out the most loyal customers. Safeway would then use the info to communicate with them and target them through direct mail and digitally to deliver relevant offers. Juan Paoli jumped in to mention that it is important to understand the data and deliver it a way that is not disruptive to the customers lives.

The last segment sparked a disagreement between Paoli who believed that the perception is that private brands were knock offs of national brand. He felt that this was the most common misconception The example he cited was Lexus and Toyota and how they are basically the same car but one costs more. Henkens disagreed and said that consumers are not aware of the changes over the past few years.

The discussion ended with a overall agreement that the younger generation understands the concept of private brands and in the coming years the millennial generation will cause these brands to grow. Will his predicted trend come true?

About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be reached at


Live from #shopper360: Official kickoff with Paul Roth

The 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference started off strong with an opening keynote speech from Paul Roth, President of Retail Sales and Service at AT&T Inc.

The discussion focused on the current retail experience and how retailers, including AT&T, can stay relevant well into the future. In order to do so, Roth and his team identified retail’s “pure purpose.”

The concept of Pure Purpose:

Customers’ want every aspect of their experience to be integrated, from in store to online. They are looking for an emotionally engaging, highly personal experience every step of the way.

AT&T has taken years of collected consumer insight and implemented a system to meet the ever changing needs of their customer base.

What AT&T has done:

The results of their findings led AT&T to realize that customers want a knowledgeable staff as well as a personal experience. AT&T is leading the charge in changing from the traditional transaction and exchange method of retail to an interactional method. They want their costumers to feel like they have a relationship with the brand.

Mr. Roth concluded by reiterating that the future of retail depends on brands creating a highly engaging experience as well as fully integrating their social and online experiences.


Live from #Shopper360: The Technology Literate Shopper: A Dynamite Strategy

Josh Klein aptly showcased that contrary to a previous presentation, the consumer doesn’t have all the power but is actually at a disadvantage.

And thereafter plunged into an unvealing of a plethora of truhs about the modern society we will in, where Google needs only 22 points of data to find out where we are, some of which are as simple as using a back button on a browser, or where every day apps like Google Maps, Facebook, Check-ins, or more sophisticated companies like Spokeo have made a business out of understanding more about the consumer than the consumer wants. And honestly this makes marketers excited, but consumers terribly frightened.

Some interesting facts from the seminar were that the average person enrolls in 7.5 loyalty programs a year but 53% quit in a year, or that power tools in hands of consumers cheat the retailers big data practices. Consumers are using showooming to defy retail because of trust.

A plethora of examples came up, by Nordstrom using Pinterest images in stores, to airport security lasers to determine more than simple security: e.g. caffeine consumption, temperatures, what foods are in stomachs, etc.

Ultimately, the finding was that retailers should ally with customers, but retailers are responsible for reaching out to consumers to do so. Instead of getting freaked out by customers, engage with them. The way AirBnB did after its consumer fiasco, and proved their ‘million dollar guarantee’ was stronger for conversion.

Also, narrow your demographics into segments to understand what to cater to them. This will enable brands to see how much messaging is necessary to see how much they can do, followed by a dialogue with consumers on what they want to do.

Sourabh Sharma, Senior Manage & Communication + Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at Follow him on @sssourabh

A Guide to the 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference Next Week

There is still time to register for the 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference in Chicago, IL, next Monday through Wednesday (walk-ins are welcome). If you are unable to join us, don’t fret, we will be live tweeting and blogging.

Live Coverage

Live coverage begins Monday, July 14, 2014. I will be blogging and tweeting throughout the three-day event along with a great team of others.

Follow the official hashtag #shopper360 for tweets on anything you may have missed during the event.

Also, follow us on twitter @shopper360 and join the conversation by tagging your tweets with #shopper360

Photos will be posted to Facebook/Flickr and video will be available later on YouTube/Vimeo. You can also add your own photos to our group pool. For all the info regarding the vent and all of the live coverage visit

English: Chicago, IL, USA.

Chicago, IL, USA. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Shopper Connect

Before you arrive, download the Shopper Connect app from iTunes or the Android store in order to make the most of your time at the even next week. Registered attendees can view who will be in attendance, request meetings with other members, create a personal event schedule, and manage the entire network directly from your web-enabled device.

Things to Keep in Mind

We encourage you to bring a light jacket or sweater as the conference space may get chilly. You can check the forecast for Chicago here.

If you need anything, please find a member of our team, we’ll be wearing our Shopper Insights in Action T-shirts or send us a tweet.

See you there!



Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be reached at



Petco Unleashes Insights to Keep Pace with Change

dog shopping frame

Petco VP Reviews New Breed of Retailer Research

By Marc Dresner, IIR

Retailers these days are rethinking research.

It’s not just in response to competitive pressure; it’s about keeping up with the shopper.

Take Petco, for example. The nationwide pet supply chain is making significant changes to its in-house research capabilities to adapt to the rapid—and rapidly accelerating—pace of change.

“You really can’t stand still anymore. Everything is changing on a daily basis.”


“The speed at which retail is changing is monumental. You really can’t stand still anymore,” said Petco VP of Private Brands Kathryn Henkens.

Kathryn Henkens

Kathryn Henkens

“Everything is changing on a daily basis. Customer expectations of retailers are so much greater,” she added.

“We are constantly learning and responding and adapting and adjusting and revising things on an ongoing basis, because if we don’t do that, we’ll be behind the curve,” Henkens told The Research Insighter.

Retailers have historically leaned heavily on the brands lining their shelves and on external suppliers for research.

And while that’s still the case, Henkens says national chains like Petco are beefing up their internal research capabilities in part because Big Data demands it.


“The biggest challenge that I see in retail today is pulling all of the data together.”

“There are tons of data today,” said Henkens. “The biggest challenge that I see in retail today is pulling all of that data together.”

Connecting all the data dots internally and with the help of partners, Henkens says, will be essential to drive decisions—something not done with a rearview mirror.

“A lot of research looks backward. We need to look forward.”

“A lot of research looks backward,” said Henkens. “We need to look forward to understand how things are going to impact retailing tomorrow and farther out.”

In this podcast with The Research Insighter—the official interview series of Shopper Insights in Action—Henkens reviews:

• How Petco is consolidating and synthesizing research

• The importance of bringing research agencies together

• Millennials and Baby Boomers: Do they shop differently? And more…

Listen to the podcast!

Download a transcript!

Editor’s Note: Kathryn Henkens will be featured on a special keynote panel—“Retail, Strategy and the Shopper”—at the 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action July 14-16 in Chicago.

For more information or to register, please visit


Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.