News

Emerson Group’s Retail Industry Day offers new ways to think about consumers

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Now in its eighth year, attendance at the annual Emerson Group Retail Industry Day, held here at the Ritz Carlton, was up significantly — by more than 100 participants — and many in attendance reported this year's lineup was “the best yet.”

First on the speaker card was unconventional artist and motivational speaker Erik Wahl, who encouraged a roomful of suppliers, retailers, marketers and members of the private equity community to recapture some of the unbridled enthusiasm for creativity they had as a children and apply that "color-outside-the-lines thinking to product introductions and new services.

“The challenge, ultimately, is how to remain an artist once we grow up — how to retain that childlike passion, that childlike ability to differentiate, to creatively solve challenges and plug it back into your adult life, your retail business, your connection to the consumer. To stop selling and start engaging.”

Redefining how to think about the market was a common theme throughout the day. For example, Gary Vaynerchuck, entrepreneur, author and CEO of VaynerMedia, returned to Emerson's Retail Industry Day by way of Skype for a colorful Q&A and some straight talk on how to best reach today's consumer through the social media they consume.

“I'm desperately spewing this venom and this advice for one reason,” Vaynerchuck said. “I believe that [among] the entrepreneurs in this room [and] the Emerson Group as a whole, there's a collective energy here that can taste the blood in the water. I'm just trying to give that extra push to make this real. I want you guys to win more because I want one of you to email in three years and say, ‘You know that talk you gave when you were on Skype, that meant something.’”

Emerson's theme for the day was one of convergence, as retail environments, technology and shopping behaviors all evolve into delivering the No. 1 concern on the consumer's mind: “Save me time.”

“The changing landscape of the consumer in the U.S. today will continue to get more and more fragmented,” Matt Poli, VP Emerson marketing, told attendees. “The consumer is in control, and I think smart businesses, great marketers and sales people are going to leverage technology to teach themselves and understand the consumer much better.”

The diverse card of thought-provoking speakers included:

  • Sheryl Connelly, responsible for global trends and futuring at Ford Motor Company, explained how to analyze macro trends and anticipate how those trends may impact your brand;
  • Wendy Leibmann, CEO and chief shopper at WSL Strategic Retail, walked attendees through the latest trends in shopper attitudes and explained the possible ramifications of the growth in adult-only households;
  • Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail, shared how click-and-collect and value-driven retail models will shape the retail landscape in the coming years;
  • Ana Ceppi, VP business development at Univision Communications, outlined the significant opportunity available to marketers who are focusing on Hispanic shoppers;
  • Mickey Cloud, VP at VaynerMedia, drove home the value associated with the reach and affordability of advertising almost exclusively through social media; and
  • Ryan Olohan, national industry director, healthcare at Google, shared how truly creative companies are innovating beyond the scope of their businesses.

"You have the ability to capture the consumers' attention," Poli concluded. “Every vantage point [provided today] demonstrated to you the utmost importance in doing that,” he said. “The job rests with everybody in this room to ask, ‘How do I want to engage, how do I want to capture the attention of the consumer?’”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?
News

Rite Aid donates funds to Red Cross in S.C.

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid on Tuesday announced that The Rite Aid Foundation is making a $25,000 donation to the Palmetto South Carolina Region chapter of the American Red Cross to help the victims, families and communities affected by last week’s severe flooding. 
 
"Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the historic floods," said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid CEO of stores, president of Rite Aid and president of The Rite Aid Foundation.  "It is one of Rite Aid’s core values to be a caring neighbor in the communities we serve and we are proud to partner with the American Red Cross as relief efforts continue and rebuilding begins in South Carolina.”
 
Rite Aid operates 20 stores in greater Columbia area and an additional 71 stores across South Carolina. The company employs approximately 1,300 associates across the state. 
 
“The American Red Cross Palmetto South Carolina Region is so grateful for the generous donation from The Rite Aid Foundation as we work to provide emergency needs, quickly and efficiently, to the people who are in need,” said Louise Welch, American Red Cross Palmetto South Carolina Region executive director. “The support of partners like Rite Aid is truly making a difference in communities across South Carolina.”
 
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?
News

Daily Diversion: Life on Mars

BY DSN STAFF

The recent news that one of NASA’s Mars rovers discovered liquid water on the red planet (and the success of Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” at the box office) has re-ignited talk about sending a manned mission to Mars.

And now InformationWeek is sharing highlights of NASA’s long-term plan to have humans on Mars by 2030. The site has a slideshow outlining NASA’s timeline and what it will take — from rocket design to space lettuce — to get astronauts 33.9 million miles away in one piece. Click here to see the slideshow. 

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?