Ben Ball

Senior Vice President, Dechert-Hampe

Ben is Senior Vice President for Dechert-Hampe where he specializes in Customer Development – implementing go-to-market strategies and tactics that build a stronger customer franchise and superior financial performance. As the lead on customer development for DHC, he works with companies such as Bayer Consumer Care, Con Agra, Hewlett-Packard Company, Sara Lee Food & Beverage, Time Warner, Pillsbury and the Mars, Inc. companies.

Ben is a frequently published author in the business press on the subjects of the Evolution of Retailing, Vendor/Distributor Relationships, Customer Relationship Management, Category Management and Trade Marketing. He has chaired numerous conferences on these subjects and is a featured speaker at major industry associations.

Prior to joining Dechert-Hampe in 1992, Ben was Marketing Vice President at PepsiCo Foods International. Other experience includes Marketing Vice President and Director of Field Marketing at Frito-Lay, Inc., group brand manager of new products at Mars, Incorporated, Snack-master Division, and Product Manager at General Mills, Inc.

He holds a Masters Degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dechert-Hampe & Company, a Sales and Marketing consulting firm, has offices located in Trumbull, Connecticut; Northbrook, Illinois; and Mission Viejo, California.

At Dechert-Hampe we like to say we are “Consumer Driven – Customer Focused”. We provide a range of services to clients, all focused on optimizing the customer interface with a consumer perspective in mind. These services include traditional Sales and Marketing consulting as well as a range of supporting services such as Organization Education and Development, Customer-facing Operations services and Communications.

Dechert-Hampe has been involved with Customer Development initiatives since the early ‘80’s, and for the past ten years Ben has concentrated on developing DHC’s capabilities in Marketing, Category Management, Trade Funds Management and Customer Relationship Management. DHC engagements in these areas encompass Grocery, General Merchandise, HBC, Dairy and Frozen Food clients in both the United States and Canada. These engagements have also touched a breadth of retail channels including Food, Drug, Mass Merchandisers, Office Supply, Consumer Electronics, Wholesale Clubs, Superstores, Specialty Outlets and the Military.

  • Posted on: 09/25/2020

    Walmart has changes in-store as the holidays near

    Retailers had one-way aisles?! Who knew?!
  • Posted on: 09/25/2020

    Will curbside pickup be Costco’s Achilles heel?

    My knee-jerk reaction is to say "YES!" -- I definitely believe curbside pickup is a value-add that most retailers will need to stay competitive post-COVID-19. But then I did a quick mental rewind of my last month's shopping and realized I have been in Costco three times and have plans to go again today. The reasons are pretty simple -- selection and brands I like and trust, stores and aisles with plenty of room to avoid other shoppers, the fact that Costco required masks and controlled social distancing in checkouts physically with markers and personnel before anyone else in our small city, and the dramatic increase in speed for checkout provided by their new checkout configuration. No curbside won't keep me from Costco and won't get me to other warehouse clubs.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2020

    A successful diversity initiative led to an unintended consequence at Walmart

    The Law of Unintended Consequences is as inescapable as the mythical Irish guardian of lousy luck '' Murphy." Pushing on an object, whether the water-filled balloon used in our high school physics class or a society, will cause it to bulge somewhere else. Typically somewhere completely unexpected. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve. But it does mean that leadership must be mindful of the inevitable and actively watch for the unexpected symptoms when they initiate change. Preparing the organization by admitting that you know things unexpected will happen during major change is even better. Ask for the organization's help in identifying them and be proactive in mitigation if you can. Easier said than done of course.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Patagonia wants to ‘Vote the a**holes out’

    Brands need to be consistent with their values. Heartily agreed! Brands need to speak out politically and publicly. Not so much...
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Patagonia wants to ‘Vote the a**holes out’

    In any campaign -- marketing or political -- there is always a choice between messaging that galvanizes the base but that may put off buyers/voters who are more neutral on an issue. In this case Patagonia will clearly appeal to the more politically motivated buyers in their base, but using the language chosen may also offend fringe buyers and even some of the base. Net, negative.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2020

    Are older shoppers wiser amid the pandemic?

    Older consumers may be more accustomed to dealing with anxiety, but they were also more accustomed to a "stay at home" lifestyle than the 45-64 year olds when COVID-19 hit. As for messaging campaigns amid the pandemic, most consumers are facing the same basic challenges -- safety, accessibility and availability. Address those and retailers will do well.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2020

    Online to make up 21.5 percent of grocery’s sales in five years

    They already are. Shoppers still shop multiple stores even within a channel. This has been reduced somewhat by pandemic shopping habits and retailers with good online and pickup services have benefited. To steal some of those shopping trips back, retailers who don't match up online yet will have to.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    C-stores focused on being even more convenient during the pandemic

    Shifting merchandise selection to staples and focusing on better quality meals-to-go are the keys to weathering the COVID-19 impact. C-store traffic and volumes will return quickly post-pandemic. Until then, survive.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    Can IKEA drive a used furniture movement?

    A lot of this will depend on the quality of the resold furniture. In my experience with three kids having gone through college, larger and more complex pieces from IKEA do not travel well and disassembly without damage is difficult. This seems like a long shot.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2020

    Could Authentic Brands be the lynchpin in J.C. Penney’s turnaround?

    Absolutely. I can't recall ever going to J.C. Penney for a single brand. No Kenmore, Craftsman or DieHard to be found. Not even a collaboration like Lands' End, And those would up being the only value left in Sears beyond the real estate. Perhaps J.C. Penney could become a "house of brands" for other ABG labels -- particularly clothes. Though that would seem to defeat the purpose of maintaining multiple retailer rent streams for Simon and Brookfield. In the end, it might be the most sustainable proposition.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2020

    Will locals choose Brooklyn over Bezos?

    It scores on the twin benefits of contactless delivery and local patronage. That's a great start. It is an online version of the local bazaar. It won't hurt Amazon, but it will give local retailers who have suffered from reduced traffic an opportunity to recoup.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Grocer creates a store-within-a-store for CBD products

    The success of store-within-a-store is dependent on the breadth of appeal of the concept to the primary store's shoppers. If McDonald's and Starbucks store-within-a-store locations have trouble with grocery shoppers, how much chance has CBD got?
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Which COVID-19 consumer habits will stick?

    Any time a significant aberration occurs, people will attempt to revert to the mean when it passes if they can. The obvious exceptions are when access to the previous behavior is physically eliminated (think airport security procedures) or when the new behavior has significant benefits over how things were done before. As we have discussed multiple times here on RetailWire, much of pandemic behavior change is an acceleration of preexisting trends. Online shopping, remote work and curbside pickup are all good examples of behaviors we can expect to continue under their own steam.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2020

    Will Santa be bringing as many toys this holiday?

    What's left that parents haven't already bought in the struggle to entertain isolated kids? Manufacturers will need to have plenty of innovation ready to go this year if toy retailers are going to capture all the holiday dollars they could.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2020

    Has COVID-19 revealed pickup’s pain points?

    Curbside pickup certainly still has growing pains. But the lasting issues are the same ones retailers struggle with in-store. Out-of-stocks (and poor substitution choices); wait times and, for those few still doing it -- added fees (price). Grocery shopping hasn't fundamentally changed no matter how the milk gets into the refrigerator.

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