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Brad Halverson

Principal, Clearbrand CX
Brad Halverson is a marketing, brand and business leader with 25+ years of expertise in retail, grocery, cable tv and tech companies. Brad is currently Principal at Clearbrand CX, helping clients transform and grow their business by building Brands, end-to-end Customer Experiences [CX], and digital + unified commerce. Prior, Brad was in executive leadership at Seattle-based upscale grocer Metropolitan Market for 14 years. Before that, he was part of start-ups in television, data hardware and in marketing leadership at Arris Interactive, a builder of high-speed networking products and systems for the cable tv industry. His career foundation started in retail at Nordstrom. Connect with Brad on LinkedIn or at
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Black Friday is back as record number of Americans are expected to go shopping

    There is pent up demand for a return to traditional holiday shopping, which we'll see play out in robust customer traffic and interest. But I'll bet there are many more shoppers searching for more deals and deeper discounts this holiday season thanks to layoffs and economic uncertainty ahead. The jury is out as to whether retailers will be aggressive enough to move their inventory.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2022

    Will John Lewis or Publix win the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge?

    No statement was my exact thought about Publix. To the point of, why are they spending this money, because it doesn't feel like the brand is being advanced forward. Whereas even if John Lewis doesn't promote their products, they hit the target with a sentiment everyone can identify with during the holiday season.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2022

    Will John Lewis or Publix win the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge?

    Doing seasonal brand promotion can be like threading a needle, because incorporating brand story, plus products, while also earning laughter or a cry sometimes doesn't always end up as impactful. Publix incorporates product usage, and it feels warm and fuzzy, but this often used formula is a little worn out. Is there any differentiation compared to other grocery retailers selling the same things? John Lewis earns the win, because they avoid all of the complication by focusing instead on community, what the company and people are doing/can do, wrapped in a light, novel story.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2022

    Will cracking down on serial returners solve retailers’ return problem?

    I too bristled at the broad brush strokes. Apparently, then I am a "cheater" because I return 10% of my items to Costco. Yet I spend 10x to 100x more because there are no hassles. And, I willfully brag about the Costco brand and products to everyone around me, something a university research paper won't capture. And so how to determine -- measure -- which customers are cheats?
  • Posted on: 11/21/2022

    Will cracking down on serial returners solve retailers’ return problem?

    If crack downs on serial returners include revenue generating personal stylists who purchase a wide variety of clothing for clients to try on, and shoppers who buy multiple sizes to determine best fit, then retailers and DTC are taking a risk. Retailers and DTC own the customer experience, and must solve personal sizing and fit issues with technology to increase the likelihood of making happy long-term customers. Crackdowns look enticing to the bottom line, but make it difficult to do business.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2022

    Do retailers need to add chief trust officers?

    As much as some retailers could use a Chief Trust Officer to build customer trust, having such a role suggests the CEO and the C-team either doesn't live out existing Leadership Principles and Core Values, doesn't have any, or it's not woven into the business. It's up to collective leadership to ensure everyone in the company ultimately owns this so customers see real examples to trust and embrace the brand.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2022

    Will a strike on ‘Red Cup Day’ get Starbucks to change its anti-union tune?

    Worker strikes now could backfire and seem a little tone deaf while customers are feeling more nervous about holiday spending, seeing numerous companies cutting workforces upwards to 10%, and the overall rattled state of the economy. Starbucks may soon reduce its own capital and labor budgets post-holiday period if customers are spending less in store. And you might not want to be remembered as the stores or workers creating discord.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2022

    Is durability a more sustainable selling point than sustainability?

    Durability really is part of sustainability, among other attributes and benefits. Durability is something nearly every consumer understands, and likely casts a wider net of interest. Sustainability isn't going away, and will continue to hold popularity. But with durability, everyone can see and feel good craftsmanship, whether in how cars are made or what clothes have stitching and fabrics that last longer.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2022

    What does it take to build a positive corporate culture?

    First, having a central purpose is key because it creates direction for all. Next, living into that purpose, in demonstrating committed core values and actions every day is equally important so employees have something specific to see and feel as they go about their daily work. Supporting metrics provide added clarity and evidence of this. Leadership must first own this and walk it so that everyone else will.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2022

    Retailers have scaled way back on seasonal help for Christmas

    Keeping staffing reasonably tighter this holiday season is understandable. But there is a fine line between planning against seasonal volume and going too far with cuts, creating a series of customer experience issues, store condition set backs and snowballing inventory issues. Frontline employees will bear the brunt of unhappy customers who haven't been helped. And these customers will be remember the experiences of retail brands who go too far with cuts.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2022

    Gap is now selling on Amazon. Desperation or genius move?

    If I could articulate what Gap's brand stands for, it would be easier to know if this new channel strategy aligns or not. Selling on Amazon always has revenue upside. The customer can count on no hassles, and a seamless experience. If Gap believes they can't create their own impactful and hassle-free experience, or customers don't want to return to their store locations, or they are financially limited in making necessary changes, maybe this is the best option. Still, gotta get that brand figured out ... please!
  • Posted on: 11/14/2022

    Will retailers use facial recognition tech to reshape store layouts?

    There are ways of scientifically measuring how thousands of customers shop a store, and design a good experience without being so intrusive as to follow faces, trying to determine intent. A retailer hoping to test this at minimum must have clear signage posted in store and explain how the data will be used. Customers get to decide if they want to support retailers who attempt this.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2022

    How can meetings be made more effective?

    Do the math by calculating the labor expense for having everyone around the table and it should shock every business owner. Casual topic add-ons, long speaking times and lack of meeting control will drive up these costs. Get people to focus so you can get the right things done. Amazon follows an effective practice to hold a tight and focused agenda by reading thoughtfully summaries (with recommended actions) beforehand, and then going around the table for feedback to make a decision. Done. Next.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2022

    Is Trader Joe’s success formula becoming obsolete?

    Good observation. A dark store approach could be the win that doesn't interrupt in-store operations. And maybe only offer a small % of popular products online to encourage customers come back for discovery.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2022

    Is Trader Joe’s success formula becoming obsolete?

    I've wondered the same, Lisa. And my own unscientific poll among Gen Z customers is they don't seem to care that TJ's doesn't offer digital options. That could change, of course.
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