PROFILE

Heidi Sax

Content Marketing Manager, CB4

Heidi Sax is Content Marketing Manager at CB4, a technology company whose proprietary AI and machine learning algorithms and app helps retailers like Levi’s and Barnes & Noble empower store teams, transform brick-and-mortar operations, and rise to the increasing complex demands of shoppers.

Heidi quite literally grew up in retail, picking up shifts at her mom’s local gift shop, and later moving to Manhattan to work as a retail marketer for some of apparel’s most iconic brands. Now, she uses that experience to help retailers use cutting-edge technology to better serve their customers.

Heidi holds a Master of Science in Professional Writing from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Emory University.

For more information, see: The CB4 blog

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  • Posted on: 01/27/2020

    Why did IKEA end its pilot on Amazon?

    There's a lot of competition on Amazon for the exact types of products IKEA makes, and a lot of them are of poor quality. With an emphasis on value, I'm not sure that IKEA really fits within that space. And they have enough brand equity that they don't have to. A marketplace with a more curated selection, where IKEA is the low price high quality option, makes perfect sense.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Can aesthetics cure our throw-away society?

    Clearly "sustainability guilt" isn't compelling consumers to change their behavior. It will be much more convincing for brands like Loop to portray the impact "you" can have on caring for the planet. Convenience is a huge factor, followed by aesthetics, and least of all improved flavor in terms of what will have an impact here. Overall the problem will have to get worse and personally touch more consumers' lives before it gets better, although I do think we'll get there.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2020

    Nike offers advice on successful marketplace partnerships

    In addition to considering the suggestions made by Hogue, brands need to make sure that they have a human partner at the marketplace dedicated to their account and brand representation. For brands like Nike who are constantly evolving and pushing the envelope, a marketplace's ability to nimbly make changes on the brand's behalf is huge. That doesn't work without a good external partner who actually cares about your brand too.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2020

    NRF 2020 Review: Human vs. Machine

    The most promising technologies positively improve shoppers' in-store experience by enabling people--frontline workers and HQ--with trigger-based, data-derived, bottom-up insights into their business. We're limiting our understanding of AI (and revealing antiquated thinking) when we limit the framework of the conversation to people vs. robots. I didn't see many providers touting actual consumer-facing robots in stores (although certainly there were some).
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Will coffee drinkers miss single-use cups?

    I'm sure some surprised customers will be annoyed, but Blue Bottle loyals will adapt. It's a premium brand, and those who believe this is the best coffee out there will continue to buy it. They'll also probably pat themselves on the back for doing so. That said, it will be challenging for lower market brands to enforce plastic reduction. As long as some shoppers can head somewhere else, they will. But it's the direction the world is going and everyone will eventually have to change how they consume, whether they like it or not.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Group says Amazon wants workers to keep quiet on its climate change strategy

    As everyone has pointed out, Amazon's position on communication guidelines for employees is valid. That said, Amazon's activist employees have likely found that communicating their stance internally falls on deaf ears. I imagine the only way of getting traction here is by raising public awareness.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2019

    Holiday bonuses are tricky (or nonexistent)

    In my experience, it works to have a group bonus that's activated once a reasonable sales target is reached, and grows proportionally as higher targets are achieved. Divvy it up by share of associate hours worked to decrease competition and ensure everyone's contribution is valued. Give managers a larger share of the pool (1.5-2x, you can use this as a compensation adjustment strategy for strong performance). Compared to individual bonuses, this method creates a healthier work environment, happier shoppers, and more months with targets achieved.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2019

    Giant thinks AR-games are ripe for grocery aisles

    Grocers are feeling the pressure since shoppers have forgone full shops. Sure, they're dropping in to pick up whatever ingredient they're missing for dinner tonight, but relying on Amazon (or Walmart) for staples. This is seems like an attempt to get them to move, with intention, throughout the store and buy more. Will the strategy actually increase sales? Will this draw shoppers in who'd otherwise shop elsewhere? Will it enhance existing shoppers' experience? I'm not so convinced that AR-gamification at retail is there yet.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Target vs. Walmart

    They're pretty similar in a way, with their "we see you" messaging. Both use popular, nostalgic music. I agree with what others have said. The somber twist with Walmart is a little depressing for me. I love the inclusion of seemingly real people, but ultimately it's a bit TOO real. In the end, I prefer Target's escapist fantasy.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2019

    The Beatles Play SoHo

    This pop-up seems more about the merchandise than the experience. I'm not sure how appealing it will be for mission-driven shoppers in Soho during the holiday season. Tourists may wander in, but I'm not sure that will translate to sales. And I'm skeptical that Beatles aficionados will brave the madness of the neighborhood just to see the goods. That said, the temporary shop seems like a suitable way garner some buzz.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2019

    Are customers more loyal to brands or influencers?

    I'm not sure the title of influencer is something that's merely self-crowned. Influencers that make viable partners must have authentically amassed a certain number of non-bot followers and achieved a level of engagement from those followers in order for brands to consider them. These people are YouTube Stars, reality TV personalities, local celebrities, tastemakers, subject matter experts, etc. Most brands can't afford to partner with the type of celebrity you're talking about. Instead, they partner with minor ones who mean something to their target audience and hope for some kick back. In many cases, they don't even have to pay these people (i.e. they pay with product), which makes the risk pretty low. Do I think it stands on its own as a viable marketing strategy? No. Am I as an older Millennial particularly swayed by influencer marketing? No. Is it all that different from established tactics like advertorials and native ads? No. Unless social media is disappearing (hey, one can always hope), I don't see this being a fad.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2019

    Are customers more loyal to brands or influencers?

    As influencers get more clout, brands have less and less creative control over the way their product is communicated when they partner when them. Brands who want to exact more control can partner with nano- and micro-influencers, who are still working to establish themselves and developing their personal brands and are therefore more likely to adhere to brands’ standards. Sure, these smaller influencers have fewer followers but their followers also tend to trust them more. This means greater potential ROI and reducing risk for their brand partners.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. Big Lots

    Best Buy is betting on experience, but Big Lots on value and their commercials reflect that. The Best Buy ad provides subtle context: our people are here for you and they know their stuff. It didn't make me laugh, but it was cute. Big Lots' ad doesn't bring anything new to the table, or tease what you can actually expect, in terms of service or experience, if you visit their store. Just lots for less.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Did Aviation Gin just make lemonade from Peloton’s lemons?

    Let's be honest. The Peloton ad was more widely mocked than it was controversial. And in the long run it will do more to benefit the brand than hurt it. Aviation Gin was savvy in piggybacking on the buzz and turning around a response ASAP, and it should earn them some brand awareness. But this was hardly turning lemons into lemonade.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Chipotle asks sick employees to call the nurse

    I imagine the wellness checks at the door (and, I hope, throughout the shift) will have the greatest impact on food safety at Chipotle. Calls with a nurse seem like a PR move, but can't hurt, especially for food service providers. I AM perplexed about the hangover example given by Mr. Niccol (if food safety is the primary concern). However, I suppose the mere offering of paid sick days will be enough to keep morale high among employees. Offering paid sick days is the best way for retailers to ensure employees aren't coming to work sick.

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