Jeff Weidauer

CMO & Principal, SSR Retail LLC

Jeff Weidauer is currently a marketing and strategy consultant, working with retailers and their suppliers to develop targeted go-to-market strategies.

Prior to that he was Vice President of Marketing & Strategy for Vestcom International, Inc., responsible for marketing, strategy, intellectual property, product management, and M&A activity. Jeff has been involved in retail food and drug for over three decades, beginning his career in San Diego with Lucky Stores, advancing through numerous roles, including store and category management functions, along with corporate advertising and marketing for Albertsons and Supervalu.

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  • Posted on: 12/13/2019

    Are customers more loyal to brands or influencers?

    Influencer marketing amounts to little more than gambling with your brand. All is well as long as the influencer follows the rules, but since they make up their own rules things often go awry, and the brand takes the hit. Even when things go well, the market's loyalty is dedicated to the influencer, not the brand. Influencer marketing is best used for short term awareness; it's not a reliable long-term success strategy.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2019

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

    I have to jump on the bandwagon and go with Big Lots. It's upbeat, fun and makes the point. Best Buy is funny, but a darker point could be made that their customers aren't very smart - not sure that's what they want to say.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    One of the best Christmas commercials ever cost almost nothing to make

    The Haford's spot shows that it's not necessary to spend millions to make an impact. Telling a compelling story doesn't take money - it takes a good storyteller. But companies that try to mimic this approach will quickly find that recreating lightning in a bottle isn't easily accomplished. There's an alchemy to creating viral success, but it's an ever-changing formula.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

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

    The entire Peloton controversy brings to mind the term "outrage amplification," which is the social media-driven explosion over what would otherwise be insignificant mis-steps. I don't know if the Peloton ad was a mis-step or not, but in six months the outrage will have moved elsewhere. Moving quickly is mandatory, so Aviation Gin gets high marks for capitalizing on this flash mob uprising.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    How has the retail seasonal hiring playbook changed?

    The bad news for seasonal hiring is the low unemployment rate. The good news is the number of gig workers who may be open to multiple gigs. Retailers should also be looking at seniors to fill those slots - many would be willing to take on something temporarily, and many might be a better fit for customer-facing jobs. With the prospect of record-setting returns on the horizon, shipping and logistics help is likely to be in demand for several weeks post-holiday as well.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2019

    Amazon decides it has sampled enough

    Amazon isn't likely to have caved to concerns about privacy. The most likely explanation is the most obvious: the program didn't deliver as planned. Amazon is good at fast-fail testing, so add this to the pile and move on.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2019

    Will Grinches steal Christmas from America’s front porch?

    Unfortunately, porch piracy has become a lucrative vocation for a certain group of people. But brick-and-mortar retailers have an opportunity to use their stores as pick-up depots as Amazon has done with lockers in Whole Foods. There may even be an opportunity for personalized delivery services, filling the gap between UPS/FedEx and consumers. Until one of the stakeholders: seller, shipper, or consumer, takes responsibility for the problem and invests in finding a solution, it will only continue to grow.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Why are brands so bad at identity resolution?

    Connecting online and offline is the Holy Grail for marketers today, but it's also a fine line to walk between "give me personalized service" and "don't be creepy." Consumers have multiple touchpoints today, from phone numbers to emails (often several), and they know how to clear cookies from web browsers. The best method is to get them to opt in to allow the connecting of activities, but the challenge will be to make that worthwhile over the long run. Consumers are fully aware that their data is being gathered and analyzed, but they also expect real value in return.
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Private label foods need work

    For many mainstream retailers, private label retains the stigma from the generics craze 30 years ago. Since then, store brands have been viewed internally as cheap imitations of the real thing, and little to no effort has been put into developing a solid store brand offering. From a consumer perspective, that generic stigma doesn't exist. Private label is an opportunity to differentiate and provide unique products that aren't available elsewhere, but retailers are late making the investment.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2019

    How does come back from its trademark battle backlash?

    Protecting trademarks is never fun, but not doing so can result in the loss of the trademark, and it's up to the mark's owner to protect it. On the other hand, letting the lawyers call the shots is not usually the best marketing strategy. Bicycle manufacturer Specialized has gone through similar challenges, both with its corporate name, and at least one bike model, the "Roubaix." While the backlash against Backcountry will most likely blow over in time, the company may want to just change its name to prevent future challenges. Even if it wins the trademark battle, it may lose the branding war.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Kroger brings the farm closer to the table

    With climate change, food safety concerns, and transportation challenges all increasing, the idea of in-store farming is intriguing. But it will take years of investment to make it pay off. A productive and scalable in-store farm requires massive technology: robotics, AI, lighting systems. Consumers will be wary at first; a minor misstep could derail the entire project, so attention to detail is critical. Whether traditional growers get involved will depend on the success of in-store farms. They may be best served by creating partnerships with retailers now to stay engaged so they are not on the losing end in the future.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Should Santa be a loyalty program perk?

    Offering Santa visits as a perk only to big spenders will be seen as a giant lump of coal for many shoppers who feel betrayed. It will likely bring an end to many family traditions that may go back for generations. Unless Harrods makes drastic changes to its policy, and quickly, I suspect we will look back in a few years and point to this as the turning point for Harrods and the beginning of a decline.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2019

    Are Americans ready for a DTC shopping holiday?

    A lot of the statements being made about DTC and its advantages are just the industry talking to itself. Most consumers neither know nor care what is DTC and what is retail - they just want easy, fast and cheap. Trying to create yet another November shopping holiday is adding a bucket of water to a swimming pool; it's become Black November, and there is no single day of savings any longer. I suspect the DTC message will get lost with consumers and, while DTC activity with major brands will grow, it won't be a game-changer for consumers.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Should customers just be paid for their data?

    Consumer data offers the greatest value in aggregate, not at the individual level. The value of a single person's data is minimal, much like the payout from a class action lawsuit; the overall award might be massive, but your share won't buy you lunch. In addition, there is the impact of unintended outcomes if we start buying data directly from consumers. The likelihood of fraud, data manipulation and even a "black market" grows exponentially. Consumers need to be rewarded for their data, but this should be in the form of greater protections, greater transparency, and greater benefit to them.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Is ‘OK Boomer’ a merchandising opportunity?

    I'm surprised that the phrase is generating this much attention and angst. As a member of the Boomer cohort, I don't have a problem with it. But OK Boomer's 15 minutes will be up soon, so if you're going to sell merchandise, do it quickly.

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