Joel Rubinson

President, Rubinson Partners, Inc.

Joel is President of Rubinson Partners, Inc. marketing and research consulting for a brave new world. Prior to that, as Chief Research Officer at The ARF, Joel interacted directly with hundreds of research leaders and drove the organization’s initiatives regarding notably:

  • Research transformation (designing the future of the profession)
  • 360 media and marketing
  • Social media and listening
  • Online research data quality
  • Shopper insights

Joel helped build awareness of the ARF and its priorities by building a sizable social media presence via a blog that achieved thousands of page views each month and with a twitter profile of nearly 3,000 followers.

Prior to joining the ARF, Joel was Senior Vice-President, Head of Advanced Solutions for Synovate North America where he was their leading branding resource and was also the global thought leader for shopper research. Before joining Synovate, Joel was at the NPD Group for many years, leading the creation of tools for brand equity management (BrandBuilder), new product forecasting (ESP), category management and designed many of their data collection and sampling methodologies as NPD changed from paper diaries to online research. Joel started his research career at Unilever.

Joel is also a published author of numerous papers in professional journals and frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has taught the official American Marketing Association advanced tutorial on brand loyalty and lectured at Columbia, NYU, Wharton, Amos Tuck School, and University of Rochester, among others. Joel holds an MBA in statistics and economics from the University of Chicago and a BS from NYU.

  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Do digital coupons discriminate against those who can least afford it?

    With 90 percent ownership levels of internet enabled phones, it's hard to believe there is much exclusion here. However a retailer should be willing to accommodate a consumer who walks up to the courtesy counter and says they have no access to digital coupons. Though I would be vehemently opposed to under-serving the great majority of Americans just to bring offerings down to some lowest common denominator.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2022

    The direct-to-consumer kitchenware brand Our Place gets physical

    Make it fun! what differentiates a physical store from a digital one is the physical store for something like kitchenware can be like a trip to Disney World (maybe Epcot). Also, make virtual buying with ship-to-store or ship-to-home an integral part of the experience so whatever the consumer wants that is in the corporate inventory can be gotten.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2022

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

    It's hard for me to fully evaluate this without more knowledge about these serial returners. I have a suspicion that most might also be heavy purchasers at that retailer. Do you want to send your heaviest buyers elsewhere because they also make a lot of returns?
  • Posted on: 10/25/2022

    Canada investigates grocers over charges of price gouging

    Biden has accused the big oil companies of profiteering (which he backed off from only because gas prices declined). I don't see why he wouldn't at least talk tough regarding those big chains who sell groceries.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2022

    Does Krispy Kreme fill a hole in McDonald’s menu?

    I think the two brands offer a great fit. A complete win/win here.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2022

    BOPIS substitution processes need work

    Product substitutions disrupt brand loyalties and you cannot generalize across all shoppers. I had created a shopping styles segmentation that had segments like brand planners, product planners (generic, OK), system beaters, and deal sensitive. The same person did not have the same shopping style across all categories, nor did any category have only one type of shopper. Product substitutions will upset a percent of shoppers in ANY category ... the percent will vary, but who wants to alienate any shoppers?
  • Posted on: 09/30/2022

    Will most Americans spend Black Friday shopping on their phones?

    I think you have two competing trends. On one hand, consumers are increasingly comfortable with transacting from their mobile devices. On the other hand, people want to get out of the house and are ready for normal life after the pandemic. I see both types of shopping increasing and I think they will operate synergistically, too -- customers will use mobile to figure out where the best deals are and then go there in person to buy them.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2022

    Can Instacart marry in-store and online grocery shopping experiences?

    Not sure about this. Is Stop & Shop's SCAN IT! a success? Video Cart before that failed. This doesn't seem all that different. When I think of Instacart, I think of getting an order delivered to you. Does this help that process? Seems like it could be engineered to do so, but isn't there yet.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2022

    Sephora learns an expensive lesson about customer data privacy in California

    One aspect is that the most stringent laws will drive corporate privacy policies as global companies do not want a patchwork of rules. From an ad measurement point of view, it will lead to differential privacy like Facebook releasing cohort data so no ID's individual data exposure is revealed. Google will eventually strip IDs out of their ad server log files. Walls of walled gardens will get higher. There is a lot of irony here. Killing the third party cookie for privacy is a paradox as it was actually a highly anonymous identifier. You might see the same ads over and over but no one knew who you actually were! Apple has taken a highly restricted view regarding mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) and opt in yet Apple itself knows everything about me. The one shoe I hope never drops but I'm afraid it might is frequent shopper data offered by IRI, Nielsen, Catalina. That is a major advantage for CPG marketers who leverage it for targeting.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2022

    Can Instacart transform from a transactional to an inspirational shopping platform?

    Yes! what they are doing is elevating a transactional offering that was fueled by COVID-19 into something much, much bigger. Online for CPG is on the cusp of exploding and Instacart (a name they might want to also elevate, BTW) is helping to make it happen.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2022

    Should sports betting be served up in grocery aisles?

    If there is a buck to be made, retailers will do it. People can gamble right from their phones while shopping too, so I'm not sure it's changing societal behaviors to offer this or not offer it. Today online betting sites are big advertisers on sports TV and who would have predicted that 20 years ago?
  • Posted on: 08/02/2022

    Will Amazon deliver same-day results for GNC, PacSun and other retailers?

    Yes, Amazon is becoming an ecoystem of resources to shoppers. You could say it is a second metaverse and one that is perhaps more important than Facebook.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2022

    Dynamic pricing may be ‘stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey’

    There is a fine line (or maybe no line at all) between "dynamic pricing" and "price gouging" in the minds of the consumer. Surge pricing by Uber causes the same reaction when the surge is caused by a storm, criminal event, etc. It depends on how much you care about consumer goodwill. In the case of ticket sales, I suspect they don't care at all.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2022

    Walmart and Target take different approaches to Amazon’s Prime Day

    I like it. Why play by Amazon's rules and let them set the agenda? You have your own pricing and promotion strategies in place and let them respond to YOU.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2022

    Will Ben & Jerry’s be Ben & Jerry’s if its Israel unit’s sale goes through?

    Ben and Jerry (the people) declaring they are supporters of Israel is disingenuous. Behavior speaks louder than words. Their behavior regarding Jewish settlements and hiring Linda Sarsour as a spokesperson speaks much louder than any press release. Furthermore, I assume Unilever bought a brand in a way that gave them control, not just a profit stream so they can call the shots. However that is for the lawyers to decide.

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