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: 10/23/2020

    Can Target assure customers they’ll be safe shopping for the holidays?

    These sound like great moves and they are clearly trying to stay ahead of the changing lifestyles due to the pandemic. I think these will become permanent, just like terrorism led to check-in kiosks in airports that have become permanent. When a change is adding more convenience and simplicity even for normal times, it will become permanent.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Staples to accept returns from other stores

    This is a natural step in the evolution of retail customer service. It is good for the retailer who gets unexpected footfall and good for the customer. Win all around.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Should Yelp be calling out businesses accused of racist behavior?

    So someone doesn't like a business or the owner and says, "I know how to get them! I'll accuse them of being racists!" How in the world will Yelp separate these types of claims from ones that have legitimacy? I say, let the reviews speak for themselves. Don't we all dismiss some and pay more attention to others that seem more relevant or better thought through?
  • Posted on: 09/30/2020

    Will same-day deliveries be a difference maker for Bed Bath & Beyond?

    There is very little I buy at that store that needs to be delivered the same day or that I can buy without seeing it and other similar products on the shelf.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2020

    Did CDC’s announcement boost retail’s online sales prospects for Christmas?

    Maybe some effect. People are going stir crazy and need to get out of the house and feel normal again. Perhaps holiday sales will be spread out more to avoid the mad rush of Black Friday, but I bet there will still be a fair amount of traffic and little drop off, if any, in buying across the season leading to Christmas.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2020

    Will homes of the future include ‘Amazon Rooms’?

    I would definitely consider this for a new home. The way I think it would work is that there is an outer door to the vestibule for package delivery and an inner door not accessible by Amazon. That would afford protection from COVID-19 but also from porch pirates which is actually a bigger concern, I believe.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2020

    Why does Amazon want a fitness tracker?

    Amazon is so much more than a retailer. They are now #3 in ad revenues. They are the cloud. They are in TV with Amazon Prime and Fire Stick. So I have two guesses. 1.) They could be using this as part of a differentiating offer regarding healthcare and medications; 2.) FOMO. They are in everything so how can they not have a play in the "digital self"? I do NOT think they will link personal data to other information for targeting purposes. That would really be invasive and invite a massive backlash.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2020

    Should restaurants charge a pandemic fee?

    Just increase prices. Putting a separate line item is like showing lack of gratitude for the risk that diners are taking to go to that restaurant sometimes with the altruistic idea of helping their favorite places to stay afloat. As a personal story, I am in a Rolling Stones tribute band and a really nice music venue we played at many times created a GoFundMe page to help them stay in business. I contributed. It's a tough time for all.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2020

    As tech workers go remote, Facebook leases huge NYC offices

    I think the NY commercial real estate prices might have receded or even collapsed. As such, this might be an investment as well as a headquarters decision. The location is also a safe one as the LIRR is right downstairs and NJ Transit is right there too. I bet these were all factors in their decision. Having said all this, I would be shocked if we went back to the pre-COVID-19 days of everyone having to come to an office every day.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2020

    Survey says Amazon and Walmart are among the most patriotic brands

    I could not imagine how I would personally even answer such a survey. A brand can exhibit American values and trumpet American icons -- is that being patriotic? Is helping people in need patriotic? Is a brand that hires someone as a spokesperson who kneels for the anthem UNpatriotic? I also find the discussion question to be disconnected from from discussion content. Have tenets of loyalty and engagement been upended? Not at all. We all realize these are unusual times and look forward to returning to normal.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2020

    How can retailers differentiate curbside delivery?

    I wouldn't consider this a differentiating factor. It is a needed part of how retailers now must do business. However the drivers of choosing one store over another are still the same -- brand preference, proximity, prices, selection, etc.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2020

    Will Walmart’s best shoppers ditch Amazon Prime for Walmart+?

    The two critical facts that most marketers miss: 1.) your best customers, the heaviest top third of buyers for many brands, buy others more than they buy you; 2.) heavy buyers are the most responsive to advertising in terms of ROAS (absolute increase in sales divided by absolute increase in ad spending). Putting these facts together, this type of program -- with heavy-up advertising weight against your best customers -- is exactly the right play for Walmart. Now is the offer exactly right? I'm not sure, but the targeting certainly is on point.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2020

    Has the pandemic changed shopping behaviors forever?

    While "permanent" is hard to assess, I think there are some long lasting/multi-year affects that can be predicted. We have accelerated online and home delivery adoption. Social distancing, masks, and one way lanes will continue for some time. Also, the retailer lineup is changing. Some iconic and many smaller retailers are going out of business and that leads to a cascading of effects in terms of malls and the ecosystem around malls (e.g. Starbucks, QSR). I also worry about vibrant main streets and towns, defined by feeling alive in the downtown village. If enough businesses go under, the main streets become ghost towns. Many smaller towns have gone through their tough times and renaissance so "permanent" is hard to assess, but these are certainly multi-year challenges.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2020

    Will a smaller Macy’s be a better Macy’s?

    Smaller? Not sure. Reinvented? Has a chance. I remember when you could barely walk around a Macy's because of all the people. In recent years, it's been more of a ghost town. I really hope they regain the excitement. If they go down, it will have a cascading effect on malls, Starbucks locations which partly live off of shopper traffic, etc.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Will Facebook Shops launch social commerce into the mainstream?

    I think this is not much competition for Amazon. Maybe more of a mashup of eBay and Etsy. With Amazon or eBay you start with a product in mind. Here you start with a small shop in mind. those are such different shopping starting points I just don't know how this will fit into the retailing ecosystem. I'm thinking it's a small idea for Facebook but a good thing for local merchants.

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