Michael La Kier

President, What Brands Want, LLC

Michael La Kier has a proven track record in building consumer-loved and shopper-relevant brands by unearthing insights to break new ground, enter new markets and create richer, more profitable relationships.

Michael founded What Brands Want, LLC in 2013 as an advisory service to help companies better position and effectively present their offering to brands and consumers. With deep of experience working with some of the world’s best brands – including Coca-Cola, The Food Channel, USA Today and Save the Children – Michael brings a wealth of marketing experience to help a diverse client based ranging from digital and traditional brands to marketing tech startups.

For more information, visit:

  • Posted on: 08/04/2022

    Is Walmart’s HQ reorg a good thing or cause for concern?

    Walmart Corporate Layoff Quick Take: This non-recession recession ain't going away any time soon!
  • Posted on: 08/02/2022

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

    Adding well-known retailers to the Amazon platform likely benefits Amazon more than the retailers. It's not likely that many shoppers of Diesel, GNC, PacSun, and SuperDry were holding back purchases because same-day delivery was not offered. For the most part, these are not impulse purchases that are urgently needed. But it does add to the value proposition bundle from Amazon Prime.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2022

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

    Outside of hotels and airlines, dynamic pricing has always run into issues with consumer perceptions of unfairness. Raise drink prices when it's hot? Nope. Increase the price of cold medicine during winter or a pandemic? Nope. The truth is, however, that dynamic pricing exists in many markets. The key is to not change things so substantially as to drive the perception of price gouging. And the more transparent the better.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2022

    Grocers and food brands take older consumers for granted

    While most marketers do look to the younger generation for “the next big thing," the older generation is valuable and should not be ignored. It’s always interesting to look at where the survey came from, AARP -- of course -- is looking to protect their members.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2022

    Can Walmart roll back inflation?

    While Walmart can’t blunt inflation overall, it can certainly attract a lot of shoppers by lowering prices at a time of high inflation. The question is, can Walmart use its buying might to protect shoppers from the full force of inflation? In the short term the answer is probably yes, in the longer-term, no.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2022

    McDonald’s puts hacks, merch drops, musical acts and food deals on its ‘camp’ menu

    Creating engaging, easy-to-use, valuable ways to engage with the brand is a recipe that can deliver growth. While a little late to the "app party," McDonald's is making up for the lost time.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2022

    Is Amazon taking its foot off the Prime Day marketing pedal?

    Overall e-commerce sales are returning to pre-pandemic levels of growth; Amazon Prime Day will likely be no different. It's not that the thrill is gone -- "it's the economy, stupid."
  • Posted on: 06/22/2022

    Will Deal Days help Target clear its inventory?

    With ever-increasing gas prices and daily news of inflation, America is ready for deals! Prime Day, Deal Days, and others are hitting at the right time. The events are likely to record sales above 2021 numbers.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Should retailers charge for curbside pickup?

    The growth of e-commerce is likely to be nipped and tucked somewhat due to "new" fees. Shoppers are not always rational. Although many retailers eliminated fees for curbside pickup and other e-commerce delivery services during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have short memories and will view these charges as increases. That being said, minimum orders to qualify for free curbside and other services are good business.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Food prices are going up, up, up. Inflation is tough, tough, tough.

    The obvious fallout: people's wallets are getting tighter. The non-obvious fallout: consumers may view retailers and brands negatively (despite supply chain and logistics issues) for raising prices -- especially when "big business" still reports huge earnings.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2022

    Walmart shifts truck pilots into gear as a start to meeting its zero emissions goal

    Alternative fuels are a critical area to test for all retailers. Walmart is smart to explore a variety of options to understand the potential benefits and barriers.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2022

    Should retail leases include clauses covering future shutdowns?

    There’s what we know, what we know we don’t know, and what we don’t know we don’t know. It would be nice to cover all of the above, but it is just not possible.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2022

    Has science-based marketing taken a pandemic hit?

    Offering reassurance of performance is always an effective closing strategy for brands. Even before COVID-19, however, some of the science-backed claims came into question. Making them believable is key.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2022

    Whole Foods is into palm reading

    If you can make shoppers' lives easier - and speed up checkout - it's worth exploring. Many problems exist however with alternative payment systems. Cost and time to implement new infrastructure and educate both employees and shoppers are significant barriers.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2022

    Google rethinks employee reviews and promotions process

    Feedback on performance should not be "an event" but an ongoing dialogue. Gaining insight into one's perceived performance is a valuable tool. Peer feedback is invaluable. Empowering employees and working under the assumption that most employees deliver is a smart move for Google. Companies with engaged employees deliver better results and higher returns.

Contact Michael


  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.