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Naomi K. Shapiro

Strategic Market Communications, Upstream Commerce

Following an exciting and rewarding career in marketing, PR, publishing, website management and adventure travel writing, Naomi came to the retail industry as strategic marketing communications and content manager for leading retail intelligence company, Upstream Commerce. As CEO of her own company, Creative Brilliance, she was a pr and publicity practitioner; started and maintained her own magazine, Brilliant Ideas for Publishers; wrote and published “The Brilliant Book of Promotions, Sales Tools & Special Events”; and took newspaper publishers around the world to study newspaper industries of other countries. Her most interesting invitation was to give an invited talk at the Asia-Pacific Conference in Hong Kong on, “The Future of The American Newspaper.” Most interesting personal/travel writer experiences: “Fishing With The Salties (saltwater crocodiles) at The Top Of Down Under”, trekking on a glacier; shark fishing, having six humpback whales dive under her (very) small boat; and more.

Favorite Quote #1: “Argue anything for your own advantage, and people will resist to the limit. But seem unselfishly to consider you customers’ desires, and they will naturally flock to you.” (Claude C. Hopkins, My Life In Advertising).

Favorite Quote #2: “Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well-informed, or your ideas will be irrelevant.” (David Ogilvy, Ogilvy On Advertising).

Other Links from Naomi K. Shapiro:

Upstream Commerce blog

  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Are ad agencies history?

    Sorry for cribbing from my colleagues, but they said it better than I ever could: -- Chris Petersen: "Data is just that — sets of numbers. Retailers and brands need people who can interpret those numbers. More importantly, they need talent that knows how to apply the data in ways that engage customers." -- Steve Montgomery: "Data must be turned into actionable information. This is a function of drawing insights from it. In the case of ad agencies that means being able to use that insight to create something that will create or reinforce brand awareness and drive sales. Data is just data." -- Ricardo Belmar: “ without insight is just trivia! ... While data is king, the real trick is knowing how to use it to get the outcome you want." -- Phil Rubin: "What value is all the data if it is not associated with customers?" -- Kai Clarke: "Any advertisement still needs creative, managing the ad spend, maximizing exposures, cross platform manipulation, etc." -- Brandon Rael: "While data is a critical piece of the ever-shifting sands of the advertising complex, there is a place beyond simply leveraging data, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to engage, entertain and retain customers."
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    Should the outdoor industry welcome selling on

    Even though this issue is more complicated than it looks on the surface, I heartily agree with this answer, the endgame being: greater exposure, more sales, more profit ... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    It’s no more ‘burn, baby, burn’ for Burberry

    It is simply not acceptable for luxury brands (or anyone) to destroy unsold stock to maintain product scarcity! Both the practice (of burning the product) and the reason for it (product scarcity) are completely anathema to our societal values. Other brands should immediately make the same commitment -- or be ostracized or worse -- in today's and tomorrow's world.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2018

    J.Crew makes the jump to Amazon’s marketplace

    Based on the pitfalls and disadvantages of a retailer of working with Amazon (as discussed in our post: Pros, Cons & Considerations of Working With Third Party Marketplaces), such a move would be ill-advised. On second thought, the potential exposure to new customers for J.Crew and beginning/developing a following would be an excellent decision. Attractive, lower-priced items getting wide exposure will lead the customers to look at, and buy, the other items in J.Crew's cache. J.Crew did its homework in determining that their pricing was "too high" -- and unprofitable. We see the importance of applying business and pricing intelligence technology to get to that decision.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2018

    Walmart could have you shopping in The Matrix

    These days -- and in the fast coming days of the future -- anything is possible! Use of VR for at-home shopping will depend on user friendliness, benefit to the user, and the need of the customer for convenience and practicality over sociability and user fulfillment. Also, like Amazon and other front-line retailers, advance patenting is pretty important for future possibilities ...
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Are retailers short-changing national grocery brands?

    Neil: I also don't agree with this assessment that national products are higher quality or deserve more sales than private label, although the consumer may, psychologically, think so. Remember that many private brands are "real brands in private label clothing," coming from the same companies with whom they sit next to on the shelves. These days, many private label products even look, taste and smell like the real products, because it IS the real product, only costs less -- many even having info on them that says, "Compare with such and such, i.e. the Charmin, the Palmolive, etc. Also remember that the retailer is paying less for the private label product and, with increased sales of private label product, is making good or greater margin. I advise the consumer to check carefully; they will often find the same product as a private label.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2018

    Walmart reimagines in-store shopping for mobile

    Although I think these innovations are great, I just wonder if all the "convenience" features cut into impulse buying, and what effect that will have on a store's bottom line.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    Amazon moves closer to FedEx and UPS’s turf

    I agree with "negative Nancy" (Paula). Not everything Amazon does or tries succeeds. In this case, Amazon will have to spend A LOT of $$$$ to get this program set up and keep it running. I also feel an allegiance to the other "legacy" companies, for anything other than Amazon purchases.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    No joke – Walmart asks CPGs for higher priced products

    Dr. Stephen Needel pointed out what I was going to point out: Don't confuse higher prices and higher priced products. The nuance not mentioned in the BrainTrust question is also whether the lower price on the item will be available at the store ... driving, what we know, is more store traffic and people buying more while they are in the store.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2018

    Could ‘platform thinking’ be a blueprint for retail success?

    I suggest not to get hung up on the name, which is confusing, but concentrate on the essence of the examples given in her talk, about new ways of thinking and presenting the customer experience. It matters not the size of your business, but your creativity in promoting the product(s) and attracting and entertaining and pleasing the customers. The majority of our votes in the poll above: "Which part of platform thinking promises the most success," went for "Understanding a product's lifestyle significance." Make that the attraction for the consumer.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2018

    Walmart CEO: ‘Retail is about change’

    Retailers looking to foster an atmosphere of change can use and emulate Walmart as an example. Of course internal workings will be different for each retailer, but listen to what Doug McMillon says retailers have to do to form a solid foundation for change, meeting those challenges and preparing for those challenges and changes in the future.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2018

    At NRF Show, CVS calls for transparency in beauty

    CVS will hit the ground running with this long wanted, long overdue position. The changes will be welcomed, probably for ALL the above-mentioned reasons: women's empowerment, health issues and authenticity.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2018

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond find gold in a treasure hunt strategy?

    There's a difference between "deep value" and "treasure hunt." The madness is in the method. I see BBB as a more practical stop for something specific, but I don't think I would troll BBB regularly on the chance there'd be some mystery item I couldn't do without.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2018

    Surreal to so real – Sam’s closes 63 clubs after Walmart announces pay raise

    Right decisions. Really poor timing and PR. I believe I read that the two companies are "separate," but if you don't know what your right hand is doing, you'd better check and use your hands more closely.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2018

    Will retail be woven into the fabric of the new, walkable suburb?

    It would be nice, but is it physically possible? Cities with which I'm familiar have shopping centers spread all over the suburbs, none of which seem to lend themselves to expansion to a walkable suburb. Stores alongside each other, e.g. next to an anchor like Target or Meijer, yes, but not in a walkable suburban setting. If people want to live in the suburbs, why should they build a walkable shopping community around themselves?
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