Rich Kizer

Principal, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Rich Kizer is a consumer anthropologist, retail strategist, keynote speaker, author, consultant and one-half of the KIZER & BENDER Speaking team. Rich and his partner, Georganne Bender, are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and have been listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers and the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2014. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog was named the Top Retail Blog by PR Newswire Media, and is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. Any speaker can talk about consumers, but KIZER & BENDER actually become them. In addition to yearly focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine; and maybe even a few that you can't. The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2018 marks their 28th anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2020

    Will a CEO’s crowdsourcing plea save Modell’s Sporting Goods?

    I'm an investing kind of person. But I cannot shell out the dough to someone that hasn't presented a strategic plan, a good plan with legs, to make me feel secure. I don't live in the northeastern market, but I am sure Mitchell Modell knows what must be done to have his chain remain a prosperous operation and an integral part of his customers' lives. Demonstrate those positive points and the cash has a better chance of flowing in.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2020

    Was Burger King smart to showcase moldy Whoppers?

    Followers were quoted as saying: "it's [a good ad] ... we're all talking about it." Yeah, probably in a sick way. After seeing the picture, that horrible Whopper is sealed in my head. Every time that I drive by Burger King, that vision will pop up in my consumer mind. Horrible. That thing is not going in my stomach.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2020

    Consumers hate paying for shipping more than just about anything

    It is impossible to take much of a contrary position on these comments. It is interesting that as we conduct consumer focus groups, it is rather rare that having to pay for delivery comes up. However when we lift the cover and ask if they think delivery charges are OK, the conversation and position changes. One important point we must all remember: in business it is easy to give a service, etc., to remain competitive. But it is agonizing and risky to take a given perk back.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2020

    Can Body Shop build a better workforce with an open hiring policy?

    I think this is a wonderful action for retailers to take for those who sincerely need help in finding work. I however think I would like an "Interview Light" with everyone. And then perhaps, if satisfactory, this could work well for those who are truly seeking work. And it also provides a sense of relief, assuring the retailer that their customers will be treated in the expected ways the store desires, and as their customers expect. My only fear about this "instant approval" hiring process is that it seems a little light on assuring that the customer experience will be up to par, or at least close to it. Today customers don't give retailers many chances.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2020

    H-E-B gives $100 bills to all its employees for top grocer ranking

    I cannot figure out why so many more retailers are so inept as to celebrate their staff contributions to business success. When a sense of ownership and and reward for sweat equity blossom, performance improves greatly. and when the staff has that attitude, new hires that join the team will be influenced by current staff members to up their performance. And then customers are thrilled. Congrats H-E-B. I am hoping other retailers will absorb this lesson -- it's so simple ... and so infrequent.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2020

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl?

    Before I tell you who I think the absolute winner was/is, let me make one point: There is a danger in inserting too many celebrities into a 30 second ad. That drives the viewer's attention to the celebrities and not so much on the product. We tend to remember more of celebrity appearances in Ground Hog Day easier than Jeep's message. So my favorite: Loretta. Hey guys, let us not forget that emotion sells! And that was one emotional experience for all of us. By the way, who was the actor in that spot? What does it matter?
  • Posted on: 01/30/2020

    Is it ethical for resellers to raise the price of Kobe Bryant merchandise?

    My perspective is that any profiteering on someone's passing is just wrong. It's not a time for profiteering. It's all about celebration and remembrance of a life. Sadly, profiteering will always exist.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?

    If I was a brick-and-mortar store, I would be jumping at this. And when we have the opportunity of customer contact, you better believe we will make it a service paradise! I want them back again.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Chipotle asks sick employees to call the nurse

    I love the employee program, it's certainly a nice perk that is safety driven. There will be a lot of pressure on the nurse to approve a leave instead of sending the associate back -- and risking the chance of having another outbreak. Employees will not abuse it ... right? But then again, in the name of safety, they are doing everything they can do to get the tarnish off.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Can Barnes & Noble afford to take it easy over the holidays?

    Actually, I don't think that Barnes & Noble has much of a chance to create a home run this year as they lay this season down to get ready to play in the new year. I am sure it was a timing issue and turning this huge seasonal business plan around at the last minute would be dangerous. However, everyone at Barnes&Noble better be ready to hit the road running in the new year!
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Kohl’s vs. Macy’s

    In my book, the Kohl's ad loses. Actually it bored me. The Macy's spot involves the viewer to a much greater extent. Perhaps it's a little drawn out but, in the end, it punches you right in your emotional gut! And that's the sweet spot every advertiser desires.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Mobile jumps out as retailers get a mixed start to the holiday season

    Interesting. I spoke with a retailer about mobile sales versus in-store sales. He pointed out that as he monitored mobile sale item purchases, customers who came into the store and purchased the same item were also open to purchasing one or two other add-on complementing items when they were shown them.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Why is Allbirds asking Amazon to do a better job ripping it off?

    "Please steal our approach" ... Allbirds is trying to reposition Amazon with these knock-off shoes by showing its leadership in sharing important environmental-friendly materials. This also is telling the world about their values. Good move. I don't expect Amazon to do anything except move forward.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2019

    Big things are happening as Small Business Saturday turns 10

    I think the "shop small" message has gained much traction with consumers. Consumers have pride in "their own" local markets. During the past few years, small retailers have developed the promotional savvy to make the event more than just a sign in the window. Today retailers are updating their promotional playbooks and really competing with everyone by creating compelling promotions for their stores. Bravo!
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Is secondhand gifting a holiday disruptor?

    Most items purchased "second hand" are items the purchaser is making for themselves, and that is fine. Receiving a second hand sweater or shirt is probably not appropriate gifting to the vast majority. However, gifting something of apparent value, like an antique or jewelry is an acceptable second-hand gift.

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