Anne Howe

Principal, Anne Howe Associates
Anne Howe has recently returned to independent consulting work through Anne Howe Associates, which she formed in 2010. Her focus will be on applying the principles of human influence in the retail and shopper marketplace.

Howe has many years of marketing and management experience ranging across diverse business sectors, including Retail, CPG, Home, Apparel, Appliances and service industries across north America. She has been a bold, industry-involved leader in retail and shopper marketing, serving on groups, panels and commissions to further the discipline with a keen eye on enhancing the shopper experience. She is a member of the Path to Purchase Institute and has been a co-chair of its annual Expo event.

Anne's overall business experience includes two years of consulting for and two subsequent  years as SVP for Acosta Mosaic Group, the marketing services division of Acosta Sales & Marketing, and 18 years as an executive at The MARS Agency. She also served as Regional VP of Sales for Hanes Hosiery, directed a retail-focused public relations firm and spent time in sales/marketing management with Hilton Hotels Corporation.
Among her many career highlights:

Introduction of storied brands such as Wonderbra, Barely There Intimates, Champion Underwear, Levi Signature, Whirlpool Duet and Clorox Green Works into the US retail marketplace.

See Anne's blog:
  • Posted on: 03/24/2017

    Can compete on experience over price?

    This concept is spot on. Living 50 minutes from the nearest Nordstrom these days, the idea of having browsing time at home translate to a fitting room of items waiting for me at the store is fantastic. This idea has me ready to jump in the car and drive! Oh, and I'm guessing the USP of fashion authority, service and experience they are known for is going to pay off in the register after my visit. Sign this shopper up!
  • Posted on: 03/24/2017

    Will smaller stores and omnichannel pay off for Kohl’s?

    I'm going to throw out a crazy idea. What if Kohl's could collaborate with some key vendors and make a limited branded line of apparel basics for distribution in Dollar General/Family Dollar? Talk about access to customers with a need for basics, a bias toward promotions and high reliance on mobile!
  • Posted on: 03/23/2017

    Is social media influence the new key to building brand loyalty?

    Well, this post sounds more like an ad for Inmar/CB services, but the fact remains that influencer marketing is real and important to every brand. I don't think of influencer marketing as different from traditional marketing. "Traditional" as a descriptor of marketing is outdated. Customer-centricity and shopper-centricity is what every marketing touchpoint should be focused on. The intent can be to deliver brand promise, brand experience or brand offer/USP, as long as it is focused on delivering on an expectation, want, need or even unmet need. That's where the rubber meets the road -- building relationship and trust.Good for Inmar for assembling the resources to make well-guided decisions that help clients deliver influence that creates behavior change.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2017

    What do know-it-all shoppers want?

    Shoppers have had to get smarter because of the failure retailers must own -- not enough investment in personal service. So many have mistakenly over-invested in digital, which is not a panacea in a world where human influence has always mattered, and still matters greatly, in the purchase cycle.Retailers that plan to invest in associate training would do well to model the training toward filling gaps that their core shoppers identify. Listen first, then train.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2017

    Why is the U.S. so bad at airport retailing?

    When you fly weekly, airport time is catch up on work time, not shopping time! Food options for on-the-go healthy eating are mainly non-existent and most apparel/luggage/knick-knack stores have staff that seemingly don't care to ask if they can help you. My advice for retailers in U.S. airports is to train staff to say "how can I help you, how much time do you have to shop?" -- allowing the customer to be in control of the experience from the get-go.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2017

    Are Old Navy’s ads more effective sans celebrities?

    I am all for the play-on-words product ad concepts, but the 40 percent off part of the spots defy logic to me. Why not introduce the products and ads at full price? (which is a good value anyway). They can always ad a sale tag later if the collections don't sell.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2017

    Are free returns a good way to drive online sales?

    For buying things that need to fit well, Zappos is the best for the very reason that shoppers can order two and send back the one that's not the best fit. It's a HUGE convenience and also broadcasts caring and love to the shopper. This is a company that truly lives and embodies its values. That in itself mitigates downside risks.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Will using Uber for home deliveries work for Kroger?

    Yikes! With Uber's dark culture cloud looming, Kroger might want to look for a supplier that can white-label delivery services under the Kroger brand umbrella. Vetting and proper training of the humans to "rep the brand" correctly is the key to success here.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2017

    Is raising membership fees getting riskier for Costco?

    Even with a membership increase (nominal at that) Costco is the best thing going for so many shoppers. When we were feeding three hungry swimmers and their dozens of hungry pals, we could not get enough of Costco's benefits. We don't belong any more but I crave tagging along on others' trips just for a dose of the treasure hunt and the pleasure of the great time/value relationship!
  • Posted on: 03/02/2017

    Will consumers make a pilgrimage to Yeti?

    I think of Yeti as an iconic brand since they have a definitive mindset appeal. Even I, who still uses a perfectly wonderful 40 year old classic red Coleman, would go to the that Yeti center in Austin to see how the they put forward the brand experience! I believe a one-off kick-a** experience center is way more effective than "showrooms." Give me a place I can feel, engage with and get a story in my head about the brand.I can hear that country song already, "gonna buy me a boat" with a "Yeti iced down ... "
  • Posted on: 02/28/2017

    Will Walmart’s price push pull customers away from Aldi?

    I can't imagine enough Aldi shoppers will change their main grocery retailer to make a huge difference to Walmart. If brands are the deciding factor to a shopper, s/he probably isn't a loyal Aldi devotee anyway. So the fact that Walmart is demanding concessions from vendors is hard for me to rationalize. The shipping experience is so radically different, and likely to take much more time, that shoppers may just not be willing to re-think and change habits for a few dollars of savings.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2017

    Will a new TJX concept put more hurt on department stores?

    This is big news here in the southeast, home to many furnishings stores and even home improvement giants Lowe's and Home Depot. Department stores are not going to be the only victims of this new TJX strategy. I can't tell you how many people I know who make HomeGoods their first stop for all home-oriented needs, and who browse weekly just to see what treasure may be lurking within. These shoppers (including "ShoppperAnnie" herself) are loyal to a fault!
  • Posted on: 02/21/2017

    Third-party e-commerce fulfillers: Friend or foe to the grocers?

    I wonder if there is room for a "white label" delivery service option. For example, Publix is using Instacart, but why can't that supplier give them a branded version? White labeling is done in so many industries, so why do grocers so willingly walk away from their brand names?
  • Posted on: 02/15/2017

    Zappos takes to the road to connect with consumers

    Zappos has a great authentic sensibility. "Come hang out" is what they really want people to do, and they don't mind spending against a core value that's part of the DNA of the brand. I may buy something from them today just because over the last ten or so years they have NEVER let me down. Truly a great company.
  • Posted on: 02/14/2017

    Is third-party content more effective in generating online sales?

    Manufacturers still need to own product spec info, and I'm not opposed to descriptive adjectives either. What's missing from branded content is authentic storytelling, so consumers providing ratings and reviews have filled in those blanks. In general there is a nice balance, with personal experiences tipping the balance toward honest evaluations that are seen as trustworthy. I believe a less prescriptive approach is best, as long as brands are being vigilant about keeping an eye on what's out there and what customers are asking for.

Contact Anne