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.

<b>See Anne's blog: <a href=""></a></b>
  • Posted on: 10/20/2016

    Starbucks leverages barista creativity to drive sales

    The "mash-up" trend continues to have value to consumers seeking unique experiences. I give all due credit to Starbucks for letting baristas have some leeway in surprising and delighting shoppers — it's the secret sauce to success!
  • Posted on: 10/13/2016

    HSN and QVC shop for retail store space

    It's only logical for HSN and QVC to feel the need for physical retail, given that so many shoppers still crave the touch and feel sensory experiences that "in real life" shopping provides. And what better place than Herald Square to reach a wide and diverse audience?I hope they both go all out to provide an invigorating and helpful shopper experience, hopefully designed around shopper insights and human behavior and decision principles.I expect this will be a slow roll as they test the waters, but I'd like to see some pop-up shops here and there to surprise and delight shoppers in other major market locations!
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    Will the “Made by Google” pop-up shops be followed by a retail chain?

    Google should certainly continue to experiment with pop-up shops and hone the experience that helps conversion. I can also see Google doing store-within-a-store tests with other retailers. They'd be smart to test with "home"-oriented retailers like Lowe's and even Restoration Hardware or IKEA.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2016

    Will retailers lose retiring boomers to experiences?

    Retailers like REI and Dick's Sporting Goods have been helpful partners in getting many Boomers I know (including me) ready for travel adventures. From steadier hiking shoes to more effective bug spray to shirts that help us avoid too much sun, we've been experiencing retail the way it should be -- (read: HELPFUL).I like Liz Crawford's examples on trade-ins. Most of my fancy clothes have hit the resale shops and I spend that money on golf gear and greens fees and gardening.The one area where retailers of all types can win is in creating events around themes that make sense to us and INVITE us Boomers into your stores. We've got time to be there.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2016

    Will customers give Amazon the keys to their smart homes?

    Gotta love Amazon's never-ending desire to get the shopper what she wants when she wants it. But I don't think many consumers would really opt for letting some stranger open their locked home to drop off a box. Local grocery stores or other retailers could easily put up package lockers and offer pickup or after-work deliveries. There are many creative solutions that don't have as much downside risk.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2016

    Best Buy takes the midnight madness route for new PlayStation

    I tend to agree with Tom D. Going after owning the VR market position is too narrow of a goal for Best Buy. That said, people remember 80% of what they experience, versus 10% of what they read. So Best Buy would be doing itself a great favor by delivering an experience that showcases VR but also primes the attendee for holiday shopping. Kill two birds with one (experiential) stone. And P.S. - make the shopper FEEL SOMETHING!
  • Posted on: 09/27/2016

    Facebook customizes ads to local inventories

    Three quick thoughts:How will consumers know that this benefit is directed to them?It's very odd that the Facebook-provided visual for this story is for a handbag on eBay, where it matters not where the inventory resides.I hope Nordstrom participates soon since they rarely have what they advertise online in my local store!
  • Posted on: 09/26/2016

    Toys ‘R’ Us mulls small, urban stores as part of turnaround

    Urban small-footprint stores are long overdue for Millennial parents. I hope Toys "R" Us hasn't waited too long, since Amazon is well-positioned with these shoppers. For urban stores to succeed, Toys "R" Us will have to provide same-day delivery to on-foot urban dwellers who don't have room in strollers for large items. Toys "R" Us has to figure out how to offset the cost of urban leases with big-ticket sales.Just thinking out loud but could Toys "R" Us use an out-posting strategy at Gap Kids, Gymboree or Old Navy?
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Is digital defining the shopping experience?

    After reading the three posts before me, I want to say "what they said." And that's because I too realize that the consumer is doing many parts of the journey via digital because the human-to-human part of retail (especially in chain stores) has been drastically diminished over time. Do we all want to resort to our phones for most of our shopping journey? Perhaps not, but we're out of great options for on-point human assistance.That said, I'm a firm believer in the power of a physical store opportunity. I so wish retailers would wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to the "experience economy" and how easy it is to apply the art of behavioral science to their stores.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Are you ready for Generation Z?

    Are there any parents involved with these kids? The relentless demands of "want it all, want it now" among young kids and teens is frankly a bit scary. Maybe they don't all need to be weaned from the breast/bottle to the smartphone or the iPad. If delayed satisfaction is still one of the core concepts to teach kids as they mature to successful teens and adults, we are in for some crazy times in the near future.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2016

    Amazon to roll out pop-ups nationwide

    Bezos is right on the money to be more interested in learning than revenue from pop-up stores. These stores are a way to deliver user experience for somewhat complex products that most consumers don't have any experience with. Amazon will figure this out and find ways to turn the learning into better shopping experiences both online and in real life.It's refreshing to see this leading retailer turning around to serve the customer in physical settings.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2016

    These social media behaviors are turning off your followers

    First off, the survey answers seem contradictory because consumers really can't say what caused them to buy if the decision was centered around an emotional trigger. Emotions are in the subconscious, which has no voice box, so most people will make up an answer to that type of question. Secondly, most of us have a highly developed B.S. filter, so we reject any conversation or messaging that is not authentic in our specific view. Lastly, overdoing promotions is the kiss of death for brands and retailers. It tends to reduce the conversation to price, which matters much less to many people than marketers think it does.In my personal social media I stick with fun and family. In my business social media, it's all about shopper behavior and retail, based on a desire to add value for those that read it.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2016

    Can pop-ups wake up mall traffic?

    It's really too bad that department stores didn't use some of their floor space for fun and innovative pop-ups. They let the traffic eek out the doors to the mall space while operating with their heads in the sand. Is it too late for innovation within anchor stores? No.But if big department stores don't act on the shopper desire for experiences that inform, entertain and create feelings, they are focused on the wrong things. This is not rocket science.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2016

    Can edible packaging help solve retail’s eco problem?

    Edible packaging can make a big impact on feeding and even saving wildlife in the future. Replacing plastic six pack holders with edible materials for sea turtles is just one example that's capable of making a big impact. In addition, if packaging can be readily used in every day composting that's good too. I'm agreeing with Steve Montgomery in that I don't see a future in everyday human households for eating the food and then the packaging.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2016

    Has American Girl made a wise move into Toys ‘R’ Us?

    I would have guessed that American Girl could have gained more sales and kept the experience intact by using a VR platform on a website. The charm of American Girl dolls is in the premium experience, which will be very unlikely to translate into Toys "R" Us. Pressure from girls and parents to expand access is not really an insight. I see this as a shareholders move too!

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