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: 01/19/2017

    Target gets creative help from Gen Z in new apparel line

    This is Target at its best, being right on point with the shopper base and the products. It was easier to do without the crowd-sourcing years ago, but today's culture shift screams for inclusion and involvement, experience and stories. Target is delivering on those things again.When I go, I'm intrigued enough to spend extra time exploring apparel. This time around I buy more in the 3T/4T sizes for Miss M (granddaughter) versus the former teen that is now her mother!
  • Posted on: 01/18/2017

    Is there a retail marketing opportunity in unwanted gifts?

    I love, love, love the Skittles Pawn Shop idea and the Burger King exchange a gift for a Whopper. Clever thinking with the gifts donated to charity is a win, win, win. And the third win is because it give people a story to tell. I would love to see more brands get clever and bold enough to get on board this train!
  • Posted on: 01/18/2017

    Why does Gen Z like brick-and-mortar stores but not malls?

    I suspect part of Generation Z's attraction to real-life shopping is that it's inherently social and gets them out of the house. Plus, at the younger ages, they rarely make a move or a decision that isn't part of a "group think" conversation. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that they are gravitating to physical retail, but two things should be understood: 1.) they may well migrate to the web once they get more comfortable making decisions on their own and can get the credit cards, and 2.) retailers had better work very diligently on creating experiences in the stores that satisfy their need for entertainment, education and fun. Without more effort to cultivate relationships, these fickle and mobile shoppers will just move on to price and convenience, just like so many other generations of shoppers have done.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2017

    What made Wendy’s Twitter zing a win?

    I love when brands use humor to try to get readers/fans to feel something. But they really need to stay true to what they stand for in the mind of the audience. It's a fine line, but nudging it forward is part of the marketer's job. Nudge on! We can all use more humor and more "feel something, do something" in this crazy world.I support Cheerios for the Prince effort as well. There are a TON of '80s moms making cereal decisions, and the humans who wrote that were likely authentically feeling sad.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2017

    NRF and 21 retailers launch career training initiative

    I hope the classes have at least one module on the basics of human relationships and how to be a good navigator of conversations with shoppers. Most retail associates I see that are new have that "deer in the headlights" look more often than not when asked to get in the middle of a shopper situation. We forget to ever discuss how people feel.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2017

    What does giving up alcohol say about Starbucks?

    This, to me is all about understanding what the brand can and cannot do. And this lives in the minds of the users, and to some extent the non-users. SBUX is smart to keep the business models fluid, and true to the user core's reason to be there.In the crowded urban areas where Starbucks excels, it's interesting to note that many urban dwellers leave their roommates behind and go to the cafes to get privacy. They define privacy as achievable in that public space because the culture is to leave people alone and let them tend to their reading, working, etc. on their device of choice. Productivity and even one-to-one socialization might be going on, but it's less about "in real life" and more about what each individual can do.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2017

    What would an American Apparel acquisition do for Amazon or Forever 21?

    Let's just imagine what Amazon could do with the brand name alone. Endless possibilities exist to extend that name to secondary categories beyond core fashion. Plus, Amazon could convert any part of the storefront footprint to showrooms and/or pick-up centers for any of its merchandise ... even shelf-stable groceries. Jeff Bezos must know he's got a giant tiger by the tail here.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2017

    What will the sale of Craftsman mean for Sears and Stanley Black & Decker?

    Sears would have been smarter to sell off this fantastic brand years ago; doing it now appears like a fire sale. Stanley Black & Decker is a wise buyer, they will be able to manage the brand in a tiered manner and create retailer interest that can translate to consumer satisfaction. I hope the first thing they do is to solidify the lifetime warranty of the product to ease any and all fears from the very solid user base that the brand has cultivated over many years. That alone preserves the core of the brand promise in consumers' minds and hearts.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Will store closings and layoffs end Macy’s woes?

    I believe that Macy's is making some smart moves, but I do hope they spend some of the savings on upgrading the store experience, especially as it relates to employees. I hate to say this as a Boomer, but even I don't enjoy the lackluster, disinterested senior sales associates that really don't have a "bead" on how to convert traffic to sales.So if I feel that way, what about my two Millennial working daughters, who both get monthly clothing boxes from a stylist service? Add Amazon, Zappos, T.J. Maxx and a few upscale resale shops and they are all set. They use Macy's for wedding gifts only if Amazon can't match prices. Macy's is a brand on an island that doesn't really have a human bridge to the future.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2017

    Should workers have the right to disconnect?

    All employees deserve the right to be "off-line" and have time to de-stress and re-connect with people in real life. Retail employees are no different than any others, and may in fact need more time to de-stress from the ever-escalating consumer expectation of, "you need to be always on so I can get what I want whenever I want it!"We've lost respect for the human factor and the fact that relationships are built on the cornerstone of helping one another in two-way interactions!
  • Posted on: 12/22/2016

    Should department stores talk less about Millennials and more about ‘heavy spenders’?

    Demographic segmentation is just not powerful enough anymore! Retailers have enough data and hopefully enough marketing talent to sort customers by their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. And they should be listening to various segments to find out what will make them shift behaviors and spend more. It might be enough to offer them more access and convenience versus price. It might be special hours with very talented design/shopping assistance available. It might be access to all inventory online and one-day free shipping. It's a complex grid but worth doing. It all starts and ends with relationship, and that means having the guts to LISTEN and RESPOND!
  • Posted on: 12/21/2016

    How are manufacturers failing retailers?

    Retailers and manufacturers would be ahead of the game if they focused on a true and two-way relationship with core shoppers of each retail chain. The days of mass influence are about over, as shoppers today expect that if "you know me and I give you information about what I want, then you should respond and reach out to me accordingly."Retailers and brands working together to react to and deliver upon the expectation of personalization will have more success together than individually. Doing this right takes a village made up of folks from multiple disciplines from both camps. It's most successful when a neutral lead (agency or consultant) can help negotiate hurdles and keep the team focused on the needs, wants and expectations of the shopper!
  • Posted on: 12/19/2016

    Starbucks launches its own branded web cartoon

    Truth be told I'm not a Starbucks drinker, but I do get culture and I think this is spot on. I hope the brand lets this web series get a little (or a lot) edgy and, what's more, figure out a way to involve the intended audience in a few story lines. They will get closer to true engagement and building relationships if they get beyond the "broadcasting" mentality.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2016

    A marketplace for pop-ups wants to disrupt the retail real estate business

    Brilliant! And while I have some concern about a marketplace driving pricing up, the immediacy of being able to search for space and move fast to create an experience is fantastic for marketers that need to keep ahead of the curve. I can see this happening in the U.S. marketplace and it will likely be as disruptive as Airbnb. I can also see service companies using this as well as retailers and classic brands.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2016

    Will expanded parental leave boost IKEA’s recruitment and retention efforts?

    In today's economy, many people have few options but to choose retail as a career. IKEA makes a huge statement here with practices and policies that value employees wants and needs. Other retailers in the U.S. are distinctly behind in this area. Kudos to Lars Peterson for being progressive. It's not only an employee benefit in my book. Think of the power and reach into each employee's network of family and friends -- happy employees referring more employees and helping their network feel great about shopping at IKEA.

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