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.

She can be reached at [email protected]

  • Posted on: 07/27/2016

    Will meal kit delivery services move beyond niche status?

    If meal services can find a way to profitably serve the demand for people who eat alone, versus two people or four, I think the market can grow. It's also really difficult to "gift" the service to others given many of the services offer subscriptions for three meals per week for multiple weeks. Perhaps they should consider an easier way to gain trial.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2016

    Will discount student loans work as a Prime incentive?

    This makes me wish my kids were still students, especially as two of them are still paying off loans! Amazon clearly understands the value of being known as being helpful to young consumers, despite the fact that what they are offering addresses only 10 percent or less of the loan market for students. Gotta give them both credit for taking a bold step. Wells Fargo gets a shot at holding on to young customers as well.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2016

    Has social advertising broken through as a purchase driver?

    Oh those social ads that refer to stuff I've already bought drive me crazy. I did a ton of online searching and buying while building a new home and the incessant ads haunted me for over a year! Ugh.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2016

    Has social advertising broken through as a purchase driver?

    Survey research is really not accurate on purchase influence because the majority of purchase decisions are centered in the subconscious, which has no "voice box." So when people are asked what influenced them, their rational brain makes a choice of what to say. Not really connected to the emotional trigger.Media (ads or otherwise) can and does trigger emotions which do trigger purchases, so I'm not saying ads have no influence. But to rely on just survey stats to say social is more influential than other types of media is not a reliable measure.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2016

    How can retailers gain something useful from employee surveys?

    Are these response rates and engagement rates national averages? They are so low, it seems there is a big opportunity to reinvent the practice and make it much more relevant, especially to younger employees.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2016

    How can retailers gain something useful from employee surveys?

    This sounds like a best-practice scenario. The only thing I would add is the opportunity for employees to learn more about human behavior and influence while on the shopper's journey, in order to add empathy and effectiveness to the employee's opportunity to better serve the customers.Dr. Needel is right on with "show you care and follow up" being the most important elements. It's human nature to want to do better. When both sides commit and participate, magic can happen and customers are the beneficiaries.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    What does it take to compete in an off-price retail world?

    Several years ago, my husband's luggage failed to show for a golf trip on the Southeast coast. Try finding shorts at Kohl's, Macy's or even Saks in August. It's 94 in Charleston, SC and the stores were showing corduroy and jackets. On sale. Duh.So off to TJMaxx we went. Oh, and to Tanger's outlet mall as well. Bingo. Everything we need in 90 minutes. On sale.Our brains have been trained this way by the very retailers who now suffer from lack of shoppers. Is it any wonder why the tide is shifting?
  • Posted on: 07/11/2016

    Target launches $1 billion kids line

    This is Target going back to what made Target great. My prediction last week was to watch for a surge in babies named Cat and Jack. This week I'll predict Brian Cornell will soon author a book on being brave in retail. He gets it and is not afraid to make the hard calls. Kudos.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2016

    Are self-checkouts dooming impulse purchases?

    What if the grocery retailers let the shoppers have input to help curate a set of products they might find useful to be at checkout, in regular lines as well as self-checkout lanes?What an interesting experiment in keeping shoppers tuned in to what might really help them. It would be great insight to see what various segments of shoppers might select.I find most checkout lanes a bore. Same assortment that blends into a visual that your brain can completely ignore. The time is right for change.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2016

    Are in-store personalization tactics becoming less creepy?

    Mobile scanning for reviews and recommendations will surely grow since we are so biased to make decisions based on what other people think and say.And call me crazy, but I believe busy shoppers could quickly get hooked on fitting room technology that shows complementary styles. Two options I'd want: a button to turn it off and a button to summon an associate so any new option I like can be brought to me without me having to get dressed and go hunting for it in the store.In-store beacon communication will catch on too, as long as retailers don't go overboard. If the offers become too intrusive and irrelevant like many mobile banners, it will be turned off by shoppers. Retailers need to learn which shoppers will accept messages and offers, and deliver accordingly.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2016

    Do retail marketers have an appetite for data science?

    Big Data can be used in so many ways that enable quick actions, but I too believe that analytics deliver more when coupled with internal human insight. To do that really well, retail marketers need to commit to hiring on both the quantitative and qualitative sides of analytics.Just imagine if you could discern that shoppers who were identified as emotionally attached to the retail brand (let's say 30 percent of all) were spending at triple the rate of the other 70 percent. That would cause some definite action plan adjustments, right?But if we never bother to identify an emotional linkage, we can run data all day long and never learn which of our shoppers help us on the road to profitability.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2016

    Should e-mails and other personal info be for sale?

    If I were making the call for Dick's, I would make 4 basic principles come to life: 1. Let the shopper make the call. Yes, do send an immediate opt-out to everyone. Having an opportunity for them to immediately say no will diffuse the grumps. Just be nice about it. Those that stay are a ripe target prospects, ready by default to shop at Dick's.2.Start the conversation. Listen to what your new prospects desire from you. This group is open to pertinent two-way communications. Figure out where they want them. Then accommodate.3. Don't get over excited about just sending out deals. Why train a new prospect to wait for deals? Invite them to meet you in the store. Take them on a tour.4. Help the shopper. It is the only real thing she/he wants. Cultivate experiences with helpful staff in stores and via online chat help. Provide HELP.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2016

    Will Kellogg’s cereal café snap, crackle or pop?

    This cafe could be a fun experiential center if they encouraged some play time with their characters, gave people an opportunity to mix cereals together, let people get creative by inventing jingles, etc. They should strive for a way to encourage consumers to express meaning and emotion around cereal. Otherwise it's just an expensive and boring experience that people can easily skip.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2016

    Sears extends iconic brands in surprising ways

    Many of these products seem like long overdue brand extensions, but I wonder if Sears has done the work to understand consumer demand and if the demand translates to willingness to shop at Sears. The brands are iconic, but a broader retail distribution strategy might be the real key to success in new categories.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2016

    Once e-tail only, ThinkGeek expands brick-and-mortar presence

    This success is also about the craving that people have to interact with other people, especially those who are like-minded. The like-minded dynamic gets mirror neurons firing, which subconsciously fuels the impulse purchase dynamic!

Contact Anne