PROFILE

David Biernbaum

Senior Marketing and Business Development Consultant, David Biernbaum Associates LLC

DAVID BIERNBAUM is a consultant, master broker, national retail sales and business development professional, and marketing expert for consumer goods in the mass markets.

David Biernbaum…

Since 1977, is a consumer packaged goods professional in the field of marketing, retail sales, broker management, and business development.

Has a far-reaching background and resilient career building equity for major consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies…

…And also several start up’s and young companies, with national brands, niche brands, licensed, private label, and all types of specialty brands in HBC, OTC, GM, Oral Care, Non-Foods, and consumer electronics.

  • At (GSK) Beecham; led initial launch of Aquafresh toothpaste, a major global brand.
  • National leadership and new licensing agreements elevated Zooth Inc. to its market dominance leading to it’s acquisition by the Gillette Co. and then Procter and Gamble.
  • As Senior VP, led Vi-Jon Laboratories to become a major force in HBC private label leading to its highly profitable merger and industry dominance the company still builds on even today.
  • At The Gillette Company’s Oral B Laboratories; led sales forces through high-impact maneuvers often shattering record sales and breaking competition.
  • Highly successful development of several niche and specialty brands; examples include TheraBreath, Fresh & Go, Milkscreen nursing products, Mineral Ice, and others.
  • For major national companies such as Abbott Laboratories and Beecham Products; led regional launches for brand names such as Selsun Blue, Murine, Faultless, Tronolane, Cling Free Sheets, Calgon, Massengill, and Fruit Fresh.
  • As a transition consultant for a new owner at Medallion Foods; took over as interim president then re-staffed the company with great results and lasting success.
  • As COO at Ultradata Systems, Inc; licensed travel information computers to companies such as Rand McNally, AAA, Lucent Technologies, etc.
  • Launched several oral care products in the mass markets to raise funds for The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research organization.

David Biernbaum has written hundreds of columns for trade magazines such as MMR, Chain Drug Review, and PL Buyer, and currently David is a “BrainTrust” panel member at Retailwire.com, the very popular blog read every day by hundreds of retail executives.

Working directly with retail executives on numerous industry committees, David is also an instructor at colleges and he is a frequent speaker for industry seminars and panels.

Recently, David founded and developed the CPG Retail Professionals social networking group on LinkedIn. Services Performed:

  • Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Consulting
  • Master Broker: Chain Drug, Supermarket, Mass Merchandisers
  • Complete All-In-One Sales/Management
  • Hiring of all brokers nationwide and total broker management
  • Expert sales presentation development
  • Hands-On Retail Sales support
  • Expert Consumer Goods Marketing
  • Expertise with Market Analysis, Retail Planning, CPG Package Design, and Essential Sales materials.
  • Comprehensive Business Planning
  • Complete brand equity development
  • Trade Shows development with expertise for ECRM, NACDS Marketplace, GMDC, and PLMA.

Consulting available by phone, e-mail, on-line. Consulting available at David’s office or client’s facility.

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  • Posted on: 09/21/2015

    What would a Facebook ‘dislike’ button mean for retail?

    Albeit for empathy or otherwise, the "dislike" button on Facebook, on balance, will not be positive for retailers, or for that matter any products, brands or services.

    I would actually prefer that consumers be able only to express negativity by having to take the time to write a comment, because in doing so the consumer is less likely to react as impulsively as s/he would were s/he simply able to click "dislike" and not have to offer any type of explanation.

    And truth is, when a consumer writes a comment, the judgment by other consumers is often tied to the quality of the written comment, which often appears to lack credibility strictly based on its content, style, grammar, etc., which causes the post in itself to be judged as much or more so than the brand under attack.

    All that being said, at David Biernbaum & Associates LLC, we deal with our realities, and if in fact the "dislike" button becomes a reality we will advise our client-brands on how to make the best of it! However, if we hear from Mark Zuckerberg we will advise against it! Hah!

  • Posted on: 09/10/2015

    Are stores missing impulse sales opportunities at the self-checkout?

    Retail stores are definitely losing out on impulse sales at the check stand as well as in other traffic areas in the store, and in my opinion they do not have to lose out. However, instead of arming the traffic areas with low-margin commodities, why not surprise the consumer with some items they do not expect to see? Make impulse buying interesting and exciting and make some money doing so! You know who does this very well? Bed Bath and Beyond, Trader Joe's and even Whole Foods, just to name a few. Go for it!

  • Posted on: 09/03/2015

    Are consumer studies hopelessly biased?

    The barrage of consumer studies is one of my favorite pet peeves in our industry because I can tell, even intuitively, that the results are often biased, contradictory, misguided and dangerous because marketing practitioners are using erroneous findings to guide their decision-making.

    In these digital times we live in, consumer studies are often flawed because in the process the science of truth in questions and responses gets lost. Way too many reasons for that to explain in this short space but please take my word for it, it's so true.

    It also goes without saying that with the way these studies are executed today, so fast and furious, and with so many of them, consumers will respond to the questions haphazardly, or even more often will misunderstand or misinterpret certain words and phrases. I have also noticed that too many surveys these days are using words such as "never" or "always" and consumers are taking these phrases quite literally.

    Plus, we all know that so many of the results depend on the motive for the study itself. As a marketer I can purchase a study to pretty much come up with whatever results I need. Oh, but I would never do that. Just sayin'!

  • Posted on: 08/03/2015

    How critical are cashiers to the in-store experience?

    The check-out experience and cashiers are the last impression, and the most memorable impression, of any shopping experience.

  • Posted on: 07/20/2015

    Do you like or loathe being asked for a donation at checkout?

    When checkers ask customers for a donation at the checkout, it's a very effective way to raise money for charities. To deny this would be naive.

    However, I'm not surprised that nearly half the customers surveyed indicated that they do not like the practice, and unless it's a one-time or once-a-year event I do not recommend this practice to supermarkets. Customers do not like being put on the spot in front of other customers, nor even in the presence of another human being, in this case the checker his or herself. It might make for a bad last impression of any particular shopping experience at any given store.

    In addition, and to add insult to injury, many checkers are not well trained to take no for an answer, and some might even try to over-sell. I was recently in a store where a customer was asked to make a donation, and when the customer whispered, "not today," the checker replied, "even a dollar would be helpful." Yikes.

  • Posted on: 07/20/2015

    Starbucks leads effort to hire 100,000 young people

    It's always so popular to bash Starbucks whenever they announce a price increase, but this company, and their CEO, Howard Schultz, are true American leaders.

  • Posted on: 07/17/2015

    Is Facebook ready to become an e-commerce force?

    It makes perfect "dollars and sense" for Facebook to move up to the next level and beyond with e-commerce integration.

    Facebook today is indeed Main Street, the town square, the gathering place and where people come to meet, talk, exchange, and yes, whether they realize it or not, it's also a place where they want to make an easy purchase without having to go off-site.

    Most Facebook users will say negative things about this concept and idea, but most Facebook users will shop until they drop. You wait and see!

  • Posted on: 06/30/2015

    Whole Foods smacked with overcharging accusations

    Whole Foods says mistakes can happen as a result of scales that need to be calibrated correctly or simple human error. So I would ask the question: do mistakes also happen in the customer's favor? I also want to know if this appears to be an issue on a chain-wide basis.

    My observation about Whole Foods is that each operation seems quite independent, informal and casual. As we know, that can be a good thing and also a not-so-good thing. Lack of headquarters control allows for each store to be responsive to its own market, but it also allows for a certain lack of standardization in management, training and consistency. Each store is only as good or bad as the store manager.

    At any rate, this is a public relations crisis for Whole Foods — the brand, the image and each and every store. Whole Foods needs to be more aggressive with their statements to the public to provide absolute assurance that this issue will be fixed. Unlike in the past, Whole Foods these days has a lot of competition. They are no longer the only game in town.

  • Posted on: 06/25/2015

    Walmart adds supplier fees to cover costs

    Walmart's position with suppliers has always been quite unique in that the rules have been very simple: provide Walmart with the lowest possible every day cost and in turn the supplier would not have to pay for stocking fees, promotions or nearly any of the other expenses normally charged to the supplier by other retailers.

    This way of doing business has actually made doing business with Walmart very simple.

    Often when other retailers would demand from the suppliers to have the same pricing as Walmart, the supplier would justifiably explain that since Walmart doesn't charge suppliers for much of anything, that is why they are offered a true every day lower cost.

    If Walmart is now going to charge some of the fees that other retailers do, it could be a game-changer in that sense, but I can understand and appreciate why Walmart might need to find other ways to stay ahead of the game and continue to be profitable. My interpretation is that this might have become a necessity.

  • Posted on: 06/23/2015

    Retailers remove Confederate flag merchandise

    Walmart and other retailers are making the correct business decision to avoid selling products or merchandise with the Confederate flag.

    I have heard many explanations and justifications for flying, flaunting or displaying the Confederate flag, and yet deep down I believe that in the year 2015 it's just an in-your-face way to infer hate, bigotry and exclusion.

    Times change, the meaning and inference has changed, and the flag is disturbing to many people, especially, and understandably, African-Americans. These flags and symbols should not be used in this day and age by government and institutions. The flag belongs in history museums.

  • Posted on: 06/19/2015

    Walmart welcomes back its greeters, sort of

    Walmart will make more profits by slowing down theft than they will by having greeters direct people to checkout lanes. For that reason alone I think it's a good idea to place greeters back near the entrance.

    However, it will also help Walmart's customer experience if greeters will actually be knowledgeable enough about the layout of the store and where consumers can find certain types of products, more so than they did in the past. In other words, train greeters to serve a customer purpose beyond simply being a symbol, or someone that says hello or is placed in position to help prevent theft.

  • Posted on: 06/18/2015

    Why are strong CEOs so hard to find?

    Great CEOs are not hard to find. But the boards of directors are not committed to hiring true innovative leaders. Instead they resort to hiring "resumes" with prestigious backgrounds, similar past-histories, and people who are corporate politicians that look the part. It's the truth. Few boards of directors would have ever hired Steve Jobs, Sam Walton, or Howard Schultz.

  • Posted on: 06/15/2015

    Will the Target/CVS pharmacy deal lead to a future merger?

    At this stage of the game there are no indications that CVS's acquisition of Target's pharmacy business will have any impact on the way Target does business with HBC/OTC (non-prescription) products with its vendors.

    However number one: I'm sure that there will be need to be some type of synergy between the pharmacy counter and the front end since patients often are directed by pharmacists and pharmacy personnel to OTC/HBC.

    However number two: This very well could be a signal of what might happen in the future. I can imagine a day when CVS runs and operates the entire HBC/OTC (and more) space in the store. But that is strictly my opinion.

    And maybe the two companies will officially merge one day. Maybe. Perhaps. Maybe.

  • Posted on: 06/03/2015

    Loving customers who complain the most

    First and foremost know the difference between a constructive "screamer" and someone who is unhappy with life itself and simply "screams" in a non-productive way.

    Teach your employees, and in particular your customer service teams, to listen, ask, probe, and teach them how to arrive at a productive conclusion or solution if and when it's a real possibility to do so. Appreciate and follow up often with the constructive "screamer" and make her or him an ally, a friend and an adviser. Reward her or him for doing so. That consumer will "scream" in a very positive way on your behalf to the silent majority that does no screaming but often listens.

    In other words, discover your productive "screamers" and aim to resolve their issues and please them, and turn them into people who advocate you by word of mouth, social media and to whomever they come in contact with.

    But once again, choose your "screamers" selectively. Not every "screamer" is a positive investment. And not every customer is productive or profitable for your brand, or your company. It's true.

  • Posted on: 06/03/2015

    Social marketing in the age of emojis

    I am bullish on using emojis in consumer goods and retail marketing, but only to a point. Use emojis right now and until further notice. However, at some point in time the use of emojis this way will become excessive and lose its effectiveness. Do it now, do it right, and know when to say when.

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