Joel Rubinson

President, Rubinson Partners, Inc.

Joel is President of Rubinson Partners, Inc. marketing and research consulting for a brave new world. Prior to that, as Chief Research Officer at The ARF, Joel interacted directly with hundreds of research leaders and drove the organization’s initiatives regarding notably:

  • Research transformation (designing the future of the profession)
  • 360 media and marketing
  • Social media and listening
  • Online research data quality
  • Shopper insights

Joel helped build awareness of the ARF and its priorities by building a sizable social media presence via a blog that achieved thousands of page views each month and with a twitter profile of nearly 3,000 followers.

Prior to joining the ARF, Joel was Senior Vice-President, Head of Advanced Solutions for Synovate North America where he was their leading branding resource and was also the global thought leader for shopper research. Before joining Synovate, Joel was at the NPD Group for many years, leading the creation of tools for brand equity management (BrandBuilder), new product forecasting (ESP), category management and designed many of their data collection and sampling methodologies as NPD changed from paper diaries to online research. Joel started his research career at Unilever.

Joel is also a published author of numerous papers in professional journals and frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has taught the official American Marketing Association advanced tutorial on brand loyalty and lectured at Columbia, NYU, Wharton, Amos Tuck School, and University of Rochester, among others. Joel holds an MBA in statistics and economics from the University of Chicago and a BS from NYU.

  • Posted on: 08/17/2016

    Will other brands follow Birkenstock in cutting off Amazon?

    Very interesting. How much of a sales drop is a brand willing to endure to reestablish the purity of its brand presentation at retail? My inclination is to think Birkenstock should stay on Amazon.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2016

    Can (should) brands do without department stores?

    If they pull out of department stores, brands will see an immediate drop in sales of perhaps 30 percent. Are they ready for that hit? We'll see ... It might be a pendulum swing.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Kroger pushes its tech advantage

    Data-driven marketing gives repeatable advantages to those who master it. Better first-party data assets will result in better productivity from programmatic advertising and personalized promotion. As the retailer sees the magic, they will then understand the power of unified IDs which helps to solve omnichannel and the question of how to enrich with third-party data. Competing on data brings any marketer, including retailers, to a different place and playbook.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2016

    Why is Target making nice with Amazon?

    YES! Target offers a shopping experience that shouldn't have artificial boundaries from the consumer point of view. Restricting access to Amazon products doesn't strengthen the Target brand, it weakens it. This is the new world where retail brands are built from consumer-driven preferences for what to buy, how and when to buy it.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2016

    Walmart counters Prime Day with free shipping, no minimum required

    Amazon is just doing everything right. Now Walmart is playing catch-up, an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2016

    Sears extends iconic brands in surprising ways

    Sears as a brand name feels like it had its best years in the 70s. Diehard, Craftsman, and Kenmore are still relevant, fresh, and powerhouse. What's to think about?
  • Posted on: 05/31/2016

    Should Gap sell on Amazon?

    Yes, Da, Ja, Oui! Amazon is a marketplace and its branding does not conflict with the brands it makes available. It's as if Gap is distributed in X percent ACV and now will be in 1.5 x X percent ACV.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2016

    Sears to open standalone appliance store. What took so long?

    I think this has a real shot at succeeding. I would add in tools as well. Think of it this way ... if you needed an appliance or garden tools who WOULDN'T check out this store if it were in the neighborhood or on their navigation route? Why go to Home Depot where it is hard to find what you are looking for because the store is so massive? Where else would you go for appliances? I think this is a great idea. Keep the core of Sears and strip away all the tacky, sad stuff they sell where you see the tattered image of the store on your way to the departments that make sense.

  • Posted on: 04/21/2016

    Chick-fil-A knows loyalty

    Invitation only is fine if you are invited, but it is a potential source of bruised feelings for those not invited. "Hey, I eat there a lot too! Why was I not invited?!" If there is transparency, OK but otherwise, it can feel unfair if you aren't part of the privileged class.

  • Posted on: 04/20/2016

    CVS follows Target, offering curbside service

    This is the future. Simplicity will always win. It will become a cost of entry before too long. BTW, if you go to the TechCrunch piece you see the CVS ads. The dog one is annoying but will be very effective. The baby one is too esoteric for my taste and even disturbing to see a baby whizzing by.

  • Posted on: 03/21/2016

    What does the ongoing cloud battle mean to retail?

    This has been a HUGE money maker for Amazon so why shouldn't Google go after this more aggressively? Google could also enrich the data for shopper targeting purposes so why not welcome in competition?

  • Posted on: 03/18/2016

    Why Walmart is losing the e-commerce game

    I suggest we think of this differently. Walmart wins at what? Family shopping experience, prices, selection and comprehensiveness (everything from smartphones to underwear to orange juice). So by not succeeding as well with e-commerce, where are they losing? Simplicity, ease of shopping, Immediate urges. How important are those areas? Pretty important although it's probably not a death blow if they don't master e-commerce.

  • Posted on: 03/04/2016

    Amazon takes the next step in CPG auto-replenishment

    Yes, I think this is the future. I bet 80 percent or more of CPG product purchases are triggered by the need for replenishment. Consumers would love to become unburdened regarding shopping for paper products, coffee, laundry detergent, pet food, etc. because they ran out. Marketers will embrace it because it builds brand repeat rates and shortens purchase cycles.

  • Posted on: 02/29/2016

    Is marketing research breaking down internally?

    I want to thank all of you for your amazing thoughts and insights on this topic. In particular, I love the additions of the need to redefine the contribution of research and what activities are within its scope, and the thought that the research team should be an energizing force — not something research is great at today. I also see that the voting on satisfaction is consistent with what I heard when I spoke with marketing research leaders. Keep these great thoughts coming!

  • Posted on: 02/26/2016

    Will Penney’s new campaign make cents to consumers?

    Why would occasional or non-shoppers at Penney's think to shop there? I believe this campaign addresses that semi-cognitive nudging and sometimes that's all it takes. I think this is definitely worth a shot.

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