Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more

  • Posted on: 01/17/2017

    What made Wendy’s Twitter zing a win?

    It is a very fine-line tactic for brands to engage with customers with sarcasm and humor. You can get great kudos sometimes like this one, or the other example I think of is the Smart Car "bird crap" discussion on social media (Google that one, complete with infographics, it was hilarious) back in 2012. If the brand is going to use that, it needs to do so in a genuine manner and pick the battles and be careful not to cross the lines. It is as much of an art as a science.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2017

    Penney CEO says stores critical to omnichannel push

    Stores are important for omnichannel — I don't see everyone using online delivery for everything, the economics and the margins don't sustain it. However, department stores that sell non-exclusive lines are going to have a tough time going forward as people gravitate to online for convenience and availability, and specialty for exclusivity.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2017

    Will 2017 be the year retailers start making their stores relevant again?

    I think 2017 is where retailers have to reboot their store design or keep having to reduce store footprint. Adding tech into the store will not solve the problem until retailers figure out for their target audience to use the store and redesign the people flow, merchandising, and assortment properly. Whether it is dedicated area for web pickup or just having the right things at the right time, it is possible to crack the code.The issue is retailers have to reset the traditional metrics that drive store design, like amount of merchandise per square foot, how the checkout works, and how the staff is positioned with the shoppers to make it work.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2017

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

    Good for Stanley Black & Decker to acquire a well known brand which still has some equity left despite the Sears issues. As long as the quality of the tools is maintained or improved, Craftsman will be a good addition to the portfolio. Definitely have to negotiate carefully to make sure it doesn't take on the liability part of the operations, though.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Are convenience stores in for a big year in 2017?

    C-stores have come a long way in terms of product selection and pricing. They are designed for impulse purchase so less susceptible to e-commerce competition, especially in the ready-to-eat and mobility related items. I think as consumers go more towards "instant satisfaction" the future of the C-store is bright.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2017

    Should Costco raise its membership fees?

    Costco's clientele of warehouse style, large quantity buying wouldn't be effected by the modest increase in membership fee. While Costco is less e-commerce centric than Amazon, its core group of buyers (including myself with Executive membership) derives enough value of its assortment in store and products online to make the membership worthwhile. Not everyone can or should mimic Amazon. Many companies that tried to "outdo Amazon at its own game" ended up in the wastelands.
  • Posted on: 12/26/2016

    Are retailers over-promising last-minute BOPIS?

    At the end of the day it is about making promises and keeping them. If you are going to promote something and can't deliver, you are damaging your brand. In-store execution and having the personnel and space to handle the pick up in store expectations is going to be the key, as well as accurate view of product availability in the store. Fail at any of these steps, and you are just increasing dissatisfaction.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2016

    Did retailers doom their holidays with deep discounts?

    For a lot of retailers trying to make the numbers for stockholders and analysts, discount is the short term fix to maintain a positive spin to cover issues. Everyone is doing it from store to online and retailers attempting to get out of the game have been punished unless they are in a niche segment like luxury or brand exclusive products. I am wondering if what happens in the end is that retailers that have exclusive products/brand experiences survive, and those who are just distributors of widely available brands will just fade away by the pressures of discounting.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2016

    Will test show Amazon’s drone program is ready to take off?

    I see it as a nice marketing concept and it gives Amazon some experience on the limits of drones' hauling capacity and economics.Given current drone payload limits I don't see scaling it even in rural areas where you have less chance of a crash. One possible reason for Amazon to try this is for any future ambition they have to morph into a transportation company. Investing in the technology now means you may have first-mover advantage if there are breakthroughs in the range and payload limits of drones. Maybe you won't use drones to deliver to homes but perhaps, for example, from one end of a college campus to another.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2016

    Are retail surveys hopelessly flawed?

    The technology and methodology is there, but retailers don't want to hear the truth in many instances. As Jasmine said, the survey is there not for improvement, but to generate marketing messages.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2016

    Zara succeeds with speed

    Speed-to-market is good but if you have the wrong item, delivering it faster doesn't help. There is also some pushback on fast, disposable fashion as consumers become more environmentally conscious. Zara has managed to walk the line of fast but decent (it doesn't fall apart after a few washes) and when the item sells out, they move on to the next line.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2016

    Will the tech behind Amazon Go redefine convenience at retail?

    Would be interesting to see the billing accuracy rate for the customer and also the amount of shrink. I am assuming the basket size is rather small, but it is a limited assortment store. I can't tell if this is basically a food service only C-store, which would make sense since it isn't something you would order online and delivered. We will need more information, especially on how well it handles high shrink items like pharma.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2016

    A small retailer makes a bold move against big chains

    Nice move. Especially with the business with no ecommerce competition, it is down to the relationship with the customers in a store face to face setting. The message comes across genuine and it isn't too forceful/negative. Ultimately the store will need some differentiation from service or assortment that will keep customers coming back, not just a slogan.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2016

    What convinces retailers to innovate?

    Agreed, in particular given the new online-based specialty retailers who are built on innovating in customer experiences and product selection, the traditional incremental model in retailing leaves them further behind. Part of the challenge traditional retailers need to overcome is the short-term measurements and "not losing" which makes it impossible to pivot or make radical changes.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2016

    How important is convenience to motivating online holiday shoppers?

    For a segment of customers who value convenience, I think they are willing to forgo a little bit of discount to get what they need at the time they need it to get their time back. That's different than "willing to premium." There will be a significant segment of deal hunters whom Jasmine identifies as the "Race to the Bottom" crowd where price is everything and nothing else matters. For those, they aren't going to pay for convenience or service. It is up to the retailer to figure out the mix of the customers they want to draw, between the two.

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