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: 08/23/2016

    Will Target get wrapped up in fake sheet controversy?

    Yes, coming clean and removing the manufacturer and offering refund is the right thing to do and appropriate. It would have hurt a lot more if it is a private label item, but given it is a third party, I think consumers will just move on.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2016

    Will Amazon drive-up grocery stores disrupt food retailing?

    Is there an audience for drive up pickup service for grocery? Yes, the question is whether Amazon can do it profitably with that segment. When target offered the drive up pickup, every time I was by, it was never busy. Other grocers also offer online order pick up in store; the question is whether there is enough volume to do a store dedicated as a fulfillment center for drive up pickup.I guess time will tell and it is good that Amazon is investing in trials of different retail formats. The reason why brick and mortar grocers exist is that is serves the largest common denominator of shopping modes including convenience, browsing, entertainment, dining etc. Building a dedicated space as a fulfillment center for drive up only (plus I am sure it will be a hub for delivery) is going to be an interesting model.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2016

    Happy Meal fitness trackers are now an exercise in crisis management

    Given the experience of McDonald's with toys in happy meals, I am surprised their quality control would miss the mark on product testing. Part of the problem may be that small toys is a more mature category, therefore more testing and standards have been done, while the fitness tracker category is still very new in comparison. I am not sure this is a PR crisis at the same level as like what Chipotle is facing. An embarrassment for sure, but I think McDonald's will recover in the long run.
  • Posted on: 08/18/2016

    Have consumers accepted dynamic pricing?

    Let's narrow down the definition first of dynamic pricing to "changing prices for the same consumer in near real-time" and not "offering different prices to different segmented customers." I think dynamic pricing works in very specific retailing situations where you have enough control of the supply, such as transportation, or if it is a pure online situation (i.e. bidding and auctioning). I can't see the benefits marketing- or supply chain-wise to do dynamic pricing without triggering the "rip off" flag in consumers' minds in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2016

    Does Millennials’ credit card wariness spell trouble for retail?

    Credit is not a long-term solution for retailers. Remember that the consumer interest payments to credit cards decreases their overall retail spending. While easy credit makes it easier for large-ticket items to be purchased (I am thinking appliances or automobiles), it is not prudent to finance day-to-day spending. Millennials are learning proper financial management to dig themselves out of already high student loan debts, which is good for them. For retailers, what they really need to be concern about is how the student loan debt is weighing down the Millennial spending power. That, however, is a separate topic.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2016

    Is brick & mortar ready to leverage in-store shopper data?

    Most shoppers have less of an issue having their web navigation tracked, but much more when they are tracked in real life. Part of the challenge I think is that you can very clearly articulate how tracking user navigation helps drive better customer experience since you can dynamically change web pages or pop up offers, it is less clear to consumers (and frankly to merchants) what you can do to execute changes to improve the customer experience. All the benefits described by Mark benefit the retailer if they can act on it, which is harder in brick and mortar than on the web.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2016

    Did Amazon bring down and

    I think the consumers made the decision by choosing where to browse and buy. As independent pure plays, there was value to building a third party presence with content and direction to the brand. When you are owned by Walgreens, the brand equity doesn't translate. If you want to drive business to Walgreens' brand and store, then should be the single portal. It doesn't make sense for Walgreens to invest in two additional category-specific brands to do the same thing.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2016

    Will selling in fewer stores help Coach sell more handbags?

    There is always a balance of reach and focus. In this case, department stores provided the reach but diluted the value of brand given the discounts bins. Combined with studies showing Millennials are not as attracted to brand bags as their predecessors, Coach is smart to pull back on distribution to focus on brand identity and promise.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2016

    Disney may track park visitors using shoe recognition tech

    This is one of those patent plays that I think is more for the intellectual property portfolio than anything else. The practical implementation of this at a large scale would cause so many privacy issues. The only thing I can think of is if they decide to do a promotion with shoemaker for some sort of contest linked to geo tagging inside the park. Think Pokemon Go mixed with Four Square/Swarm using branded shoes....
  • Posted on: 08/02/2016

    Where should retailers concentrate their tech focus?

    Retailers should focus on areas that gives them competitive advantage and overcome areas of weakness. As others have noted, retailers are known for under-investing in IT (with the exception of a few like Walmart and e-retailers) and that probably isn't going to change quickly. For some it is omnichannel, for some it is supply chain and keeping items on the shelves. There isn't a simple answer.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2016

    Will Starbucks prosper or slide as CEO changes focus?

    Better for a CEO to have a well-groomed bench that can step up. Kudos for Mr. Schultz to know he has to retire some day and better to hand over day to day ops to another executive who can be tested on the job. Transition to new executives is always tough and there will be changes as well as friction as the new executive will never do things exactly the same, and some people will always try to end-run the new guy by going to the old CEO who is still in the company. As long as the arrangement between Schultz and the new team is strong and both sides stay out of each others' way, it is fine. What you don't want happen is second guessing and infighting, that will be bad for business.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2016

    Will discount student loans work as a Prime incentive?

    Amazon understands it is more than a retailer, it is a lifestyle brand offering products, entertainment and computing services. The partnership with Wells Fargo doesn't hurt the brand as long as all the fine print is well laid out and it is clear that it is a benefit of membership. Reminds me of the old Amex slogan "membership has its privileges" done in a new way.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2016

    Will consumers buy subscriptions for Tide from P&G?

    There is a difference between the dollar shave club (which is about value and a high frequency item) and Tide Wash Club which for me is more about market research. Is there a niche audience of die hard Tide users that would join the club and hope for additional benefits? Yes. Do I think it is a broad play? I don't think so.... Considering you can get subscription from Amazon and it isn't something that is difficult to replicate, I don't see a huge audience except for the fans. The convenience is no better than going through other online subscription services.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2016

    Are retailers ready for the next wave of cyber scams?

    Retailers need to harden their store systems similarly to how bank branches have done it for a long time. The issue is that culturally the cost of IT per branch is much lower in retail and the philosophy of security is not as ingrained. Combined with the fact that most retailers have survived breaches (executives have lost their jobs, I can't think of a retailer that has gone under due to liabilities from data breach), it will continue to be a game of Whack-a-Mole.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2016

    Forget Prime Day – It’s Cow Appreciation Day

    It is interesting how Chick-fil-A weathered the storm of controversies of the CEO's statements of his beliefs. To his credit he kept the company to its belief and operating model but acknowledged that his statements were a distraction to the company's operations. For the Sunday opening at Orlando, I believe it was an employee-driven initiative locally and the company was smart enough neither to object nor try to make too much hay out of it.

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