PROFILE

Kate Munro

VP of Marketing, Bamboo Rose
Kate Munro is the vice president of marketing at Bamboo Rose. In this role, Kate is responsible for all marketing activities and brings more than 20 years of experience promoting and shaping technologies and markets through global programs. In her spare time, Kate is a supporter of Seacoast Family Promise and enjoys music, playing the piano, and hiking.
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  • Posted on: 09/05/2017

    Five pain points grocers must address to survive in an Amazon/Whole Foods world

    The retail industry has been moving toward a fusion of digital and physical for years now, but the Amazon/Whole Foods acquisition caught retailers and grocers by surprise. In order to compete, retailers need to evolve and adapt by focusing on speed, convenience and differentiating their products from the competition. Amazon is so far ahead in the digital, convenience-oriented world that consumers have grown accustomed to, it’s hard for grocers and other retailers keep up and move their business forward. Improving delivery and convenience, with home delivery, and online shopping is one way forward for grocers and other retailers. Private label products that compete with big name brands and provide high margins is another bright spot for the grocery industry.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2017

    Why don’t more retailers ‘get’ curation?

    In order to compete in today’s new retail economy, retailers need to differentiate by providing products their consumers actually want to buy. To do so, retailers need a platform that allows them to collect and curate their ideas and inspirations from day one of the product development process and leverage community knowledge to collaborate on the perfect product. A digital platform that allows for easy online communication between retailers and brands and the rest of the community -- from sourcing to manufacturers -- will simplify back-end processes and result in a collaborative coming together of creative minds to bring a truly valuable product to market. Retailers that focus on the quality and value of a product from the start of the process -- inspiration, ideation and curation -- will more easily be able to differentiate their brand and step ahead of the competition.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2017

    Can indie dollar stores compete with the big chains?

    Smaller retail brands like indie dollar stores have a strength that megastores and big chains don’t – specialization. By being a jack-of-all-trades retailer, big chains miss out on the opportunity to provide their consumers with products they actually want. When consumers are forced to settle for a product that’s not entirely what they want or isn’t well made, the dollar amount doesn’t matter as much. Smaller dollar stores that take advantage of their niche place in the industry and focus on creating high-quality, low-cost products that they know their consumers will love, will find it much easier to compete with the big chains in the years to come.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2017

    What does it take for retailers to thrive amid shifting consumer preferences?

    The most important takeaway is that retailers must "Act Early," but they must also learn to effectively leverage "Experience."Retailers need to think like a digital native. They must be willing to change their thinking. Change the way they do things. Change the way they bring product to market. Change the way they design, discover, develop and deliver product.Retailers can have all the analytics, Big Data, and IoT in the world but if the product development process is broken, it’s all broken. If it’s slow, it’s all slow.Retailers need the ability to tie in their communities – faster. They need to quit spending so much time and money on physical sampling. They need to quit spending so such time and money on market weeks and costly trips to Asia. They need to quit spending so much time and money on manual invoicing and payment processes.They need to digitally connect their PLM, sourcing, GTM, P2P, order management and logistics. They need to tie this all together with immediate ways to communicate with their teams and their suppliers, manufacturers and partners all along the way. Retailers need to connect and leverage their entire retail community from design and development to delivery and act quickly to thrive.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2017

    Is ultrafast fashion a thing – seriously?

    Consumers no longer want to wait six months for trends to hit stores. Fast fashion retailers capitalize on the see-now-buy-now trend, driving the industry to adopt a seasonless buying mentality that gets new products to market quicker than ever before.In order to bring apparel to market in time to beat even fast fashion merchants, retailers need technology that speeds up supply chain processes and makes the design-to-delivery cycle more efficient. That technology should allow retailers to co-create. They need to leverage their entire community, from designers to suppliers and everyone in between.This focus on making a great product from the very beginning of the process and driving speed through co-creation needs to be done without sacrificing quality. As an industry, we need to match consumer demand for speed on the back-end, giving our product development teams the tools they need to develop new and innovative products quickly and efficiently.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2017

    Can retailers keep up with Gen Z’s digital savviness?

    This study indicates what those in the industry already know: Gen Z shares many traits with the Millennial generation but is much more invested in interactive technology that allows shoppers to easily access a brand or product and quickly make purchases. Retailers that invest in technology with well-designed features that better meet Gen Z’s need for ease of use and instant gratification will be a few steps ahead, but must still remember that this selective generation will only buy something that they really want, no matter how deep the discount or interesting the shopping experience. As these digital natives take over more of the consumer base, retailers will need to invest more not just in front-end technology, but back-end technology that allows them to craft quality, on-trend products that meet Gen Z’s needs.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2017

    What will the fourth industrial revolution mean for retail supply chains and jobs?

    With Industry 4.0 comes the opportunity for retailers to implement technology that helps suppliers become smarter, optimizing the manufacturing process. Purchase-to-pay systems will ease the process for retailers and suppliers, and overall the retail supply chain will become more efficient. As repetitive tasks become automated, human talent will be even more focused on creativity and innovation in the retail world.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2017

    BrainTrust throwdown: Is it inevitable that tech companies will dominate retail?

    I agree, Gib. Both Ken and Ryan make good points -- human creativity and innovation are important to a retailer’s success, but modern technology has evolved in a way that drives logistics and user interactions both for the consumer and on the backend. Technology should be more than just another tool and retailers need to fully embrace it to survive. With the right technology, retailers can leverage their entire community from all over the world in almost an instant to take advantage of data and provide an on-trend end product faster. Retailers who don’t adapt to the new retail economy and implement technology that encourages co-creation will fall behind.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2017

    Should retailers take a public stance on social issues?

    Several analysts asked us about what our customers were doing after the U.S. election and the new presidential administration -- how they were handling the threat of new tariffs, environmental factors, etc. We are seeing a number of large retailers work diligently to figure out what will happen if tariffs increase or change across borders -- what we call “what-if costing.” This has been more in response to economic changes. On the social issues side, we have seen retailers taking a stand one way or another on social issues in the media -- in keeping with their brand promise. There are many recent studies that show that Millennials are more likely to buy from companies that have similar social-political views. While “should” can be a loaded term, I believe it makes sense for most retailers to take a stand on issues nowadays -- to make it clear what their brand stands for. Today’s buyers expect it.
  • Posted on: 03/31/2017

    An open letter to retailers from a Millennial: Fix your omnichannel!

    I completely agree, Anna. Millennials are strategic decision makers who retailers have struggled to understand for a while. In order to address their needs and provide an on trend product that Millennials actually want, when they want it, retailers have to leverage the entire retail community instead of working in silos. As retailers adapt to an omnichannel world, they must engage their suppliers, manufacturers and other business partners from the start of the design to the production process. Only when they take advantage of the industry knowledge and expertise available can retailers provide a seamless experience for this particular generation.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2017

    Do retailers need middle men to match them up with tech startups?

    Jon makes a good point. Retailers are good at what they do, and they know the ins and outs of the retail industry. Retailers do best when they focus on their business and allow technology companies to implement the appropriate solutions to enhance their offerings -- and the best scenario is when that tech company is also savvy on retail. Retailers should take care to ensure they are working with the best in breed -- companies that understand their industry and don’t recommend a one-size-fits-all solution.Top technology companies know the industries in which they play, and are constantly adapting their offerings to meet the needs of their customers, giving them valuable expertise they can share with retailer clients. Imagine the effort it would take to bring that knowledge in-house, and the potential churn of that knowledge due to employee attrition. Bottom line: Retailers will see efficiencies by working with tech companies who know their space and can adapt to their needs quickly.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2017

    Will AI transform retail marketing?

    The term AI, short for artificial intelligence, is a misnomer and a bit of marketing hype still, in my opinion. It’s not the AI of sci-fi movies. Big data, and faster hardware that makes algorithms run amazingly fast and offer up predictions is more real.In my view, big data, machine learning or predictive analytics -- whatever you want to call it -- has already transformed retail.A customer’s path to purchase used to be generally predictable, going through the stages of awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, and use. This traditional sales funnel now looks like it’s been thrown inside a blender. The marketing funnel is driven by digital technologies and the customer journey is dynamic, accessible and continuous because the digital touch points are always on. Customers can constantly re-evaluate their purchase options.Because of this, most retailers are adopting customer strategies fueled by analytics to derive more insight and clues on what to do next. Companies automate responses with the use of predictive analytics either for mining existing customer and social web data for patterns, or to estimate "next best" offer or reply. Specially written algorithms drive predictive analytics, as well as descriptive and prescriptive analytics. These sorts of technologies, coupled with well written algorithms, are enabling marketers to conduct business in real-time, at the point of customer engagement.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2017

    Has Walmart found a digital answer for empty store shelves?

    Endless aisle technology is one of many forms retail technology has taken in recent years. Walmart’s goal is to create a seamless shopping environment for its customers, and this is a good goal. It’s a good test to see how consumers will react and use this tool, especially for larger items that are more conveniently delivered to your home. Investing in new technology has been common within stores on the front end, but has been lacking on the back end. Retailers need to approach the backend process the same way, and bring collaborative and innovative technology back to the design and development process.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Will the joking stop now that IKEA furniture can be assembled in minutes?

    Now it's time to work on lowering the divorce rate for those who shop in their stores. Assembling the furniture has not been so much the joke recently as the experience meandering through the store with a significant other on sensory overload.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2017

    Has the retail industry upped its customer service game?

    As shown by the ACSI results, retailers have stepped up to meet consumer needs and provide better satisfaction than in years past. However, there is still so much potential to be met as the consumer base wants higher quality products in a shorter timeframe. In the years ahead, retailers need to focus on technology that will help them collaborate and pull in data and trends from services, partners and suppliers quickly to deliver an end product that is exactly what the consumer wants and do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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