Liz Crawford

VP Research, Product Ventures

Liz Crawford is the author of “The Shopper Economy” (McGraw-Hill), winner of the Marketing Book of the Year Silver Award 2013.  Today she is VP Strategy & Insights for MatchShopLab, a division of Match Marketing Group.

She brings over 20 years in brand management and consulting experience with a concentration in innovation. Her concept and new product launch, Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner, won the Edison Award for New Products. She has launched over a dozen new products into the CPG market.

Her clients over the years have included Publix Supermarkets, Bausch & Lomb, Kimberly Clark, Safeway, MeadWestVaco, Kraft, P&G, Dannon, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Nabisco, Colgate, Ford Motor, Pillsbury, and Lipton. Liz has experience conducting focus groups in Europe, China, Japan, Australia, Mexico and Morocco and throughout the U.S., reaching into a wide array of demographic and psychographic segments.

Liz has also contributed articles to publications like CBSMarketWatch, National Review Online, The Hub, Chain Drug Review and Shopper Marketing Magazine. She taught several semesters as an adjunct marketing professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and New York University’s Stern MBA program. She has an MBA from New York University and a BA in English from Columbia University.

Liz has been quoted in , BusinessWeek, Brandweek, Barron’s, Women’s Wear Daily, Fox News, ABC News, Public Radio, the Associated Press, Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Washington Times, Drug Store News, and New Products Magazine among others.

Author of "The Shopper Economy" (McGraw-Hill), Winner of the Marketing Book of the Year Award, Silver Award
  • Posted on: 01/10/2018

    Whole Foods asks vendors to pay to play

    Sad. Homogenous. Product. Good bye Whole Foods. You were a lot of fun. Fortunately, you have opened the door to new upstarts who will now take your place, offering innovative, healthy, whole foods.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2018

    Will retail be woven into the fabric of the new, walkable suburb?

    Sure -- retailers will join in this form of urban plan. Shops help to create public spaces, which is why people like to live in these kinds of walkable environments. However, because of the insularity of these new developments, the experience itself will be a far cry from a "real" urban setting. These will be clinical "Disneyland" places. Missing will be the elements that bring a city alive: cultural and economic diversity, legacy establishments and faddish joints, as well as street life itself, which includes the daily tide of people rushing in and out. It's a sad, sanitized world.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    Kroger may have an Ace (Hardware) up its sleeve

    While there may be some store-within-a-store synergies (mostly rural), but I don't see that as the driver behind the move. Instead, my hunch is that Kroger is diversifying its portfolio. The margins on grocery are razor thin, and when Amazon bought Whole Foods, Kroger may see its profitability getting thinner still. I suspect this is an investment strategy rather than a retail strategy.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Which off-price retailers will withstand the test of time?

    Hurricanes are a factor in retail sales declines. Amazon is another factor in off-price store sales declines. But differentiation from "full price" retailers is the biggest underappreciated factor. While TJ Maxx has a clear selling proposition, other off-price retailers aren't so clearly distinguished. J.C. Penney, for example, is struggling. Department stores which have a high-low proposition (Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack; Macy's/Macy's Backstage) do seem to be cannibalizing themselves ... compressing their own margins. I believe this is attributable to increasing income inequality. There are stores for the 1 percent, and even the 0.1 percent, and then there are stores for the rest of us. The differences between the middle quintiles of income is less dramatic than the delta between the top 5 percent and the top 1 percent. That means that stores (and e-commerce outlets) need to "normalize" to accommodate a more homogenous, and lower, disposable income bracket than in the past.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2017

    Artificial intelligence makes brand personalities come to life

    The future is here. Brands are the natural heirs to AI. We have been trained to interact with brands from childhood. That brands should be animated with AI is only the next step in our complex relationship with them. Hey -- brands are our "friends" already, but now we can finally talk to them! Is Ike the toybox coming to life in the middle of the night?
  • Posted on: 09/12/2017

    Nordstrom tries a no-merchandise store

    Fun idea. Won't work. Why not? Because there is no instant gratification. In a bricks and mortar environment, shoppers walk away with a trophy, an object of conquest. In a digital environment, shoppers get quick dopamine rewards. This idea -- while it has merit -- doesn't seem to deliver the addict's fix. It's neither fish nor fowl.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    Will military tech give Amazon an edge delivering packaged meals?

    This solution seems geared toward people in distress -- like refugees and victims of natural disasters. Anyone with a real choice wouldn't eat this, would you?
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    How should vendors respond to Walmart’s reluctance to raise prices?

    It might be an interesting tactic to offer Lidl, Aldi, Amazon and others a "non-Walmart compete" benefit. That is, offer a product you (deliberately) "can't" get at Walmart to help drive traffic away from Walmart, toward the prospective customer retailer. Perhaps the manufacturer could use this tactic to induce them to take more facings, displays and features as a way of helping differentiate their retail experience.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Why is Adidas partnering with a knockoff brand?

    Wow -- if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Amazing and savvy. Get a piece of the returns instead of incurring legal fees and a sour image. The wave of things to come, no doubt.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Do Amazon Marketplace sellers need outside help?

    Insofar as Amazon won't offer third-party sellers lessons in marketing, sure -- they do need a little help. This of course opens a new business opportunity for those savvy consultants ... will a bigger consultant get into the game?
  • Posted on: 08/02/2017

    Are there too many grocery stores?

    In terms of retail, the internet is the great divider. Categories like apparel and home goods will need less space because online sales are cannibalizing brick-and-mortar revenues. However for immediate consumption categories, like groceries (especially perishables), the transition to online sales will be slower -- and may never completely go digital. I predict that there will always be a percentage of grocery shoppers who "hold out." About too many stores -- no, I don't believe there are too many grocery stores. But I do believe that they are poorly distributed. There are food deserts and food meccas. Grocers are chasing the same affluent demographics, mostly in the same ZIP codes. This leads to diminishing returns.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2017

    Are private equity firms the true retail chain killers?

    Private equity firms have been affecting the CPG world in a number of ways. Private equity firms have taken over agencies, CPG brands and many retailers too. Imagine each element of the market carrying similar debt burdens. Further, private equity ownership changes the company's priorities -- usually migrating from pride-in-business to squeezing assets. Finally, private equity means that a few high-level managers will stay, waiting for a payday, while many mid-level managers leave for greater personal opportunity. That's a brain drain on top of debt.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2017

    Will Amazon Prime Wardrobe change how Americans shop for clothes?

    To me, Amazon is a me-too playing catch up with other online apparel sites such as a, Dia&Co or Lakeside. These online subscription services paved the way for this model -- in the sense that they accommodate a certain buyer, learn their style and size and offer the arrangement of only-pay-for-what-you-keep. Sure there may be no fee, but I don't think the digital model "try on" feature will satisfy shoppers' style craving. I still don't believe in Amazon as a clothing merchant for anything beyond basics.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    Can humanizing self-checkouts reduce theft?

    Humanization definitely triggers moral correctness ... when people feel that they are being watched, they are accountable. So I think the "extreme personalization" coupled with an obvious camera would be the ideal combination. It signals: "We know who you are" and "We are recording your behavior." In terms of push-back, I think people are so accustomed to cameras that they wouldn't flinch.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2017

    What happens now that Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods?

    Amazon will have a new set of retail skills to acquire -- the U.S. grocery business isn't easy (ask Tesco). But even so, the company has proven they are adaptable if nothing else. I think the stock market reaction told the story: Kroger down, Amazon/Whole Foods up. However, I am not sure this retailer will take much share from Walmart. I believe that shoppers from Target, Costco, Safeway and even regional players like Wegmans will drift toward Amazon/Whole Foods. These shoppers are looking for high quality merchandise as well as convenience. They are tech savvy and ready to adapt their habits to get what they want -- just like Amazon itself.

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