Naomi K. Shapiro

Strategic Market Communications, Upstream Commerce

Following an exciting and rewarding career in marketing, PR, publishing, website management and adventure travel writing, Naomi came to the retail industry as strategic marketing communications and content manager for leading retail intelligence company, Upstream Commerce. As CEO of her own company, Creative Brilliance, she was a pr and publicity practitioner; started and maintained her own magazine, Brilliant Ideas for Publishers; wrote and published “The Brilliant Book of Promotions, Sales Tools & Special Events”; and took newspaper publishers around the world to study newspaper industries of other countries. Her most interesting invitation was to give an invited talk at the Asia-Pacific Conference in Hong Kong on, “The Future of The American Newspaper.” Most interesting personal/travel writer experiences: “Fishing With The Salties (saltwater crocodiles) at The Top Of Down Under”, trekking on a glacier; shark fishing, having six humpback whales dive under her (very) small boat; and more.

Favorite Quote #1: “Argue anything for your own advantage, and people will resist to the limit. But seem unselfishly to consider you customers’ desires, and they will naturally flock to you.” (Claude C. Hopkins, My Life In Advertising).

Favorite Quote #2: “Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well-informed, or your ideas will be irrelevant.” (David Ogilvy, Ogilvy On Advertising).

Other Links from Naomi K. Shapiro:

Upstream Commerce blog

  • Posted on: 03/22/2017

    What happens now that Alexa is on the iPhone?

    Anything (well, almost anything) that Amazon does is good for Amazon. I don't think Siri and Alexa will play well together. I just wish that Siri were smarter and more perceptive. Too many garbled requests, such as: "Hi for weather?" instead of "Haifa weather?"
  • Posted on: 03/22/2017

    What do know-it-all shoppers want?

    Knowledgeable shoppers want to find the product(s) in the store quickly and easily, and that is where the associate can make hay. Help them find what they want, then associates can add to the customer's knowledge, answer questions and promote complementary items. Last time I was in Target I knew what I wanted, but after spinning around a few times (literally and figuratively) I couldn't find anyone to help me, i.e. there was no-one from staff bustling about as I used to find. That made the shopping experience frustrating and less pleasurable.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2017

    Using a social app to prepare for a U.S. retail launch

    This sounds like chicken or egg, love and marriage, or "who's on first." Don't think you can have one without the other. The app and the building of information have to go together. You need the product to exist in order to make the app effective, and you (presumably) can't sell product without knowing the reactions to the app. (And can reactions to the app be measured effectively -- or are there all sorts of pitfalls to interpretation of the data?)
  • Posted on: 03/21/2017

    Why is the U.S. so bad at airport retailing?

    Both Ian and Tony expressed my thoughts about shopping in US airports before I had a chance: In the US, we have access to just about everything we want -- before we even come to the airport -- so why buy expensive or unneeded items that you can get outside the airport, and much cheaper? Same isn't true in foreign airports, be it in England or China. People passing through those airports can avail themselves of many items they can't find in their own countries or imported from other countries to be sold in Duty-Free shops.
  • Posted on: 02/28/2017

    Has J.C. Penney pulled off ‘one of the greatest financial turnarounds in retail history’?

    As a strategic market communicator for a retail intelligence company whose specialty is the science of price optimization through predictive and dynamic pricing, I am always surprised when data-driven pricing doesn't get noticed as a driving factor in a company's success. Pricing is everything when it comes to sales and gross margin, the spine of retail -- or any business for that matter.
  • Posted on: 02/27/2017

    Did Walmart’s short films win Oscar night?

    Walmart did take its message beyond low prices: The Rogen-Goldberg bit was most entertaining -- and most commercial. And I think it used the items on the receipt most clearly. The other commercials were futuristic (maybe it was because it was for the Oscars), but reminded me too much of "Road Warrior" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" -- didn't really connect with Walmart.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2017

    Is personalization better appreciated online or in stores?

    Customers being much more open online is a no-brainer. Probably because we think it's all about technological ability to grab and rank and reply to things you've done online. If a real person does it in a store it is, as almost everyone noted, creepy. That's information I'd prefer to keep personal and solicit help when I (emphasize "I") WANT IT, not the other way around. Jasmine pretty well defined the whole feeling, with which I agree.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2017

    Will in-home consults give Amazon the keys to the smart home market?

    Good points. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2017

    Will in-home consults give Amazon the keys to the smart home market?

    There's nothing like having your foot in the door, so to speak. Once in the door, the customer will see how the equipment works in their own home or office -- that's the other half of the battle. Like trying things on in clothing, this is real "trying things on" in your home. Being first and being successful and getting lots of positive publicity ahead of the others will make Amazon the go-to place for these things. And high marks to boot. Who can beat that?
  • Posted on: 02/09/2017

    Did President Trump go too far with his Nordstrom tweet?

    Mr. Trump is the President.Mr. Trump has a daughter.If he feels that his daughter was slighted (even wrongly), can't he express himself on this? Or just not through a president's channels? It's not fair to say that he, as President shouldn't be able to express himself at all. And that, as Trump supporters and detractors alike will have to agree: that's what makes Trump, Trump.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    When will sustainable fashion go mainstream?

    Afterthoughts to my comments: 1.) Can you throw this dress away when you're done with it, or can it be recycled further? 2.) Brilliant to have the narrative by a voice such as Vodianova's -- ethereal, non-national and authoritative in a gentle, intelligent way.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    When will sustainable fashion go mainstream?

    Jasmine knocked it out of the park with her observations. Global impact and sustainability are key to today's consumer and growing more so. And if the clothing and fabric looks, feels and wears like "real" clothing, bring it on! Factors in the way: Can they REALLY do this?
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    How good is ‘close enough’ when it comes to in-store inventory?

    Short answer: I heartily agree that retailers are making too many omnichannel promises given their abilities to account for and manage inventories.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    Are vendors and stores headed for a fight over Amazon?

    You have to go where the customers are -- in today's marketplace manufacturers are finding it easier to "do it themselves" directly, and you can't expect manufacturers to be loyal to their retail clients just to be altruistic.It is, however, a double-edged sword. We've written about the pitfalls of working with Amazon, from competition with foreign knock-offs to Amazon itself undermining some manufacturers with its own competitive practices (in 7 Reasons Why A Retailer Like Birkenstock Would Walk Away From Amazon and other posts).
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl broadcast?

    This year's ads didn't deliver. They broke into groups: Cars, food and drink, technology companies, movies, household products, insurance and services, etc. Most of the ads were obtuse and antithetical to action. I thought the "historical" ads (except Yearbook) were blurry and unclear.My favorite was McDonald's. I realized that my mouth was watering and wanted to go out and get one immediately, which is a sad commentary on the rest of the ads which should have been more "impressive" (as in, making an impression). Maybe with a side of avocados from Mexico, which was was engaging, entertaining, appetizing, and effective.The car ad for Mercedes with Peter Fonda (Born/Built to be Wild) was a nice upgrade on what Wild Bunch graduates might ride.Least favorite: The Melissa McCarthy ad was frantic, misrepresentative and NOT FUNNY, especially if you've ever nearly been fallen on by a breaching whale (I have), walked on a glacier and NOT fallen in, chopped wood, etc.Smarmiest: Febreze bathroom break (even though they get credit for "tackling" this subject). And "want to pet my roo?"Special category: Snickers got tons of pre-game publicity by announcing it would be different by going live, it doesn't matter that the commercial itself fell flat -- literally.

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