PROFILE

Roger Saunders

Global Managing Director, Prosper Business Development

Roger Saunders is Managing Director of PROSPER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT in Columbus, Ohio. PROSPER Group of Companies is a leading internationally recognized Marketing Intelligence concern that is focused on the CONSUMER and Consumer Insights. The firm addresses points of not just “What”, but also the essential “Who”, “When”, “Where”, “Why”, and “How” Consumer Behaviors, Attitudes, and Lifestyle are actionably impacting the Retail Industry.

PROSPER is the parent, holding company of Prosper Insights & Analytics, PROSPER Technologies, PROSPER China, and the Prosper Foundation. The organization is a leader in Business Development strategies, Innovative Technologies and Forecasting Applications, and Consumer Market Research. Quantitative, Syndicated and Custom Surveys are fielded on a consistent monthly and daily basis in the United States and China. The Insights, Prosper Platform of state-of-the-art visualization of diverse databases, and Apps that drive predictive Analytics of future consumer behavior, serve the needs of Marketing, Merchandising, Store Operations, Financial Departments, and Vendors. Clients include the world’s largest Retailers, CPG, Manufacturing, Media, Financial, and Consulting practices.

Saunders has held executive positions with Fortune 500 Media concerns, lead private multi-media entities, and been an owner / partner in entrepreneurial Retail (28 restaurants) and Manufacturing concerns. A diversified 35 year career, having lived in all corners of the U.S. – Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, South, and West – he has honed his senses and attention to Consumer and Customers’ current, and more importantly, future needs.

Other than a weak golf game, and a belief that the Chicago Cubs will one day win a World Series, Saunders is grounded in the reality that the Consumer is the center of any successful Marketer’s strategic and tactical efforts.

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  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    Are wearables just for the kids?

    Millennials are addressing the question of the usage of wearable technology in a fashion sense, as they are already more likely to have an appreciation of the function. Younger Boomers (born between 1956 and 1964) are more attuned to the function. And both segments of the population have to be educated and persuaded as to the value they will receive from wearable technology.Based on the Prosper Insights & Analytics Monthly Consumer Survey, Millennials have the greater curiosity in regards to these devices. When asked their level of interest about wearables on a scale of one to five, of the 1887 Millennials surveyed in April, 45.2 percent expressed somewhat/very interested in activity trackers, 37.7 percent felt that way about smartwatches, 31 percent were had interest in action camcorders, 28.8 percent of them were keen on healthcare devices and 26.1 percent had an interest in wearables for pets.Younger Boomers (sample size of 1049) need to be educated on the value -- that is likely going to come from function. While 22.7 percent of younger Boomers are somewhat/very interested in activity trackers and 19.6 percent held that view for healthcare devices, only 12.2 percent showed interest in smartwatches, 8.8 percent about action camcorders and 5.6 percent about wearables for pets.When it comes to plans to purchase in the next three to nine months, one out of five Millennials intends to take the plunge to purchase a smartwatch. Only 2.6 percent to 3.9 percent of younger Boomers intend to buy a Samsung or Apple smartwatch during that time.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2016

    What is Starbucks baking up with its latest investment?

    Centralize a bakery in a hub fashion around a dozen Starbucks. Yes, this does create new logistic issues. Baking, especially artisan, is in many ways an art form. If Starbucks has to outfit a bakery operation in all 12 of those locations and then ramp up and maintain training of personnel, product times, etc., they are going to experience greater operational problems than the logistics ones.With a centralized bakery, Starbucks/Princi will be able to experiment with a greater variety of products. In addition, that bakery could serve as an added supplier to specialty restaurants in the area.The plan calls for a bakery in each store. Test a couple of markets with the central bakery concept. The Melman organization in Chicago has been able to place a number of products from their Chicago bakery into their restaurants in a successful fashion. Use that highly successful restaurateur's model as a guide.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2016

    Do retail marketers have an appetite for data science?

    Analytics ownership needs to remain in-house. Marketing is a logical and practical space to drive the discipline, as it focuses first and foremost on the consumer. However, analytics and data science are not and should not be limited to the marketing department for use.Executive, financial, merchandising, and store operations teams should exercise their "walking around" skills to express how and what they might be seeking from data science. There is a breakdown in this arena, as too often analytics, which are relatively new to retail (past 10 years), are seen as black box specialists. They're not. They reinforce the common sense that all associates need to embrace.Retailers can find vendors who can assist along the way in building the internal bridge to better data science usage. Vendors, be they CPG, service or manufacturers, have a strong interest in helping retailers grow their businesses. That is why many of them have already started the process of building their data science expertise.Find the support. Build the data science from within.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2016

    Dollar stores — they have the meats

    Much of the retail industry has mistaken the dollar store channel for the simple reason that they do not understand the shoppers in the core and secondary segments in the channel. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and the West Coast chain of 99 Cents stores do.By understanding the consumers, dollar stores have effectively continuously tweaked their merchandising and store operations practices. 99 Cents Stores even has assertively stepped into the breach of expanding meat protein by hiring top-flight executive talent from grocery chain leaders. Geoffrey Covert, CEO, came out of 20 years at P&G and another 20 at Kroger. Jack Sinclair, chief merchandising officer, drove groceries and other departments at Walmart in some of their best years. Jim Parros, logistics, earned stripes at department stores and specialty stores, while Felicia Thornton, CFO, was an executive at Kroger and Albertsons.Food and better protein are both a necessity and of interest to all sides of the consumer marketplace. The dollar stores get that message. They walk their stores and other retailers, while too many retailers barely get past 7th Avenue or meetings internally. If you can't walk those stores, make certain that your teams get the correct consumer market insights.These lads and lasses are only getting started. Merchants on a "peg" higher than dollar stores -- let's call them Save-a-Lot, Trader Joe's and Aldi, with more to come -- will be taking a crack at that protein level. Stay tuned.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2016

    Will getting rid of list prices help or hurt Amazon?

    Likely a smart move on Amazon's part. The funnel of goods and services that Amazon is offering continuously grows. They are taking a page out of their book category. This move will permit them to keep the adventure of pricing fresh on an ongoing basis. It has appeal to the treasure hunters, EDLP and the simple value-seekers who want to be sure they are not being overcharged during their shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2016

    Amazon’s Prime Day countdown begins

    Will Amazon Prime Day be a success again this year? Is the Thames moist?Amazon will lead the way on July 11, building up fire power from July 5 on. They won't have an exclusive claim to the day, as other retailers will jump on the party bandwagon -- that will drive added consumers to Amazon for a price comparison. July 11 is a Monday -- ideal for building up momentum and sales over the weekend. Just as Alibaba, which jumped on Singles Day (11/11) in China, found growing success over the past six years, Amazon will see this occasion be a cash-rich celebration.Offering a free membership to Amazon Prime will provide a solid boost to added sales. Prosper Insights and Analytics Monthly Consumer Survey indicates that three out of 10 adults are now Amazon Prime members. That is just since 2013. The momentum will carry through effectively in July.And other retailers will do well to capitalize on the occasion if they have their operation lined up. Walmart is out in front in this effort with their current offerings to become part of ShippingPass. Consumer spending has turned a bit cautious over the past 30 days. That could prove beneficial on July 11 if large segments of the population are feeling a bit more flush following the 4th of July.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2016

    Retailers stand out on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Workplaces for Millennials’ list

    Multiple retailers deserve to be on the Fortune "100 Best Workplaces for Millennials" list. Millennials, being the newest members of the workforce, found their first jobs in retail establishments. The retail industry can proudly point to the fact that more than 60 percent of workers' first jobs were in the retail industry.Walk the stores of a few of the retailers who are recognized — Publix, Wegmans and Nordstrom — and you'll find not only the Millennial generation represented (18- to 34-year-olds), but also a good number of 16- and 17-year-olds who are still embracing work ethic as a key aspect of their lives.The consumer will speak on behalf of these employees. The Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey asks respondents the reasons that they choose to shop a particular retailer MOST often. In the grocery field, 32 different reasons are offered. In terms of the human interactions listed, Publix and Wegmans stand out among their peers.Service is mentioned by 54.7 percent of Publix shoppers, while 54.8 percent of Wegmans shoppers score the New York-based retailer high. That compares to 24.9 percent average for all other grocers. In-store experience rings well with Publix (36.2 percent) and Wegmans (39.8 percent) vs. 19.1 percent average for grocers. Knowledgeable employees — Publix (20.8 percent) and Wegmans (21.7 percent) vs. 8.8 percent average for grocers. Trustworthy retailer — Publix (44.8 percent) and Wegmans (42.4 percent) vs. 22.6 percent average for All others.Similarly wide margins exist for Nordstrom in the eyes of their customers. When associates take care of customers, everyone is rewarded with a positive experience. That day-in/day-out feedback provides Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers with the psychological feedback that they are with a great company.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2016

    Does Publix have an unrealistic share of Florida’s grocery market?

    Grocery retailers want to take a close look at the shifting but growing population of Florida, now the third largest State in the country. With a population base that is growing rapidly in a dispersed number of cities scattered across a large landmass, a significant opportunity is open to grocers. The Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey continues to point to solid, modest growth of consumer staple goods -- it's been in that position for the past 14 months.The "however" is that perhaps the grocery market is not going to abandon Publix. Their impressive market share among traditional grocery store shoppers is strong for a reason -- clean, well-run stores, wide aisles, knowledgeable associates who are attentive to consumers and a high-low pricing system that regular customers understand and value.The competitor opportunities lie in expansion growth by retailers offering value, like Aldi and Trader Joe's. Specialty stores at the higher end of the market like Fresh Market, Whole Foods and localized specialty stores. Talented entrepreneurs like Tony Orlando, a BrainTrust commentator who understands the real world of consumers, will find opportunity. Walmart will continue to find allegiance throughout Florida as new and younger folks seek value in everyday purchases and snow birds pop in and recognize they can get great produce at either the Walmart Super Center or the Neighborhood Markets springing up. Online will be a growing factor -- serviced by Amazon in certain cities, and other local grocers -- Walmart is offering that service in Naples, Florida.Finally, the mass warehouse clubs of Sam's Club and Costco will continue to expand and rake off a significant grocery share from more affluent retirees and growing families.The Safeways of the world will find much of the opportunity being sealed off from their registers by the likes of these competitors. It's more than just Publix in the Sunshine State.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2016

    Millennials with money go shopping in dollar stores

    Based on Prosper Insights & Analytics databases, 2.5% of dollar channel shoppers have household income of $100,000+. If these households represent 25% of sales in Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar, as NPD data indicates, CPG firms and Wall Street, and perhaps the dollar chains themselves, are missing a bigger opportunity.While 14.9% of dollar store shoppers are part of the younger portion of Millennials, 18-24, the fact remains that 65.1% of dollar store shoppers have household income of less than $35,000.There will always be treasure hunters and value seekers, but the lease hold rents that dollar chains often have, will make it challenging for them to attract higher household income shoppers in significantly larger scale.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2016

    Amazon pushes back against fake reviews by suing sellers

    Amazon, like any other retailer, has to diligently grow and protect their brand. That may entail a cease & desist, a lawsuit, or other form of action. Their brand has moved beyond mere e-commerce. And, as a firm now sporting the sixth highest publicly traded stock, they have an obligation to protect the intellectual value of their firm — for the sake of all stakeholders — customers, employees, vendors, and shareholders.Alibaba was hit with so many "fakes" — real or otherwise — in China, that they had to even create a separate entity in TMall.Amazon is taking the right position on the issue. They will instill confidence for their customers.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2016

    Will social and shopping ever go together?

    Kim Garretson has the correct approach in thinking through this topic — start with the consumer. She/He have to travel a Path to Purchase on small ticket and big ticket items. Either one can impact needs or wants.Listen to the consumer. Just because they have an eyeball on Facebook or Twitter, doesn't mean that they are ready to buy. Consumers go to shopping for apparel, electronics, an automobile, beauty products, etc. throughout the year, only to walk out of a store without making a purchase.Prosper databases point to the fact that the omnichannel (or opti-channel) consumer (the who) is nimble enough to navigate what, where, why, when, and how they pay. They'll do it on their terms, as they are the center of the equation.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2016

    Should Gap sell on Amazon?

    Peck is taking the right approach to begin to explore this avenue. While many may point to Amazon as the threat, best to borrow from Don Corleone — keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.It has been clear for the past three years that Amazon has opened up to pursue apparel/clothing. Type in "denim" or "blue jeans" — yes, I know that The Gap sells more than just these lines — and you find Levi's, Wrangler, Lee, Dickies, Calvin Klein, and numerous other players.The stakes are too high NOT to have select offerings on the Amazon site.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2016

    Millennials want money to leave home

    George and the Pew Research offer some very salient facts about the Millennials who are participating in the adventure of life. It merits pointing out that all Millennials are NOT traveling the highway of life in the same pattern. It's also important to note that the Millennial Generation represents over 78 million adults, compared to Generation X's around 46 million. Millennials number a couple of million more than their largely Baby Boomer parents' generation of 76 million.Using Prosper insights and analytics data it is useful to look at adults 18 to 24 separately from adults 25 to 34. Looking at household patterns from this view, 33 percent of adults 18 to 24 live with their parents. In May 2014 that percentage was 34.9 percent, and in May, 2005, 38.7 percent of these younger Millennials were living with parents.Looking at older Millennials 25 to 34, 10.1 percent of them live with their parents vs. 11.4 percent of the age group who lived with their parents in May, 2005.Millennials are certainly marrying later than previous generations, but the 25- to 34-year-olds are now stepping up to home ownership. Fully 47.6 percent of these adults own a home as of May, 2016 compared to 41.4 percent in May, 2005. Those 25- to 34-year-olds are apartment renters -- 42.4 percent vs. 47.2 percent. Notice the explosion of apartment starts over the past six to eight years -- it's growing NOT because parents and Millennials are staying together, it's because Millennials are making steady, albeit slow progress in getting to spots on the highway of life that fits their needs.Deep segmentation of this population of 78 million is warranted. As they form households, with or without a partner, they will make a huge impact on retail, furniture, appliances and other items used in home or apartment living.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2016

    Clean label-loving Millennials pose a challenge for food retailers

    For "Clean Label" to take scalable, broader steps off the shelf and into consumers shopping carts, they'll have to be certain they are in alignment with the reasons that consumers are in rolling through stores an online in the first place.Are they meeting consumers' needs in terms of price, location, selection, quality, fresh, service, advertising/promotions, package design, in-store experience and knowlegeable employees to help explain the products, unique product proposition, and about 15 other "care-abouts" the consumer has? Tough to be the lone body of work in units that have 50,000+ SKUs.Start with the Millennials in most categories, but be prepared to meet the early adopters as they will carry the word of mouth of your story. Chobani Yogurt is perhaps one of the better examples of taking a CPG product and moving it in such a scalable manner that they have altered an entire product category with their unique Greek Yogurt. Watch for this company to deliver added line extensions that will quickly be embraced by more than just Millennials.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2016

    Will Amazon be the first to truly nail omnichannel retailing?

    "Seamless" points to perfection from a consumer acceptance standpoint. Can't offer that status to Amazon just yet. They are, however, masterful in making incremental improvements to their operating structure, taking costs out, expanding categories, growing market share in multiple categories, and winning over new converts on a daily basis.They are calling the plays. Other retailers are reacting, while too few are focusing on innovating from within to build their e-commerce in conjunction with brick & mortar.Amazon, while they experiment with/test multiple strategies, will likely find the sweet spot in the broad, middle market spaces, as they have done with consumer electronics, books, and other categories. Along the way, they are building loyalty and passionate adopters, akin to Starbucks, Wegmans, and Apple.

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