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.

  • Posted on: 12/07/2016

    H-E-B’s go local approach produces results

    Rosser Reeves, the Advertising giant from the Ted Bates Agency pointed out the vital importance of establishing a "Unique Selling Proposition," or USP. H-E-B and Luby's, two powerful regional brands have identified a USP that has lasting power.These two pros recognize that they have a common share of stomach appreciation among consumers in the Southwestern U.S. and Texas, as a base. Each firm will gather a win as they view their customer through a similar lens. In taking advantage of the USP, each chain secures added loyalty from fans who end up saying, "You really get me." That serves to build loyalty and retention.Numerous other local fare pop up on the radar all across the country. Just one that comes to mind, Skyline Chili, is a local/regional favorite in Cincinnati and Ohio. Kroger and Skyline work hand-in-hand to their customers' advantage in bringing the product home. Solid innovative thinking on the part of grocers and other retailers as they build their ticket, and hold people in-store.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2016

    Click and collect and ship-from-store change associate job descriptions

    Bringing all portions of the organization into the omnichannel space engages added retail associates in the opportunity to service the customer and enjoy the satisfaction that retail brings to store associates.Just as in each of our personal lives, retail associates will perform better if provided with objectives, those being -- something to do, something to hope for and someone to love. In the support of ship-from-store services, the ideal time to demonstrate the love and appreciation of a customer is when they are directly in front of us.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2016

    What convinces retailers to innovate?

    Retail, like so many businesses, has to challenge itself to get out of the rear-view mirror, and start looking forward. By continuously using hindsight, we are blinded when it comes to looking ahead and permitting innovation to spring forth. Retail is an uncertain world, yet in trying to make it more certain, too many planners choose to use last year's patterns. Look forward.Daniel Kahneman stated matters succinctly at the Wall Street Journal CEO conference a couple of weeks ago: "Hindsight blinds us to the uncertainty with which we live. We exaggerate how much certainty there is. After the fact, everything is explained. Everything is obvious. Hindsight in a way mitigates against the careful design of decision making under conditions of uncertainty."Satchel Paige, perhaps, said it a different way when he noted, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." In retail, find out what the consumer is going to do next, and then be prepared to meet them with your innovation skills — it's more fun that way, as opposed to wringing hands and worrying about something that has already taken place.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2016

    Is Chobani smart to open cafés in grocery stores?

    The roots of Chobani from its founding have been to foster healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Innovator and Founder Hamdi Ulukaya made certain to weave that quality/characteristic into the product profile throughout the company's rise to success. And Chobani's raving fans have fully embraced that characteristic, helping push the privately-held brand past the $1 billion level within the first five years.Based on the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey, Chobani consumers provide the brand with an impressive +40.5 percent Net Promoter Score (NPS) rating. Yoplait and Dannon sharply trail those ratings among their consumers.The Manhattan Soho store is a great treat. It brings in the neighborhood families and people who are employed in the neighborhood, as well as out-of-town business folks working their way from Wall Street up to midtown.It's a smart move to selectively roll these mini-marketing machines out to unique, densely-populated areas. They are traffic builders for stores like Target that will benefit from the glow of the Chobani consumer.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2016

    Has Best Buy solved the Amazon riddle?

    While Joly and Best Buy had to initially put financial operations in order early on, he has lead the way in making the stores and online experience more consumer and user-friendly. Over the past year I have purchase two computers, a printer and a replacement water filter at Best Buy. My expenditures were over four times the average annual expenditures that consumers make on big ticket electronics annually -- $565 based on the Prosper Insights & Analytics Monthly Consumer Survey.Service, professionalism of the store staff and online contact and overall cleanliness and organization of the stores have been the biggest factor. Best Buy was missing these "soft skills" four or five years ago. You enter a Best Buy store and you sense that associates want to help you. Same with online contact.The reasons consumers choose Best Buy over all other Electronics Retailers are revealing. The October Prosper survey points out that 73.2 percent of Best Buy shoppers see selection as a strength which is more than 34 percent better than competitors. Location earns marks more than 43 percent higher than other electronics stores; quality is more than 36 percent better; service is rated more than 46 percent higher; in-store experience is more than 67 percent above competitors and knowledgeable sales personnel is more than 91 percent higher in mentions compared to other electronic stores.Those type of reasons to shop Best Buy point to a promising holiday season ahead.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2016

    Singles Day 2016 is setting new records

    Singles Day generates over 5x the revenue that Cyber Monday delivers to U.S. retailers and manufacturers. That's impressive. However, there are some cultural difference in play when making the comparisons.First of all, people in the U.S. have a cultural habit of being able to shop daily on a throughout-the-year basis. Secondly, retailers over the years have made U.S. holidays/special occasions a source of new revenues each month of the year ... the winter holidays represent over $660 billion, back-to-school is $75+ billion, Mother's Day is 21 billion, today is Veterans Day — it will see some 20 billion in retail sales, plus Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Super Bowl Parties, Memorial Day/Graduation, and let's not forget Saint Patrick's Day.Each of these days, as well as the success of Singles Day, depends upon execution. Be stocked up, get the team in place, have a game plan for before, during and after, offer values, and make certain you message is targeted to the right audience.Is it easy? Heck no. But done properly, it energizes the entire team of retail associates and your customers.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2016

    Will Donald Trump’s presidency be good for retailers?

    As a fan of Milton Friedman economics, I'll go along with this University of Chicago, Nobel Prize winner's thinking on how economies grow. If the U.S. Economy adds a 100 to 150 Basis Points to the dismal performance of the past 8 years, retailers will be winners. Friedman taught that economies grow by:
    1. Mutually beneficial trade
    2. Productive infrastructure expansion
    3. Business investment
    4. Consumption
    The new Administration needs to embrace Trade. As we finalize the TPP and bolster the Nafta trade agreements the economy will grow, and America's position on the world stage will be enhanced.The President-elect has talked of the need to invest in infrastructure. Congress should support him in this regard.The business community has been justifiably skittish about investment, as they have been uncertain about over-regulation from Washington D.C., unclear about the costs of health care expense, gun-shy about EPA, FCC, FTC, and other government agency rules, not to mention the thought that rewriting the Tax Code was off the table. They should find, if not a benign, then a more friendly government bureaucracy with which to work. That's good for retailers.With two-thirds of the U.S. economy tied in some way to consumption, the fourth leg, which has been stalled, should get a jump in the next four years. We have to reduce the labor participation rate. Some 95 million Adults between 18-60 are out of the work force — over 20 million more than we had in 2008. If the new administration can get them working again, the economy mushrooms, and retailers will be leading parades.Hoping that President-elect Trump is boning up on his Friedman Economics.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2016

    Will the Chase Pay option help Walmart increase mobile payments?

    Walmart has to follow the path of the consumer. They have taken the right step of attempting to uncover the right tools to serve the customer when they arrive at checkout. Have to keep in mind that the customer has to be traveling to their checkout destination with a smartphone.Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey data tells us that 3 out of 10 adults, 18+ feel highly confident in the use of their smartphone in a manner whereby they answer, "I use my smartphone for all functions — it's my life." Walmart shoppers rate a bit higher than 30% in this regard. Just 2 1/2 years ago, 1 out of 4 people held this view. These have been, and will continue to be the early/repeat adopters.Of these 30% of true believers making the statement, 31.5% state that they have made a purchase via their smartphone. That would equate to just shy of 10% of the population as of October, 2016. Naturally, there are heavy users and those who have just begun the journey.Mobile payment systems are at the tipping point. Adding Chase into the equation will keep Walmart (and other retailers) on the path to meet consumer demand, IF they can make it a fast, efficient, and convenient transaction for all consumers in the queue.Don't bet against Walmart on this one. Billions of dollars are at stake for all parties. We're not all going to walk back to cash.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2016

    Will Aldi and Lidl replicate U.K. success in the U.S.?

    Aldi may have first broken ground within a number of lower income communities, but they are a mainstream grocer in the minds of a very loyal base of shoppers across the country. Bet on them to continue to be significant winners as they march to neighborhoods that have all levels of household income in the coming years.Based on the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey, Aldi is well-entrenched among adults, 18+, with 4 percent of the general population saying they shop their MOST often for groceries as of September 2016. That figure compares to 2.5 percent in September 2012. The silent generation, those born in 1945 or earlier, are strong supporters. 16.5 percent say that they have shopped Aldi in the past 90 days and 17.4 percent of silents have shopped Aldi's cousin, Trader Joe's, during that time.As Adrian Weidmann points out about his 88-year-old mother, if you mention Aldi to my mother she's like a dog on a bone in terms of getting ready to head out. Older Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1955, have already discovered Aldi, with 18.6 percent of that population group shopping the German "little giant" in the past 90 days.In Naples, Florida, a new Aldi is going up in the shadow of a Costco that is wall-to-wall business. Those shoppers have household incomes of six figures plus. Aldi is going to knock it out of the park, here and in multiple other areas of the country.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Is it time for retailers to stop the Thanksgiving madness?

    While one out of five adult respondents to the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey say that they will shop on Thanksgiving Day, they are increasingly shifting that shopping to the Internet -- particularly on that occasion. Give the store a rest. Keep the websites open and let your customers know that you can take care of them immediately online AND that you're looking forward to seeing them over the Black Friday weekend within the store.Big box operations can generate large enough revenue to justify staying open. It simply doesn't make economic or staffing sense to have the doors open for small and midsize retailers on Thanksgiving.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Will Amazon give new meaning to convenience stores?

    Peters and Waterman, borrowing liberally from Peter Drucker, pointed out the value of "sticking to the knitting," or doing what you do best, some 30 years ago. Amazon would do well to fully comprehend that wisdom.They are entering an entirely new arena with added real estate costs (that box has to deliver an ROI), new and different labor costs, working with fresh meat (can they get to scale and move product fast enough to avoid sanitation issues that grocers work hard to master?), setting themselves up for return merchandise and where-does-it-go logistics that UPS and FedEx study daily.I agree with Ken Cassar that the Seattle juggernaut is out over their skis.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    AmazonFresh lowers annual subscription via a $15 monthly rate

    We have a consumer marketplace in which the average household makes 90+ trips to shop for groceries each year. Grocery stores and mass merchants are within 5 miles of 98%+ of the U.S. population.Admittedly, not everyone relishes or has the time to invest in grocery shopping. However, between the U.S. grocery industry and the American farmer, we have seen 40+ years of productivity that has lead to lower prices of grocery products.Amazon Fresh's price, at $279 per year, is too steep to entice a scaleable number of new consumers. They are going to have to offer other services or values (unique products or the freshest of the fresh produce). The Millennial will be the first of the adopters.The Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey indicates that 37.1% of adults, 18+ are Prime members. That compares to 46.3% of Millennials. The folks that are going to invest more with Amazon Fresh additions are Millennials with household income of 50k+ — 56.4% are Amazon Prime Members — and 60.0% of married Millennials are Amazon Prime members. In the past 30 Days, 10% of Millennials have shopped online for groceries.Amazon has some work ahead of them on the Grocery front. I'm not discounting them. However, a $279 annual ticket isn't going to do it for them.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2016

    Will retailers find gold or coal in their holiday stockings?

    We're all handicappers at this time of year, as the consumers are out of the paddock and at the post.My tip sheet says follow the NRF's lead. They have a solid and useful benchmark number that reflects where consumers are trending, as opposed to too many others who are using hunches or the rear view mirror. Your windshield is big, your rearview mirror is small. There's a reason.It will be important to follow and anticipate the segments that are most meaningful in delivering year-over-year gains. If your target is the 79 million Millennials, don't look at them in bulk. Break them down into 4 or 5 segments that can be targeted on their path to purchase. I like married Millennials who are 31.5% of the generation at this stage. More money with two income households, some with kids, saving like demons for holidays, evolving and looking like Married Gen X, high consumer confidence, shifting housing patterns, make them track ready.If the target is a market with household income of $35,000 to $50,000, and they are working, treat them like kings and queens. They are going to spend more this season so the family has the experiences of Christmas. This group will provide a bump higher than the +3.4% spending growth.Cross-channel will everywhere this season, which complicates the path to purchase. By knowing your shopper, you can lay the path to know when to make the charge around the far turn. Credit card usage will be up for a number of categories, and that is a positive for retailers and card companies alike.For the highest earning households, don't expect to move significantly more soft goods this Christmas. They will be chasing experiences of trips, tickets, spa specials, or that unique $750+ driver, which they may buy online or in-store — be ready when they are.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2016

    Best Buy speeds start-ups to selling floor

    Sending the message to consumers, Best Buy associates, and technology innovators that Best Buy is open to continuously evolve and passionately explore the "New, New" is one that inspires. The Geek Squads alone will be the biggest champions.With space available in a box that is a bit too large at this time, leads to greater productivity on square footage R.O.I.Add in the fact that Ignite serves as a potential traffic builder and increased frequency of visits, this points to a winning strategy to test. Bravo!
  • Posted on: 09/23/2016

    Are smartphones changing how Americans shop from home?

    Smartphones are ubiquitous across all generations, save for the Silent Generation. However, I will tell you that my 90 year old mother is on her iPad throughout the day, and is even taking up texting on her phone.Each month the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey asks over 6,800 adults about their shopping methods over the past 30 days across 12 different merchandising categories. In each of those categories, save for groceries, 8% - 15% of Millennials say they have used their smartphone for selected categories. If you're shopping for electronics, the smartphone loses ground to tablet devices, while it picks up a higher percentage of Millennials when it comes to apparel.Media is used simultaneously, and has been for the past 15 years. You may be in front of the television set, but the Smartphone is on the right, the tablet on the left, and you could be leafing through a magazine during a commercial break.The consumer is in charge. We're there to engage them and serve their world. Each of us has to keep that in mind as copy is written, media forms are selected, offerings are made, and merchandise has proper and effective distribution channels.

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