Brian Numainville

Principal, The Feedback Group

Brian became a Principal of Retail Feedback Group (RFG) in 2012 and is the Co-Author of Feedback Rules!, a book created to provide useful tips for everyone that listens to their customers, employees or business partners. In his role at RFG, Brian partners with retailers, wholesalers, other businesses and nonprofits throughout the U.S. to design and conduct voice of customer programs, consumer research, employee surveys, stakeholder studies, B2B surveys, custom research and market analysis projects.

Prior to joining RFG, Brian worked at Nash Finch Company, a Fortune 500 food wholesaler and retailer, for 18 years, where he led market research, public relations and the charitable foundation. At Nash Finch, Brian pioneered the initial implementation of geographic information systems, developed the consumer research program, and launched a customer feedback program in all corporate-owned stores and many independent locations.

At the industry level, Brian has served in multiple thought leadership roles including many years as Chair of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Consumer Market Research Committee and as a member of the Program Leadership Board at the University of Minnesota Food Industry Center. He is a frequent presenter/panelist at numerous conferences and events for organizations including the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the National Grocers Association (NGA), and the Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA).

In addition to his research expertise, Brian also leverages his significant background in public relations/corporate communications which has included writing impactful press releases, creating compelling executive presentations, developing annual reports, heading media relations efforts, spearheading internal communications, utilizing social media, engaging in marketing and serving as corporate spokesperson.

Brian designed and executed many major cause marketing programs including Feeding Imagination (130,000+ books donated to kids) and Helping Hands in the Community Day (400+ volunteers). While Chair, the NFC Foundation/Nash Finch received the prestigious Jefferson Award from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.  Brian currently serves on four nonprofit boards with missions ranging from local hunger relief to international medical assistance.

A recipient of the 40 Under Forty Award from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Brian has also been honored with the Alumni of Notable Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota and the WCCO-AM Good Neighbor Award. Brian earned his M.A. in Communication Studies and his B.A. summa cum laude in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota. He also holds Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) from the Marketing Research Association.

Buy: Feedback Rules!

  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Amazon Go is going big(ger) in suburban locations

    It still is going to come down to putting these in the right locations with sufficient density/traffic and the required composition of shoppers. While everyone can utilize a c-store, not everyone will be into using Just Walkout technology. So, Amazon continues to test this in different contexts and slowly roll it out.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 2022 be the year of text-to-shop?

    As AI gets better and messages become more "real," things like chatbots and text to shop will become more accepted (not talking about responding to unsolicited messages here), especially in situations where a quick transaction is desired. It is still too clunky in many cases right now, but I wouldn't count it out just yet.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2021

    Do Americans now prefer strip center shopping?

    It makes sense that strip malls are faring well compared to the traditional mall that takes a great deal of effort to get to, get in, and get out of in any reasonable period of time. Strip malls that are well appointed with the right mix of retail will continue to do well into the future given greater convenience, better parking, and ease of shopping.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2021

    Does Facebook, er Meta, now need stores?

    Thing is, this is more than just a social platform. Right now, using the term Metaverse is like saying BOPIS to a shopper. What?! Having used it for years now, virtual reality (a better term) stretches far beyond social media such as sharing photos of the dogs or kids. There is an incredible amount of application here in so many potential ways, using immersive technology. I'll go the opposite direction. I'd place a big bet on this.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2021

    Does Facebook, er Meta, now need stores?

    As a regular user of an Oculus (now Meta) Quest, I understand the Metaverse and how appealing it is (at least to me) for a number of things including visiting with family in other places, exploring different parts of the world, and gaming, to name a few uses. But without the ability to try it in a physical store, for many it will be nothing more than a nebulous and unknown term. Pretty apparent by the many comments, from the very uninformed to very knowledgeable, that I have seen in various forums. So physical stores can play an important role in trial, purchase and adoption. I totally disagree with anyone who believes this isn't a part of the future - they likely have never tried it.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2021

    Get ready for the ‘IOU Christmas’

    Transparency and open communication will be key. The old phrases "for a limited time only" and "limited stock on hand" may never be more true!
  • Posted on: 09/23/2021

    Will ‘Built for Better’ put Walmart in a better light?

    This is certainly important and timely, and if Walmart executes here and connects this to broader organization initiatives, it will certainly be a positive. Not sure it will attract many new shoppers given their already large base, but it might give many existing shoppers who are focused on sustainability and environmental issues a reason to shop there more (and feel good about it beyond just price).
  • Posted on: 09/17/2021

    Can retailers benefit from tapping employee emotions?

    An appropriate level of passion and emotions are relevant and warranted, and can spark excitement. It is important for leaders to harness and manage it well.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2021

    Do new Shipt and Walmart programs signal big changes to come in the retail delivery market?

    The ability to select a preferred shopper is a game changer for Shipt. I've used the service numerous times and often wondered why I couldn't have a preference for certain shoppers given the very high level of service of some versus others. This level of personalized service makes this more than just a delivery service -- it builds the relationship in as a key component, which creates a much stronger bond between shopper and customer.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2021

    Are Home Depot and Lowe’s about to hit a sales wall?

    This boost will continue into the foreseeable future. Yes, there may be ups and downs, such as seasonal patterns, but given the large scale back-up in contractor availability (20 weeks in several cases in my area) and the desire to make the home more of a center of activity for many, there is plenty of runway left.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2021

    Will in-person conferences make a comeback after a year of virtual shows?

    From an education perspective, I think that the virtual aspect of a show can expand and draw more people in, especially those who either can't travel or really only benefit from that aspect of the show. Not a replacement for in-person relationship building but if I am only in it for the education, might be a great way to expand the attendees for those sessions (and revenue) of a show. As a speaker, I'm looking forward to getting back in front of a live audience. As as others have said, it just isn't as energizing presenting to my computer screen!
  • Posted on: 06/30/2021

    Is fast food going too slow in reopening for dine-in business?

    Labor being what it is right now, not surprised that they would take this slow, especially given that in many cases the dining room isn't all that necessary. With more attention on sanitation and hygiene, drive thru and takeout will likely continue to uptick going forward given new importance from a consumer perspective.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2021

    How fast can stores fill curbside pickup orders?

    While logic dictates not trying to promise anything faster than you can deliver well on, the expectation by the shopper is going to drive the fulfillment time down with the comparison to Amazon and relevant competitors. So buckle up and prepare for more speed in fulfillment moving forward!
  • Posted on: 05/21/2021

    If you google ‘Google store’, you’ll find one opening in NYC

    Google needs to explore physical stores to see what they can learn. Time will tell if this is successful a la Apple or more like some of the others who tried this and didn't do so well. I do think higher traffic areas will be important, but it also depends on the product mix. Can't wait to see more on this!
  • Posted on: 04/30/2021

    Shipt and its gig workers deal with phishing attacks

    Today's mix of modern-day social engineering and scams. Education and appropriate security measures help mitigate the risk, but it is an unfortunate reality with where we are at as a connected society. Definitely a challenge.

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