PROFILE

Dave Bruno

Marketing Director, Aptos
With over 25 years of experience in retail technology, Dave supports Aptos with brand development, corporate messaging, and product marketing. His deep resume includes widely varying experiences helping bring retail technology to market at GERS, Escalate Retail, RedPrairie, JDA and Epicor. Dave is a frequent speaker at industry events and is highly regarded for his ability to identify emerging technology trends that will impact the retail model. He has worked with many of the world’s leading retailers, and he is an accomplished marketer, having won numerous awards for his content marketing programs and campaigns. He is a member of the advisory board for DemandGen Report, and the executive producer of the CommerceofCaring podcast series. Dave is also a regular contributor to EngagingCustomersDifferently.com
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  • Posted on: 01/11/2019

    Zola de-stresses the wedding planning experience for Millennials

    A very creative way to add value and engage shoppers ... and deepen the relationship. Will every bride be into it? Probably not, but many will, and I applaud this initiative. It's creative, value-oriented and highly attuned to customer needs.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2019

    Are department stores seeing the Ghost of Christmas Future in bleak holiday results?

    Survival for department stores is the same as it is for everyone else: staying relevant through assortments and experiences. The scale of department stores makes these challenges more difficult, of course, but the department store model in and of itself does not have to die. They just need to adapt, including aggressive reviews of assortments and creative reviews of all those square feet. I would think there are lots of opportunities to reduce inventory investments and convert some of that space to experiences that augment the journey and connect to the shopper in new and engaging ways....
  • Posted on: 01/10/2019

    Is it now or never for J.C. Penney?

    In my opinion, J.C. Penney needs to undertake dramatic changes to change consumer expectations of the brand. I think they need a complete overhaul of both their assortments and their experiences to better align to modern expectations. Their brand promise is - at best - dated and their assortments are uninspiring to all but a select few. I believe a turnaround will also require them to attract and recruit key influencers to validate their assortments and, most importantly, change perceptions and expectations of the brand. This is not impossible, but will definitely require an aggressive overhaul of assortments, experiences and go-to-market strategies.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2019

    Some question if digital assistants will ever live up to the hype

    Smart assistants have the potential to be a great antidote to screen fatigue. However, before smart assistants can reach their full potential, they must break the chains that bind us to very specific commands. Continued advancements in AI and natural language processing will certainly get us there, I believe, but memorizing unique skills for every task is a non-starter. Hence most smart speakers today are predominantly just that -- speakers. I have no doubt that skills will disappear soon, but until they do, mainstream adoption for all but simple searches, music streaming and reminders will be limited.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2019

    Is Lowe’s doing it right with its new tagline?

    I think Lowe's has it half right: the "Do it Right" half is the part that offers them an opportunity to differentiate. Of course, that would require them to actually live up to that promise, but first things first -- create experiences that actually help people get things right. If they do that, price will become much less important -- to customers and their tag line. We have all experienced the challenges of DIY projects, and expertise in the aisles can be an invaluable asset to every shopper, no matter their expertise level. If Lowe's can deliver usable, reliable content and build trust that associates in the aisles are knowledgeable and accurate, then "Do it Right" can help them grow.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    Retailers are shutting down their NYC flagships

    I agree 100 percent, Cynthia. I truly hope (and believe) that this is the beginning of a reinvention of flagship experiences and expectations, rather than the demise of flagships altogether!
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    Retailers are shutting down their NYC flagships

    As other comments have indicated, I do not think these examples indicate the looming demise of Fifth Avenue retail as we know it. Rather, I think it indicates an evolution. I believe that flagship decisions do differ from other locations, as experiences are now important elements of the store, whether it be on Fifth Avenue or Main Street, and flagships can now be powerful brand-building tools that help establish the brand as an experience center. The trick, in my mind, is still to figure out how flagship experiences translate to the suburbs. Flagships are an still important but now they must include testing and determining how their experiences translate to suburban stores.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2019

    Will smart shelves work for Hannaford and its customers?

    Without question, as screen fatigue continues to expand, smart shelf technology will be popular with shoppers. As crazy as it may seem, screen fatigue is a real thing. If you don't believe me, just ask Alexa. The more we can eliminate the need for people to open their phones, download apps, scan codes, etc., the higher the potential for engagement.The question (and ongoing, evolving challenge) for Hannaford will be whether the content they are presenting at the shelf significantly impacts conversions.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2019

    Is Blue Apron smart to pin turnaround hopes on Weight Watchers alliance?

    I completely agree re: re-branding Tom. Both WW and Blue Apron's long-term objectives are compromised if this ships under the Blue Apron banner.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2019

    Is Blue Apron smart to pin turnaround hopes on Weight Watchers alliance?

    I think this move had potential but, as Tom suggested in his comment, I think this may have been better executed as a stand-alone brand for Blue Apron. That being said, I do think there are lots of ways that Blue Apron can add value to a WW client. They can teach them that eating healthy is possible, and that you can do so with food that stretches far beyond the preservative-laden packaged foods that WW sells. Including healthy/weight-management cooking tips with each meal can help WW clients learn how to cook healthy foods. This actually has the potential to help create lifestyle changes, if executed properly, and Blue apron has a chance to integrate into that new lifestyle for the long haul. In addition, WW clients are, by nature, meal planners, so there is a match there. However, there are only 2.8 million WW clients, so Blue Apron will need to find additional ways to fuel growth. I would suggest a much deeper focus on their top 30 percent.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2018

    Can Barnes & Noble’s in-store experts beat algorithms?

    I love the investment in expertise roaming the stacks at Barnes & Noble stores. Experienced, knowledgeable and empowering interactions with sales associates will certainly lead to better engagement and hence better store experiences -- I really don't think there is any question of the value proposition. I do, however, question the ads. While they are whimsical and humorous, I think they fail to make the point that there are actual booksellers in the store, available and ready to help with personalized recommendations and advice. The ads feel very "glossy" and not very authentic. The YouTube spots, on the other hand, are much more authentic and hence impactful. Sadly, the whimsical and glossy ads will have far greater reach than the more effective YouTube spots ...
  • Posted on: 12/18/2018

    When are outside Amazon experts better than inside ones?

    Whether selling on Amazon or only competing with Amazon, they are so ubiquitous and complex, I would strongly encourage retailers to hire an outside agency with deep subject matter expertise. Amazon can be conquered, but only with well-crafted and highly informed strategies.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2018

    Who will win the battle for holiday gift procrastinators?

    At some point this week, despite later and later options from online sellers, stores will dominate. People simply won't trust that their packages will arrive on time. Weather, logistics failures, etc. are wild cards that retailers can't control. In the brick-and-mortar world, Target certainly has gone to great lengths to capture every last (and last-minute) dollar, and I expect they will certainly earn their fair share of procrastinators' business.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2018

    Will porch pirates ruin Christmas?

    Stopping porch pirates is no easy task. I think it will require a combination of the solutions Tom highlighted in his article rather than just one solution. While I am definitely skeptical that granting delivery personnel access to cars and homes will reach the mainstream, I do think a combination of lockers, workplace deliveries and doorbell cameras will likely minimize the problem. Also, don't underestimate the deterrent effect of doorbell cameras -- while actual apprehension rates of those caught on camera may be slow, the mere presence of the camera, I believe, is a strong deterrent to many an opportunistic porch pirate.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2018

    Are retailers getting over their SKU management hurdles?

    Hurdle rates alone are no longer anywhere close to good enough measurements for assortment planning. In my opinion, proper lineup development requires a sophisticated balance of sales, growth, competitive positioning, basket analysis and human instinct. In today's fragmented and niche-driven economy, one size clearly does not fit all ...

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