Georganne Bender

Consumer Anthropologist, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Georganne Bender is a consumer anthropologist, retail strategist, keynote speaker, author, consultant and one-half of the KIZER & BENDER Speaking team. Georganne and her partner, Rich Kizer, are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and have been listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers and the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2014. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog was named the Top Retail Blog by PR Newswire Media, and is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. Any speaker can talk about consumers, but KIZER & BENDER actually become them. In addition to yearly focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine; and maybe even a few that you can't. The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2018 marks their 28th anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    Good points! Here’s the thing: I may buy every day necessities via voice but I won’t use it to shop. Shopping requires a deeper interaction. If I said, “Alexa, order me a size medium red long sleeve blouse” who knows what I would receive?
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    Just because Bob works with retailers and consumers doesn’t take away from his research, in fact it strengthens it. Surveys these days are all over the place, and they often contradict one another. You have to wonder how many are manipulated to reach the desired conclusion. The Retail Doctor/Oracle NetSuite survey is sound; the opinions of 1200 consumers should not be discounted.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    No wonder consumers are not fully embracing ordering via voice; Alexa has a hard time understanding what she’s being asked. I have ordered movies on TV via voice, but I am not interested in buying anything else unless it’s something I know and have used/ordered before. And apparently I am not alone. People still want to see what they are ordering online, even if it’s just in the form of a photo.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2019

    Who owns customer service in an age of co-branding?

    Rich and I had that experience in a store last night when we asked an associate where to find a specific item. She stumbled for an answer, thinking out loud, until she confessed that she didn’t work for the store, she sold vacation packages. Okay cool, except that she was wearing the same uniform as store employees. Customers don’t understand, nor do they care, that associates on the sales floor might not work in that department, or even the store. Additional training is required by the main retailer to ensure that when a co-service provider can’t answer a question they know to pleasantly say, “Let me find someone who can help you.” And then follow up to make sure the customer was helped.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2019

    Lululemon takes experiential retailing to 20,000 square feet

    I’m sort of reminded of the Marshall Field “Give the lady what she wants” story about adding luncheon to the shopping experience or IKEA’s cafe that invites hungry shoppers to park their carts and dig into plates of Swedish meatballs before finishing their shopping. Lululemon has created a destination store where customers can come to shop and spend the day. Or come for lunch or a class and maybe do some shopping while they are there. This makes perfect sense, especially in Chicago’s Lincoln Park community.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Franchisees want McD’s to be more like Chick-fil-A

    I haven’t been to a Raising Cane yet, but now I want to go!
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Will free, same-day pickup give Sam’s Club the edge it has been looking for over Costco?

    Half the fun of shopping at Costco and Sam’s Club is going to the store because you never know what you will find once you are there. Now that everyone is doing fast delivery it’s no longer special, it’s expected.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Franchisees want McD’s to be more like Chick-fil-A

    Aside from the menu items, the big difference between McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A is the attitude of the people who work there. You’d be hard pressed to find a surly associate at Chick-fil-A. That’s part of its charm. Back to the question. If McDonald’s franchisees want a chicken sandwich to rival the sandwiches served at Chick-fil-A then McDonald’s corporate should give them one. Listen to your customers, they’re smarter than you.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    Is Nordstrom staring at a ‘no-growth’ retail future?

    Spot on, Mark. Those “me too” strategies kill what makes you stand out. When Nordstrom removed the piano and replaced it with the same music every other store has access to I thought, here we go. That piano represented more than music, it represented the brand. And it made it easier to change other things Nordstrom’s core customers expected to find on the sales floor.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    Is Nordstrom staring at a ‘no-growth’ retail future?

    Categorizing Nordstrom as a no-growth retailer is harsh. You only have to look at Nordstrom Local and some of the other things they have implemented lately to know Nordstrom is capable of reinvention. As a consumer, I wish they’d get on with it. Our local Nordstrom stores are clean and bright and there are plenty of knowledgeable salespeople to help you when you need it. But the merchandising is boring and frankly the product isn’t much better. I’m a shopper; I also spend a lot of time in stores as part of my job. When I can walk through a store several times in one month and not be enticed to buy anything, there’s a problem. Nordstrom used to be a special place to shop, but lately it’s been just another store.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    What’s the story behind Macy’s partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods?

    I admit I did a double take when I read about the partnership with Dick’s, and particularly Miracle-Gro. But I like the idea of Macy’s doing something that’s unexpected and, frankly, kind of out there. Collaboration as the new competition makes sense, but that isn’t really new. Retailers have been doing partnership promotions with other retailers for a very long time. I was underwhelmed with STORY’s inaugural outing, but I am looking forward to seeing how Outdoor STORY is presented in our local Macy’s stores.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2019

    When does marketing cross an ethical line?

    Numbers 1 and 5 are true; you only have to look at any beauty or fashion ad - TV, magazine, online or social media - to know that. Marketing in these areas absolutely “exaggerates or distorts the truth” and can be cited for “using unrealistic and altered images.” Fashion ads whittle off inches and enhance body parts. Beauty ads erase pores and wrinkles, even tear ducts. How anyone can believe beauty product claims these days is beyond me. It is time to lose the filters and put real people in ads. I don’t know about you, but I want to see what a product can really do, not the Photoshopped version of what it promises.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2019

    Location-based marketing is spreading beyond smartphones

    Tracking consumers is certainly a benefit for marketers looking to increase targeting capabilities, and I’m sure it’s beneficial for shoppers in some situations. But for me? Not so much. I don’t need nor want to be tracked by companies offering deals. It’s creepy. You have to be vigilant these days, keeping track of which apps know your location and have access to photos and other personal information on your phone. I also wonder how many consumers really understand how some apps invade their privacy. The day Alexa starts randomly offering products or services I might want to buy is the day she gets unplugged.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2019

    Target expands its college tour

    Almost every college kid is familiar with Target so this move is a no-brainer. It’s a solid opportunity for Target, provided it understands the market, the customer and, as Neil pointed out, has fair pricing. I have two family members in college right now. When asked where they’d like gift cards from both said Target - Target gets the need to grow customers from a young age.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2019

    NRF study says customers dig retail tech

    My favorite question!

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