Georganne Bender

Partner, Kizer & Bender Speaking
Georganne Bender is a consumer anthropologist, 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, are included in 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 included in the Top 50 Retail Blogs, 24 Retail Blogs Every Small Business Entrepreneur Should Read, and the Best Retail Blogs of 2017, just to name a few. KIZER & BENDER recently served as official correspondents for the National Retail Federation’s conference, covering the future of digital and online retail trends.

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.

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  • Posted on: 05/18/2018

    Will American consumers go for ‘When Harry Married Meghan’ promos?

    This one's a no-brainer. I think my American friends are more excited about this wedding than my friends in the U.K. are. Retailers have used whatever is going on in pop culture forever because people respond. If your company doesn't have a VP of Pop Culture you're missing out on some great promo and social media opportunities. Ample Hills's "God Save The Cream"... come on! That's brilliant. #dying
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Walmart drops Scan & Go tech – again

    The guilt of leaving a store without a final checkpoint is big. It’s not something you hear much about. Great point!
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Walmart drops Scan & Go tech – again

    It’s hard enough to push a loaded grocery cart around a store, let alone having to deal with what happens at the checkout. At the end of a shopping trip I am thrilled to turn the contents of my cart over to a store associate. Whether they are buying a single item or a cartload, Scan & Go technology is still a novelty with shoppers, if they even understand it at all. If Walmart’s customers aren’t ready to use it yet, it’s smart of the retailer to back off and try again later. You want to kill a concept? Shove it down the customers' throats before they are ready to try it.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2018

    Retail loyalty programs are no longer in the cards

    Loyalty programs that require customers to use the store’s credit card aren’t really true loyalty programs. They are incentives to use the store card. Loyalty programs should be simple and easy to understand. Nordstrom gets it, rewarding members each time they shop, no matter how they choose to pay. Customers shouldn’t need a PhD in how a retailer’s loyalty program works in order to reap the benefits of the program.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    7-Eleven Launches first augmented reality in-store experience

    It may be a gimmick, but good for 7-Eleven to do something more than the standard film launch moves. There has been a buzz about Deadpool on social media for weeks, fans are ready. I like that 7-Eleven is changing activities weekly, obviously geared toward bringing fans back again and again to pick up another Big Gulp. Pokémon Go had 65 million users in the U.S. seven days after it launched so there is potential here. I’m optimistic, this will be fun to watch.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Best Buy campaign highlights its ‘insurmountable advantage’ – its people

    Shades o' The Gap's 2010 new logo fiasco!
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Best Buy campaign highlights its ‘insurmountable advantage’ – its people

    In an age where consumers can buy whatever they want from any number of places – in-store, online, catalogs TV – Best Buy is smart to push its people because they are what sets any retailer apart from another. I have to say that the customer service in every Best Buy store I have visited this year has been exceptional. The associates are well versed in what they sell and there are a lot of them on the sales floor. You only have to look at our Twitter feed to see what we think of the associates in Best Buy’s Algonquin, Illinois store. (Shout out to Tim S.) Lots of companies talk about the importance of good customer service, but it’s really only lip service. “Let’s talk about what’s possible.” I’d say Best Buy is off to a great start.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Uber isn’t going along on Walmart’s online grocery ride

    I am with you 100 percent here, Bob. Letting "any guy in his car" into your home to deliver groceries isn't a smart move.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Uber isn’t going along on Walmart’s online grocery ride

    I know that there are many trustworthy Uber drivers out there, but so far this year 100+ Uber drivers have been accused of rape. And I am supposed to let one in my home to drop off my grocery order? It’s easy to see why Walmart would want no part of that conversation. Personal shoppers at Walmart go through a 3-week training program to ensure that they choose the perfect fruits, vegetables, meats, etc., so choosing partners who screen and train drivers on how to properly deliver food just makes sense. There is a lot at stake for the retailer. I agree with Bob Phibbs here. Having my grocery order delivered by someone who has just pulled up in their personal car just doesn’t feel right.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    When Harry’s met Target and then Walmart

    I signed my husband up for a Dollar Shave Club membership two years ago and the little packages arrive each month. It’s easy, economical and it’s one less thing to worry about. It’s smart for Harry’s to offer product in physical locations, in addition to its subscription service, but it does take away from its exclusivity. Adding it to Walmart makes it just another brand.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2018

    New Brookstone concept brings makers to the mall

    This is a cool idea. Rich and I have been heavily involved in the creative industries since we started our business. Crafters and DIYers have evolved into Makers. The Maker Movement is huge and the products that are introduced daily are amazing. Each year Creativation, the creative industries trade show, features a Maker Space. It’s a fascinating area with Makers of all ages sharing their creations. I can’t tell you the number of times I have wanted to purchase a crowdsourced item on Facebook, only to realize it could be months or even years before it is available. Shopping at Brookstone has always been a treasure hunt; the addition of fresh new products from Quirky, Indiegogo and the like is a bonus.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2018

    Macy’s latest acquisition is all about STORYtelling

    Chicago is still mourning Marshall Field's.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2018

    Macy’s latest acquisition is all about STORYtelling

    The first thing that comes to mind is how very different STORY is from Macy’s. I like that Rachel Shechtman is going to Macy’s as its brand experience officer, but I wonder if her reach extends past STORY-like departments on Macy’s sales floors. Will she truly be given the freedom to shake up the Macy’s experience? Rachel will be fighting 159 years of “We’ve always done it this way” tradition. She is a brilliant woman and I wish her the best. Watching Macy’s embrace the STORY perspective will be fun to watch.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2018

    Chico’s decides to join Amazon, since it can’t beat it

    Chico’s is known for its hands-on approach to helping shoppers. Fans say that one of the best thing about shopping there is the customer service -- those associates know how to dress a customer, right down to the last accessory. Not every item will be listed on Amazon and Chico’s is maintaining control of the marketing, pricing and promotions, so that’s a good thing. It does feel weird to think of established retailers selling on Amazon, yet we’re okay with finding items from other retailers displayed at Nordstrom or sold on QVC. Chico’s is taking a calculated risk, I say good for them.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2018

    Walgreens tests lower prices, membership savings

    Walgreens has been setting itself up as the “local” corner pharmacy for years. If you think about it, the Walgreens Plus program is really no different than joining a warehouse club or paying $25 for a B&N Membership to get a better pricing on books, plus bonuses. Some Walgreens locations now have beautiful cosmetics sections that rival those in department stores. Adding specialty departments like Sprint Express shops, and a package delivery collaboration with FedEx, to an already strong pharmacy presence just makes sense. These conveniences make the store even more important to its customers.

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