PROFILE

Jeff Miller

Director of Marketing, OceanX
Jeff Miller is a world traveler and curious mind, as well as an experienced digital commerce leader with a diverse background in both B2C and B2B sales and marketing. Jeff is the Director of Marketing for OceanX, a subscription commerce platform running over $1B in direct to consumer sales for some of the largest retailers and CPGs in the world. Prior to OceanX, Jeff had marketing and e-commerce roles at the national yoga studio chain, YogaWorks, the direct response agency, Launch DRTV, global watersports brand Body Glove and helped found MWRC Internet sales an e-commerce platform company. He is also the President of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, a Los Angeles based non-profit that works with wounded military and at-risk youth to feel the healing power of the ocean through surfing.
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  • Posted on: 02/12/2019

    Barneys to become first major retailer to open legal weed shop

    This seems like a total head fake and blatant PR grab especially the headline. Selling accessories is a far cry from selling cannabis, and a "cannabis lifestyle shop" just seems off. What is a "cannabis lifestyle?" There is no singular lifestyle. I guess they are going for the high-end Beverly Hills cannabis user who may think it is too hard to order accessories online or even make a trip down to MedMen.
  • Posted on: 01/29/2019

    Are the futures of retail and coworking space connected?

    I really like this concept and the design aesthetic combined with mix of retail and co-working looks delightful. Taking a meeting there seems fun. However, I have to ask -- if WeWork or WeCompany was not overly flush with VC money, would this be a long term, profit generating business? Would someone invest in this concept alone? Paying extra to sit at an albeit nicer Starbucks with hopefully faster WiFi and shop from brands that may or may not be targeted to you just does not seem that profitable. As a concept -- seems cool and you can probably take some amazing Instagram photos of how you are "hustling," but I can't see this as a standalone business unless your rent per square foot is dirt cheap.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2019

    NRF: Is the time right for retailers and brands to take political stands?

    There are a few key things that need to be in place in order to take a stand and weigh in on political issues and sadly very few brands have these elements. First, it has to be authentic and long term and not just a campaign or series of tweets and instagram posts with no actual execution. Second, the leadership needs to be on board but also needs to spend the time to be transparent with stakeholders like employees on why they are doing this while also making space for employees who may not have the same political or societal views to be heard and felt like even though they may not agree that they understand why and what is expected of them. Finally, you have to put your money with your mouth is and actually make an impact. There is risk and speaking out is not for everyone but when authentic it can be another part of what connects a community or creates a sense of belonging with a brand and a customer.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2018

    Should the Marlboro Man be vaping?

    The vaping industry especially as it relates to tobacco vs cannabis has had a total free ride and now we have another generation who will have to fight being addicted to tobacco. From a business side it makes perfect sense that a big tobacco company should own a big and innovative vaping company. The brilliant marketing that vaping is not bad for you should now be clearly seen for what it is -- great marketing and great product with specific target to get more people -- and specifically kids -- to increase their tobacco consumption.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Chewy.com vs. Petco

    Both are quality and use the best part of connection to our pets -- the deep emotional tie -- as the core message. However, as much as I like the Petco call to action about donating something to a pet in need, I think the Chewy.com ad works better as a commercial that will drive site visits, new customer acquisition and purchases.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2018

    Will ‘Practice’ make for perfectly loyal customers at Lululemon?

    Love this plan! What omnichannel retailers who have retail locations need to do is find ways to stand out from convenience, selection and price and give compelling reasons to walk in the door and stay brand loyal. Exclusivity, experiences, perks and product are great incentives!
  • Posted on: 12/10/2018

    Will Walgreens win the prescription delivery race?

    Very smart move for Walgreens and I think overlooked is the combination of delivery and pick-up in-store. I imagine a large percentage of Walgreens' sales and profit margins come from add-ons when someone comes into the store for a prescription but walks out with snacks, toilet paper and beauty/skin care. If only delivery, there will be less of these purchases, but the pick-up in-store option at least allows for some of that potential.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2018

    Are subscriptions an untapped gifting opportunity for retailers?

    Subscriptions of both digital and retail (boxes) will continue to grow. The main overlooked reason is that many of these subscription-focused retailers are now focusing marketing, technology and strategies towards gifting whereas before it was not seen as a growth area except for certain categories. Certain product categories and brands that people think of as subscription-only will certainly have their best holiday season to date. However, there is nuance in the process of gift giving of subscriptions especially around payment, length of subscription, and communications. The gift giver is usually not signing up for the gift to go on forever which is the subscription retailer's main goal. The main challenge for the retailers offering them is, how do they convert a gift recipient to a paying customer? Because acquisition costs especially in the holiday season can be so high it may have a negative impact if say the gift is only for three months but the LTV that the business is based on needs four months to see profit. It will be the retailers who make the transition easy, communicate clearly and then continue to provide value to the customer who will convert gift recipients to true members.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Can Gap cut its way to profitability?

    Closing underperforming stores should be a key part of "Retail Business 101" class for all CEOs especially any that are over-indexed in malls. It certainly will help with profitability but Gap's root issues are far deeper. The most glaring issue is not necessarily boring product as there are lots of retailers that do well with boring products. The main issue is that they have trained their shoppers to expect discounts and promotions on everything, every day of the year. I am pretty sure there is a standing 40% discount offer emailed every day that ties to big posters with the same offer when you walk in the door. Then, when there is a real sale like Black Friday you see discounts of like 70%. Hard to win with negative margins. When your products are basic, your locations are not experiences and you are always on sale -- the future is not bright for growth.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Target vs. Walmart

    Both do a good job of getting their main message across. I also admire that there is no mention of discounts or promotions, which is the lowest hanging fruit in holiday advertising. The Target ad hits the key messages more directly and also with a more branded look and feel. When I see all of that red, I think Target.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    Can customer lifetime value scores work against retailers?

    The two examples of credit scores and how an actuary uses data for insurance are counter examples in my view to the idea of transparency. Yes, I can see some of that info and have some idea of what impacts my score, but no real transparency at all in terms. And don't get me started about Experian, Transunion and Equifax. As others have said, CLV is a metric used to make a decision. The decision could be algorithmically driven or in the case of a lot of retail, just a person making a decision to help a customer in a different way.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2018

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Big Lots vs. Dick’s Sporting Goods

    This is an absolute landslide in favor of Dick's. Aside from the bags as they walk in the door and the end tag, the Big Lots ad could be for any retailer in almost any product category in the world. "Save on lots of products" is a marketing message targeted to absolutely no one. The Dick's commercial hits on a real world and emotional experience that many families have and wraps it around a specific product and product category that is probably a big seller for Dick's during the holiday. It also happens to be a product that is less likely to be purchased online via Amazon, so gives a reason for someone to go into Dick's to shop. Dick's has my vote, not just in this challenge, but for the entire holiday season so far.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2018

    FAO Schwarz makes an iconic comeback in the Big Apple


    Like the Glossier store that was featured last week, this new FAO Schwarz store is only as good as what it is intended to be. If this is a single location or even a small set of stores globally that each need to turn a profit then I don't see success in their future. Turning a profit selling toys in NYC just does not seem like a great option. However, if these stores are marketing expenses that drive brand awareness, experience, sales of the brand online and in other retailers then it is a great move. ThreeSixty Group has some of the best supply chains in all of China which is saying a lot. They can use these relationships for insanely low costs and also speed to market and then use a revamped and built up brand equity of FAO Schwarz to fill the void left in the toy space.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    Apple-inspired Glossier opens ‘adult Disneyland’ flagship store

    Glossier approach is perfect for the brand. Make the place an experience that encourages social media in the stores and education. This is a marketing expense and from what it sounds like, a great use of marketing dollars especially as they start to plateau with what they can do in digital. As long as they don't need to turn a profit on this store -- it will work great. I bet lots of brick and mortar retailers in NYC wish they did not have to make a profit.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Best Buy

    Pretty simple campaigns:
    • Amazon = millions of brown boxes
    • Best Buy= helpful people
    I like people more than boxes. Amazon highlights what makes holiday shopping at Amazon so boring and tries to tie emotion to it, getting brown boxes -- lots of them -- in the mail. No one stares at a truck full of Amazon boxes with joy except maybe the thieves who plan to steal them off the porch when they are dropped off. The only saving grace is that at least they showed real humans in their warehouses this year instead of robots and the song is a great commercial jingle. I am still singing "can you feel it?" Best Buy kills it in this match up. Explains what makes them stand out from others and focuses on it. Real people helping you with two real world problems -- a difficult Christmas list and home technology set up. It showcases popular products like the drone and Nintendo Switch but no mention of discounts which is great. The CTA highlights free shipping and the second ad highlights free in home help and expertise which are great reasons to shop at Best Buy. Even the use of black and white and then the blue to focus on the "blue shirts" and cement the ideas that blue shirted people are here to help is great. Sadly- I will still spend more money with Amazon this year then with anyone else and certainly more than at Best Buy regardless of creative campaigns.
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