Joel Rubinson

President, Rubinson Partners, Inc.

Joel is President of Rubinson Partners, Inc. marketing and research consulting for a brave new world. Prior to that, as Chief Research Officer at The ARF, Joel interacted directly with hundreds of research leaders and drove the organization’s initiatives regarding notably:

  • Research transformation (designing the future of the profession)
  • 360 media and marketing
  • Social media and listening
  • Online research data quality
  • Shopper insights

Joel helped build awareness of the ARF and its priorities by building a sizable social media presence via a blog that achieved thousands of page views each month and with a twitter profile of nearly 3,000 followers.

Prior to joining the ARF, Joel was Senior Vice-President, Head of Advanced Solutions for Synovate North America where he was their leading branding resource and was also the global thought leader for shopper research. Before joining Synovate, Joel was at the NPD Group for many years, leading the creation of tools for brand equity management (BrandBuilder), new product forecasting (ESP), category management and designed many of their data collection and sampling methodologies as NPD changed from paper diaries to online research. Joel started his research career at Unilever.

Joel is also a published author of numerous papers in professional journals and frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has taught the official American Marketing Association advanced tutorial on brand loyalty and lectured at Columbia, NYU, Wharton, Amos Tuck School, and University of Rochester, among others. Joel holds an MBA in statistics and economics from the University of Chicago and a BS from NYU.

  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Will 7-Eleven’s beer and wine on tap be a c-store game changer?

    Isn't it a bit dubious that 7-Elevens would offer alcohol when they are geared to drivers stopping for a picnic while driving? I remember over 20 years ago rest stops on French roads offered wine and they were legislated not to do this.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2021

    A digital first approach is essential to retail success

    "Digital First" is a salute the flag phrase, but you have to dig deep to really understand. First of all, digital FIRST is not necessarily right, especially if you have tremendous physical footprint. Digital "RIGHT" might be better. Secondly, getting digital right is so much more than selling. It is the collection of first party data signals that can be used for personalized and targeted advertising. Targeting the right consumers with ad impressions will generate 5 TIMES the ROAS (my latest white paper) so that is essential to getting digital RIGHT.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Bud is latest major brand player to punt on Super Bowl spots

    This is really two decisions. The first is the right thing for the country. The second reflects that it is really hard to justify a Super Bowl spot based on media analytics ... so purpose 1, vanity 0. Good.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    Unless I'm mistaken, Walmart and Kroger are 1/2 in grocery sales. Whenever you have a survey-based brand strength measure that bears no relationship to sales, it usually indicates the survey metric is poorly constructed.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2021

    Shopify dumps Trump’s stores from its platform

    This is a business decision that is similar to the ones that advertisers make when they decide to not advertise on certain shows. Let business leaders make these decisions but I personally (and I'm sure many other consumers) reject working with businesses who wear their cancel culture mentality on their sleeve.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2020

    Was Walmart responsible for vetting opioid prescriptions?

    What are the vetting processes for a script? Are there any? Seems like an AI process could address this.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2020

    Facebook and Apple battle over the internet’s future

    I agree with Facebook. Apple is going to send an unnecessary shock wave throughout the digital advertising/ad tech world. Furthermore, happily for Apple, there is the universal Apple ID -- didn't that work out nicely for them? Hmmm. I would make the same comment about Google moving ad tech and identifiers inside their Chrome browser -- sweet deal for them to protect privacy that way, right? I need to make a comment here that might be silly, OR it might be really truthful. Cookies and identifiers are being killed by a desire for insulating these companies against punitive damages from GDPR and the California data protection act (and more are coming). The irony is that the most anonymous thing in the world is a cookie! No one knows anyone's ID from a cookie. So as cookies die what will replace them? FIRST-PARTY PII IDENTIFIERS! What could be less privacy protected than your hashed e-mail being thrown around the web?
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    Are retailers facing a no-win decision in mandating vaccines for workers?

    Whle I usually err on the side of personal liberty, in this case, I think the vaccine should be as mandatory as the polio vaccine. This economy will NEVER be completely open again as long as one person is getting sick since one leads to one million, as we have seen. Working the contagion models, it takes about 70 percent for herd immunity. As a nation, we are unable to handle 5 percent (yes, that is all it is) and the problem is not just our reaction, it is that hospitals are getting maxed out again which means elective (but important) surgery is being throttled again. I think the vaccine is the only hope for this country to not be utterly anxiety ridden.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2020

    The North Face called out for ‘virtue signaling’

    It will be interesting to see the sales effects as these hollow gestures often have blowback. Goya said their sales increased 1,000 percent after AOC called them out for their President supporting "the wrong candidate." The president of Goya intends (maybe jokingly) to make AOC employee of the month! Seriously, I think consumers can get sick of being lectured to by celebrities (whose job is diversion) and companies (whose job it is to makes stuff that serves a specific purpose).
  • Posted on: 11/23/2020

    Will sports marketing become a victim of the pandemic?

    "Victim of the pandemic" implies something permanent. No, COVID-19 will not have a permanent effect. Once the sports seasons return to normal, and fans are in the stands again, things will get back to where they were. Hopefully we will become less polarized as a nation as I do believe that politicizing via demonstrations on the field and bizarre statements by athletes takes its toll and that might be a more permanent turnoff for some.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2020

    Can retailers get store brand growth back on track during the pandemic?

    It's really about availability. If store brands are there for essentials (toilet paper, disinfectants, etc.) they will sell if they are kept in stock. Retailers might also change or remove limits for private label. It appears that another wave of panic buying and out-of-stocks might be approaching, so retailers will get another opportunity to boost private label share.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2020

    Will Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf drive auto-replenishment from SMBs and consumers?

    I think that Amazon is pushing the envelope in the right direction but this is a transitional technology for sure. First they have to get the price to zero -- you should get this for free if you are a Prime customer. Secondly, it should be some thin transparent mat that all products sit on where this replacement signal comes via AI/machine learning. It's not hard to envision that if I have eggs, milk, soda, bread, and apples on the same shelf in my refrigerator that a "smart mat" could figure out what was there and what I was running low on. The drivers of success for this are winning on simplicity and creating a frictionless, almost perfect system. Price creates friction as does inaccuracy. Anyway, yes, they are headed down the right path but this is certainly not the endpoint.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2020

    The Container Store cleans up with a Netflix series

    I think this makes great sense, but I have to believe that COVID-19 and the reduction of safety in our cities has a lot to do with this. People are cocooning, stocking up, and become preppers and this raises the need for home organization. So I think their sales would have boomed anyway but a product placement deal at the right time would turbo charge that boom into a sales explosion.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2020

    Can Target assure customers they’ll be safe shopping for the holidays?

    These sound like great moves and they are clearly trying to stay ahead of the changing lifestyles due to the pandemic. I think these will become permanent, just like terrorism led to check-in kiosks in airports that have become permanent. When a change is adding more convenience and simplicity even for normal times, it will become permanent.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Staples to accept returns from other stores

    This is a natural step in the evolution of retail customer service. It is good for the retailer who gets unexpected footfall and good for the customer. Win all around.

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