Michael La Kier

President, What Brands Want, LLC
Michael La Kier has a proven track record in building consumer-loved and shopper-relevant brands by unearthing insights to break new ground, enter new markets and create richer, more profitable relationships. Michael founded What Brands Want, LLC in 2013 as an advisory service to help companies better position and effectively present their offering to brands and consumers. With deep of experience working with some of the world’s best brands – including Coca-Cola, The Food Channel, USA Today and Save the Children – Michael brings a wealth of marketing experience to help a diverse client based ranging from digital and traditional brands to marketing tech startups. For more information, visit: <a href=""></a>
  • Posted on: 11/23/2021

    Can loyalty programs ease supply chain blues this holiday season?

    Retailers have long leveraged scarcity to drive holiday sales, but now scarcity is being thrust upon us all. It's not so much loyalty programs that can be a perk, but retailers can leverage the current situation to up their value proposition for all types of shopper communication. Supply chain issues beg for better communication between the retailer and shopper, loyalty program or not.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2021

    Walmart is going livestreaming for the holidays

    While the future of retail does not fully rest on social, social commerce will become a bigger and lucrative selling channel for retailers. It's a bit of back to the future in terms of livestream selling -- QVC anyone? Livestreaming is perfect for products that require more explanation or demonstration. This is a smart move.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2021

    Should Macy’s de-omnify?

    Seriously?! This move by Macy’s is a throwback to the early days of e-commerce when retailers didn’t know any better. Today, most - if not all - retailers see benefits from a “one commerce model.” Shame on Macy’s.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2021

    Christmas 2021 may be one for the record books

    Pent-up demand and "revenge spending" will likely propel Holiday 2021 into the record books. With reduced travel and events, people have more money. After 18+ months of forced austerity spending people are ready to spend to enjoy the holidays.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2021

    Are store associates the key to bridging retail’s physical/digital divide?

    In retail there are so many missed opportunities to bring brands to life. Bridging the digital and physical is a key area of opportunity. Walmart's new associate mobile app and Nordstrom each offer additional help to associates on the floor to help the shopping experience. Retailers must think out of the box to deliver more experiences and better content. Interactive cooler screens at convenience retail are another great example: there is nothing to separate hundreds of beverages and now there's the chance to tell a story and do more.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2021

    Kroger’s Home Chef meal kit biz joins the billion dollar sales club

    Booming meal kits show we still want convenience regardless of cost. Kroger has done a masterful job of growing the Home Chef brand and business. A perfect example of vertical integration of a business. A strong brand could be licensed to other grocers in the future.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2021

    Can retailers wean consumers off discounts this holiday season?

    If there was ever a year to wean consumers off discounts, this could be it -- coming out of the pandemic and with supply chain issues in the news daily. However it simply won't happen. It's a classic example of "retail game theory": a completely rational businesses would not stop discounting even if it appears it is in their best interests to do so because they are afraid the others won't follow suit.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2021

    Is it time for retailers to hop on the cryptocurrencies trend?

    Crypto is still far from wide adoption as a payment method. Retailers may find cryptocurrency fluctuations a boon or a bust compared to the good old fashioned dollars. But one thing we’ve learned over time is that retailers must adapt to the times or risk becoming irrelevant.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2021

    Walmart says Amazon’s grocery delivery fee will put a ‘Whole’ in customers’ wallets

    Right now it’s a race for retailers to capture shoppers. It may be a race to the bottom as the financials of e-commerce for retailers are still expensive. Walmart is smart to use the fees from Amazon/Whole Foods as an opportunity to pounce and convert shoppers.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2021

    What does Gen Z want?

    Maybe it's the "cynical Gen X" in me but, while the research offers fresh insights into Gen Z, it's a little old school to market to a generational cohort in 2021. Furthermore, asking a large group what they care about versus actually delving into purchase behavior and testing in the real world seems a little naive. The first key takeaway should stop at "understand their needs and motivations," which is the key for any audience (size of one or size of many), rather than making sweeping statements.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Stores? Kroger don’t need no stinking stores

    Kroger selling where they have no stores is genius -- if they can get delivery costs down. Not having stores may be efficient, but it will be interesting to see if they can drive an appropriate share of voice without physical locations.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2021

    Your next c-store online order may be delivered by a robot

    Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto. Shoppers will take convenience however they can get it these days. However the days of robots roaming the streets and the sky are not quite here yet. There will be many hurdles to come, but I say, "bring it!"
  • Posted on: 10/01/2021

    Can ‘gain language’ persuade more consumers to go green?

    Understanding people's irrational behavior and what will motivate them to act is the Holy Grail of marketing. Complicating matters, most people don't often know their own genuine emotions. Taking statistics at face value may mislead marketers. All this being said, people don't like to be told they are doing something wrong so, more often than not, we prefer positive messages.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2021

    Whole Foods goes from free to $10 grocery delivery fee for Amazon Prime members

    There is significant value in a “same price” omnichannel model, but this will probably get lost. Convenience and value are king; adding a delivery fee - as with adding any friction - will likely cause shoppers to consider other options.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2021

    How bad will product shortages get this time?

    Let’s start by saying an overwhelmed logistics network is not a good thing. And, today, our logistics network is completely overwhelmed. Costs are rising rapidly. Goods are not able to get from one place to another. Shortages and inflation are sure to follow. It will be bad and likely get worse before it gets better.

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