PROFILE

Richard J. George, Ph.D.

Professor of Food Marketing, Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph's University

Dr. Richard J. George is Professor Emeritus of Food Marketing at the Haub School of Business, St. Joseph’s University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in economics. He holds an MBA from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Temple University. He has authored or co-authored eleven books including Winning Customer Rules and Winning Marketing Strategy: The Rules.  He has also been recognized with several awards for teaching and research excellence, including the prestigious Lindback and Tengelmann Awards.   As an entrepreneur he has learned the need to “walk the walk” and not simply “talk the talk.” He was one of nineteen professors nationwide named as their favorite undergrad business professor and profiled by Business Week in a feature titled “Class Acts.”  In 2014 he was voted by students as the “Top Prof” in the Haub School of Business.  He has lived and taught in England at the University of London and in Ireland at the University College Cork.

As an expert on food marketing strategy, brand strategy, business ethics, marketing strategy, customer delight, marketing trends, and servant leadership, he has been quoted by major news organizations and industry publications worldwide. He has spoken on these topics in the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Pacific Rim.  Articles on these topics have appeared in the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Journal of Food Products Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Adweek, Grocery Headquarters, Marketing News, the International Review of Retail Distribution and Consumer Research, the Journal of Negro Education, and the Journal of Business Ethics.

Dr. George has spent his entire professional career in the development of people.  Over the course of his career, with his speeches in the U.S. and internationally, he has reached tens of thousands of students and food marketing industry leaders.  He is the previous holder of the Gerald E. Peck Fellowship, working on a project for the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA).  The objective of the IFDA research project was to enhance collaboration between foodservice manufacturers and distributors.  Previously, he held the fellowship sponsored by FMI during which he produced three published research reports focusing on the future of food wholesaling.

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  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    NRF 2022: Albertsons’ CEO sees frequency driving grocery loyalty

    I agree with the sentiments of Mr. Sankaran. In fact, he underscores the real meaning of any loyalty program, namely, “adjusting to the way customers wanted to shop and for what.” Loyalty is not about customers. It’s about retailers being loyal to the promises they make to their customers. How did Albertsons do it? Simply by adjusting to the way customers wanted to shop and for what. Christmas cards are anecdotal measures of how successfully they adjusted to meet customer needs and delivered on their promises.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2022

    Are retailers getting closer to nailing last-mile delivery?

    Online shopping and delivery entail two related costs normally borne by shoppers, namely product selection and final-mile delivery. The technology appears to be available to make the final mile more effective. The outstanding issue is the cost to make delivery to the home more efficient.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Can Penney’s new leadership (finally) transform the business?

    J.C. Penney is following the script of most struggling retailers: press releases, new management, new merchandising, etc. However the question remains, "what is J.C. Penney's differential advantage?" Until it develops a sustainable competitive advantage, it runs the risk of winding up like Sears, "where America used to shop." I wish them well, however.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    What tech must restaurants put on their menu of services?

    The question is, will technology become a difference maker when selecting a restaurant? For some, as noted in the article, the answer is yes. However, beyond QR menus and pay-at-table, what technology is desired by potential customers? Electronic reservations and call ahead seating seem to have real differential advantages to customers. How about technologies that blast the restaurant’s features of the day either via email or text? How about recommended menu items based on previous visits? The key is to use technology beyond simplification of the process. Technology can be used to enhance the relationship between restaurants and customers. Look what social media has done in this area.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Has BOPIS lost its pandemic boost?

    This is a six-month old study and the COVID-19 world continues to change and impact our way of life. That being said, BOPIS will continue to flourish. Besides its supply chain impact and final mile cost savings, it still represents an opportunity for retailers to generate incremental high margin sales if they can figure out a way to get customers into stores while in the process of picking up the BOPIS order.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2022

    Walmart says it’s ready to deliver groceries inside 30 million American homes

    This option may not be for everyone but Walmart’s test market results indicate that some portion of the market will use this service. It reminds me of the saying, “Success in marketing does not come from everyone liking a product a little, but from some customers liking it a lot.”
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    Obviously Omicron is bringing new challenges to consumers and retailers. No one wants to see mandatory closings. Despite hopes that this is the last wave and less harmful, retailers need to take the lead in recommending or requiring staff vaccinations, including a booster. Furthermore, store requests for customers to wear masks and maintain social distance need to be highlighted again, despite customer pandemic fatigue. Short of taking these necessary steps, mandated closures may result.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2022

    Are Nike’s Member Days loyalty’s future?

    As I have often said, loyalty is not about customers being loyal to the brand, but the brand being loyal to its customers. How? By delivering on its promises to its customers. The question is, do member days fit the needs of Nike’s customers? I do like the term member days versus loyalty days. This is a good start toward recognizing the customer-centric approach that all companies should adopt.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2021

    Would grocers benefit from ghost kitchens?

    This is a concept which is long overdue. Attempts to prepare meals in stores are rife with problems since restaurants are so operationally complex and expensive to run, they often struggle to turn a profit for retailers. On the other hand, delicious, fresh prepared meals can be a massive point of differentiation as well as as an offset to the commodity pricing affecting many grocery items. New COVID-19 variants will continue to negatively affect traditional restaurants. However consumer demand for restaurant quality meals will continue. Therefore, a real potential opportunity for grocery retailers.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2021

    Hy-Vee plans to go national

    Don’t bet against Hy-Vee. The company's strategy will not be to get into a price war with Walmart, Target or Kroger. Unless you have a competitive cost advantage versus these retailers, a price war makes no sense. The grocer has earned its reputation based on community involvement and legendary customer service. Its real competitors in these new markets will come in the form of Publix and Wegmans. It is notable that the huge Texas market is not a target for this first expansion into a new state in over 10 years. I believe Hy-Vee recognizes the “me too” characteristics of the very successful H-E-B retail formats.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2021

    Should customers be offered discounts to keep returns?

    Anything that lessens the need for a customer to compromise when it comes to returning merchandise should be considered. Despite the myriad of ways to simplify returns, the customer must still do something - return to a retail location, take to a UPS store, package, print a label and drop in UPS box, etc. Providing some form of discount provides for a smaller compromise than returning an item. There will be abuse, but it may be less than the costs associated with returning an item. These expenses will need to be incorporated into the cost of doing business.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2021

    Kraft offers reimbursements for cream cheese stockouts

    A terrific preemptive move to allay customer concerns. The only downside risks are perhaps switching consumers permanently away from a holiday cheesecake and any frustrations from attempting to acquire the reimbursement form. Nonetheless, a terrific marketing idea.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2021

    Amazon and Etsy’s Christmas spots speak to the gift of giving of yourself

    Two terrific ads. Both connect with customers and non-core markets due to the simplicity of their messages, namely kindness and generosity. Tie breaker goes to Etsy, their ad is a bit more engaging and reaches across generations and ethnicities.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2021

    Do farmers markets need to be reinvented for the digital age?

    No doubt, shopping at farmers markets, like most retail shopping, has taken a hit from COVID. However, the solution is not merely to develop an omnichannel option. Farmers markets gain their point of differentiation by engaging the farmer and the customer directly in their indoor or outdoor stall. While change may be inevitable, caution must be taken to minimize this point of significant (positive) differentiation.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2021

    Will grocers turn to Amazon as an alternative to Instacart?

    I believe Amazon will take share from Instacart. I think this move reinforces Amazon’s position as the pre-eminent supply chain/logistics company in the world. Greatest risk to grocers engaging Amazon is, that unlike Instacart, Amazon is a major online grocery competitor. Careful letting the fox into the henhouse.

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