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.

  • Posted on: 09/19/2019

    Will new credit cards lure Americans to Walmart more often?

    Again, this is neither first nor innovative compared to Amazon and Target. However, it's a necessary tool to compete with both Amazon and Target. Additionally, it better positions Walmart as a value retailer. It reinforces the notion that some consumers need to save money, but all consumers like to save money. This reminds us that marketing is a race with no finish line. However, the cash back cards may have reached their profitable limits for all three retailers. We need to consider something else to lead or even stay in the race.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2019

    Are grocers falling short in selling better-for-you foods?

    The article details a variety of in-store ways of highlighting better-for-you products. The debate of placement (integrated v. separate) is analogous to the gluten free placement debate of several years ago. If the better-for-you options are limited, a separate section makes sense. However as the number of products rightfully increases, integration is the more logical approach. At the end of the day, education is key. At the shelf, packaging, shelf talkers, signage, QR codes, etc. all can contribute to the customer’s knowledge of the benefits of these products. Plus, online education via retailer websites and blogs can play a major role in customer selection of these products.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2019

    Have U.S. malls lost their sense of community?

    To revive a sense of community malls need to replicate at least part of what makes up a community. Simple additions like a post office or library branch can add some destination options. However, consider all of the things that make up a community and see if a mall could offer some of these activities. Food halls in the form of local farmers offering their goods on a non-busy day would be a start. Health screenings would be potentially attractive as well as nutritionist counseling. How about a day when customers can bring their pets to the mall for grooming and health tips? Invite the local high school marching band to practice one day in the mall (like a remake of the movie Oklahoma). Use the malls' multi-purpose rooms for meetings like town counsel, school board, home and school associations, AA, Weight Watchers, etc. The key is to replicate a sense of community, with the only real limitation being our imagination.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2019

    In power move, Walmart expands Delivery Unlimited

    Kudos to Walmart for their latest attempt to catch up to Amazon and potentially leapfrog over Target. However, with the exception of its scale of coverage, it adds little in way of a real point of differentiation. Perhaps fresh will make a difference. It will be interesting to follow its customers in terms of using this new service versus BOPIS, which appears to have some traction with its customer base.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2019

    Will a loyalty program give Americans more reasons to shop at Target?

    Call it what you want - a loyalty program or continuity of purchase program, what is unique about the latest Target program? At the end of the day all retailers need to be loyal to their customers. How? By delivering on their unique promise - the focus is on unique, not "me too."
  • Posted on: 09/10/2019

    Will others follow Starbucks’ lead on employee mental health programs?

    While modern employers have enhanced worker benefits, like work from home, liberal time off, pet-friendly work spaces, on-site health and wellness programs, etc., few have taken the steps espoused by Starbucks. While the health perks have been focused on physical well being (gyms, massage, yoga, etc.), mental health issues have not be actively addressed. Do companies offer counseling services, either in person or via telephone, as well as informational services to help with big changes like moving or having a baby, not to mention the stress of dealing with customers on a daily basis? The time is now to make this a mainstay benefit for any modern employer.
  • Posted on: 09/05/2019

    Simple answers to fix retail’s loyalty marketing mess

    I have always been of the thought process that marketers have gotten loyalty programs backwards. One can be loyal to his or her family, church, Alma Mater, country, etc. However, loyalty to a particular retailer, manufacturer, restaurant or brand makes little intuitive sense. Instead, these marketers need to focus on maintaining the continuity of purchase by their customers. How? Be being loyal to their customers. How? By understanding their various customer needs and delivering on their promises to them. Fairly simple, no need to complicate the process with "loyalty programs" fraught with the problems noted.
  • Posted on: 08/27/2019

    What makes a good brand mascot in 2019?

    Mascots make the most sense for high school, college and professional sporting teams. Rabid fans adore their mascots. The same cannot be said for even the most memorable brand or retailer mascot - they are nice but offer little point of differentiation to the brand or retailer.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2019

    Will shoppers thank heaven for mobile checkout at 7-Eleven?

    That’s why they are referred to as convenience stores. It used to be that location was the convenience factor. No longer. Now speed of checkout is critical. Yes, this will be the “ante” going forward.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2019

    Where is the Kroger/Walgreens relationship headed?

    Apparently, the test markets have been very successful. Despite the claim that the two partners have taken a slow and steady approach to the pilot program, it makes sense to move forward at this time with the next phase, preempting competitors who plan to enter the market. There is no doubt that the continued success of Kroger/Walgreens will encourage additional collaborative efforts which will prove beneficial to customers and the respective retailers who engage in such collaboration.
  • Posted on: 08/19/2019

    Will a new grocery private label spur more Target runs?

    Part of Target’s challenge is in educating the consumer relative to non national brand offerings. The more these new private label offerings enter the market, the more the pressure is on Target to convince the market of its differential advantage. Archer Farms had a fairly good perception and consumer following. Surprised to learn of its planned demise.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2019

    Is it a stretch for Target to carry Levi’s pricier red tab jeans?

    Great move for Target. Helps to reinforce its “cheap chic” image. As for Levi’s this is an updated version of a 25 year old strategy when it first decided to sell its lower end jeans in Walmart and Kmart. The strategy at that time negatively changed the Levi’s image. As I noted then, “You can make it for class or make it for mass, but you can’t do both.” This is more of the same.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2019

    The clock is ticking for J.C. Penney

    I'm not convinced that J.C. Penney has the resources, strategy or time necessary to survive profitably in the long term. It lacks any significant differential advantages in a marketplace where the continued shift to online sales of J.C. Penney’s mainstay offerings does not bode well. J.C. Penney, like Sears (where America used to shop) is no longer a preferred or even relevant shopping option. It has confused customers with its changing offerings. Sad but true. This is not what J.C. had in mind.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2019

    Your company has a vision: Why can’t everyone see it?

    First and foremost, the leader must have a vision of what he or she wants to accomplish. A vision is more than a goal; it is the future—what and where the company will be. A leader is obsessed with the vision. He shares it and his excitement about it with everyone in the organization— who must believe in it almost as much as the leader does. Keep in mind that vision is like passion: It can’t be experienced alone; it must be shared. A vision statement must be concise and direct. People will march for a sentence, but they won’t budge for a paragraph. As noted in the article, recall President Kennedy’s statement in the early 1960s that the United States would “put a man on the moon by the end of the decade,” or Martin Luther King’s assertion that “we shall overcome.” Research has confirmed the importance of vision. A study of the relationship between vision and performance demonstrated that companies with vision outperformed those companies lacking vision. Incidentally, this study reviewed a hundred years of data. Obviously, vision is not a new success phenomenon. Historically, such vision has been made up of strong cultural and philosophical foundations, plus ambitious goals. Be advised, though, that when it comes to strategic vision, you cannot be successful by being a “romantic.” A romantic is a visionary without common sense. A vision statement that meets many of the criteria noted is Nike's: Just do it! Simple, direct and compelling.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2019

    Has Amazon ‘destroyed the retail industry’ in the U.S.?

    Ironic that a former board member from the now dead Sears raises these issues. Competitors do not put companies out of business, customers do.

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