Rich Kizer

Consumer Anthropologist, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Rich Kizer is a consumer anthropologist, retail strategist, keynote speaker, author, consultant and one-half of the KIZER & BENDER Speaking team. Rich and his partner, Georganne Bender, are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and have been listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers and the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2014. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog was named the Top Retail Blog by PR Newswire Media, and is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. Any speaker can talk about consumers, but KIZER & BENDER actually become them. In addition to yearly focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine; and maybe even a few that you can't. The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2018 marks their 28th anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Should customers just be paid for their data?

    Some time ago in a focus group that Georgeanne and I conducted, we asked nearly the same question. The answer that surprised us most was one young lady who said “I want to date all of those sources, I don’t want to marry them“. This could get creepy.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    Amazon confirms it will open a grocery store not named Whole Foods

    I do not doubt Amazon's desire to keep moving forward, and they will move. But I think that it will be something to see them add on new strategies just for this move, because that’s what Amazon does so well.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2019

    Can J.C. Penney reinvent itself with its offbeat lab store?

    I'll take a shot at this. Perception is everything and I don't believe the name Penney's has much brand equity today, which I believe surfaces a challenge. Perhaps that perception could be changed by a new name with the Penney's name below. At least it is new, and that could pay dividends over the old name and its perception. But I do think this concept thinking is brilliant and demonstrates the desire and enthusiasm of the leadership to make something great happen.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2019

    Kroger to make fresh marketing start with a new logo, tagline and ‘Krojis’

    Kroger better be very serious about delivering on their brand promises to separate their stores from the competition. That means that all brand promises and slogans must be followed by consistent proof in action. If not, slogans become meaningless and the stores disappoint customers, and that can be very hard then to repair.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2019

    Is Amazon starting to fall out of favor with American consumers?

    Think this through with an eye on consumer behavior. Four new stores are the first to open in a new shopping center. Customers flood the new stores. Then more stores open, and customers spread out among all the stores. That's consumer behavior; options spread their focus. And then, the original four start promoting new offerings and perceived advantages to attract customers, and customers follow. Today, that is retail. If we were to fall asleep today and wake up in four months, retail will be different, and our conversations will be different. Even if Amazon seems to be "falling out," don't bet against them. Watch carefully the unfolding of their new ideas and plans.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Century 21 pops up near Macy’s Herald Square for the holidays

    It's a world of change. And this seasonal time will offer five times the foot traffic, and that translates to five times the opportunities to create sales and thrilled customers. Competitive retailers are not standing still, so everyone who desires market penetration and sales growth cannot neglect any affordable opportunity for expansion of efforts in today's market. There should be no surprise here. This is retail marketing on steroids. And it is brilliant.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    The Times article noted that "McDonald’s recently began offering new online and in-person training programs to its employees in the U.S. in an effort to combat workplace sexual harassment. But that step has not satisfied the company’s critics." I think that today all companies should consider this kind of policy addition to their current policy mandates. This policy should be well understood by all parties in the company, and make all concerned in the violations subject to review. Over-all, this is a terrible problem.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2019

    Survey says consumers want online orders shipped fast and free

    Ship fast, ship free. These have certainly occupied our conversations as of late. It's kind of like this: When a customer experiences a wonderful service, they become conditioned to always expect it. When the battle ground for the customer becomes free and fast delivery, that transitions the delivery question from a "wonderful experience" to "expected" and "demanded." Table stakes? Yes, indeed.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2019

    Are retailers out-of-step with consumers when it comes to price?

    First of all I think the retail world has trained customers and made price sensitivity a competitive issue, many times competing with themselves from the internet to the in-store experience. I don't think retailers are out of touch, but I do think many have turned their eyes off of the quality of the customer experience, staff training and shoppertainment. Take all that out, and we become a transaction business. And therein lies a myriad of problems for the value equation.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

    Nordstrom nails its NYC flagship opening

    In a world that is dominated by individualism and independent self-reliance in shopping experiences, Nordstrom hits a long ball here. We all know that great retailers create sensory experiences and loads of emotions in-store. Perhaps, in this "individual" based world, Nordstrom is reloading the customer-centric emotional entertainment experience. I believe they are, and I believed they always would.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2019

    Free next-day shipping hits Amazon in its bottom line

    My thought: they had $2.1 billion in profits. Not too shabby. Seems to me that Jeff Bezos has always followed the path of focusing on growing Amazon long term over quick profits. That obviously doesn't sit well with short term investors. I know that Amazon keeps a tight eye on competitors, and that viewpoint most certainly moves Amazon in looking for ways to create its advantages. Amazon won't sit back in this environment. And shouldn't!
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Best Buy is ready for Christmas with free next-day deliveries for almost everyone

    Really think it is all becoming table stakes. Everything here is a gamble, but if you want in, you pay. There isn't a choice.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Do angry shoppers make happier customers?

    Look, no one of us looks forward to creating or working with angry customers. In my 25 years of department store history, I found that if an angry customer was well taken care of by a well trained, solution-based salesperson, and that customer received a fair solution that made them happier, they most generally turned out to become advocates of the stores. Many times the customer would apologize for their anger. Find the need and heal it ... you win.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2019

    Is e-grocery less convenient than shopping in stores?

    This household is not a shelf filler. We are mostly on-demand item acquisition or replenishment. As such, we have found it much easier walking and picking. In one swoop, it is all done. And besides, I think we stop more often and shop, along with purchasing prepared meals for both of us. We enjoy what the grocers want: always finding those items we want, not need. And I think that is a huge value to in-store grocery shopping.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2019

    Will debt-free college make Chipotle the place to work in the restaurant biz?

    It looks like Chipotle started at $5,250 a year and is now upping the deal to full tuition. That tells me that this program is working, which is wonderful for the students and for Chipotle. No company ever stands so tall as those that bend over to help others. Nice going Chipotle!

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