target, CPG, retail strategy, Biernbaum

Target-Kroger Merger Not Happening?

Talk of a Kroger – Target merger had bubbled up over the weekend, creating some exciting discussion and speculation. But alas, news organization Reuters reported today there is no truth to the rumors, at least according to their source.

The excitement started when tech magazine Fast Company reported that the two companies were in possible merger talks, which sent shares of both companies up. However, now it looks like this may not be true.

Does a Kroger – Target merger even make sense?

This reported merger between Target and Kroger never made sense to me, as the two companies operate with very different approaches to their assortment and branding strategies. Therefore I am not surprised to hear these reports being denied.

You can read the Reuters article here.


Ulta, CPG, retail strategy, Biernbaum

Why some retailers are opening more locations while others continue to close

In the midst of a seemingly darkening future as many well-known retailers continue to close their doors, there are a number of retailers who are actually expanding this year. Look for more Ulta, Target, Gap, Dick’s, Dollar General and Ross stores to open during 2018, which seems to buck the trend we’ve come to expect in retail.

Some growth despite bad news for others

Why are these retailers able to add locations as so many of their competitors shut their doors? Ulta, more than any retailer that I can think of, was the best at adapting to changing trends in consumer buying behavior, and for that reason, they are enjoying success.

In contrast, retailers such as Sears, Kmart, JC Penney and Toys R Us did not adjust well, and that’s why they are having problems.

To find out more about the strategy of these successful retailers, check out the original post by CNBC and linked by RetailWire, a uniquely engaging forum for the retailing industry.


From: MMR
Date: June 18, 2007
More results for: CPG Biernbaum

ST. LOUIS — Marketing and sales consultant David Biernbaum has found a new way to work with consumer packaged goods companies.

Biernbaum has launched a series of “Coffee Talk” meetings, held at his home office near the St. Louis airport. In them he works with small groups of noncompeting manufacturers in short, informal sessions. He covers such topics as how to approach and work with retailers, best practices for selecting and managing brokers, and ways to get the most out of trade shows and other events.

“Building ultimate success in consumer packaged goods is my history, passion and expertise,” Biernbaum says. “I hold small group summits with companies that do not compete, over coffee, lunch or in private groups. We cover the information they need, in a straightforward, down-to-earth, hands-on and friendly manner.”

Biernbaum is a consumer packaged goods specialist with more than 27 years’ experience in marketing, retail sales and business development.

He served on developmental leadership teams with such major multinational companies as Smith Kline Beecham, Abbott Laboratories, and Gillette Co., where he was involved in launching such brands as Aquafresh, Mineral Ice, Selsun Blue, and Oral-B.

Biernbaum’s background also includes the rapid development of entrepreneurial brands; his leadership was instrumental in helping Vi-Jon Laboratories become a major force in private label personal care products, he says, and propelling Zooth Inc. during its years of rapid growth. He also helped develop Fresh & Go USA, OraWave LLC’s partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer organization, and he currently is helping Dr. Harold Katz LLC with its TheraBreath brand and its new PerioTherapy brand launch.

That is the experience Biernbaum intends to share in his informal “Coffee Talk” sessions.

Part of each session is devoted to tips for working with retailers. Biernbaum discusses such topics as: the most practical ways to approach giant retailers, including common mistakes many companies make; the types of meetings that really work, and the kinds that do not; the politics, nuances and infrastructures that drive retailer decisions; and the issues that prevent many innovative products from getting chosen, even when they come with great pricing and good margins.

Knowing how to work with retailers is critical, according to Biernbaum.

“It’s easy for privately held consumer packaged goods companies to make missteps,” he says. “I talk to them like a friend in the business. It’s important that they know what they really need and want to know. That includes answers and practical knowledge about everything from the NACDS Marketplace, ECRM and working with all the major retail chains.”

Knowing how to work with brokers is also critical for small companies. Biernbaum says that most reputable brokers are knowledgeable and helpful, and that they have good relationships with retailers in their markets. But he adds that it is critical for companies to understand what brokers can and cannot do. To that end, the “Coffee Talk” sessions include an in-depth discussion about brokers, covering such topics as how to hire them and what to expect from them, and the mistakes most companies make in working with brokers.

Often the biggest blunders small companies make is in their own planning. As a result, Biernbaum also devotes a portion of each session to such critical issues as the real cost associated with launching new products, ways to compete in categories dominated by giants and how to get a return on investment with trade advertising.

COPYRIGHT 2007 Racher Press, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.  All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact Copyright Clearance Center .

Celebrity Endorsements – You Never Know


Just a few years ago for one of my clients we lined up some then “little known” celebrities to endorse the product. Included were Rihanna, Tierra Mari, Katherine Heigl, Kate Walsh, Traci Bingham, and James Denton. None were yet big stars when this photo was taken! The celebs were holding their OraWave Pink Ribbon Twin Spin toothbrushes!

Australian Dream and Tri Calm Both In Walgreens

“Nice to see Australian Dream and now Tri Calm (both are DB clients) ON the shelves at Walgreens! :)”

Smart Consumer Goods Tap Into David Biernbaum’s Experience And Hands-On Knowledge

On May 31st David Biernbaum will be leading a seminar in St. Louis discussing topics such as strategic marketing plans and common mistakes of retailers.

St. Louis, Mo. (PRWEB) May 20, 2007 — For privately held, moderate-to-midsized consumer packaged goods companies, marketing and sales consultant David Biernbaum is their David vs. Goliath. For more than 27 years, Biernbaum has helped companies maneuver the sea of competition fighting for retail shelf space, helping brands carve out niches and position themselves to become some of the most beloved brands and sales super heroes of their categories.

On May 31st, Biernbaum, launches the first in his series of consultative “Coffee Talks”. Biernbaum will share the secrets that have made the difference for dozens of companies in their quest for regional, big box and global shelf space.

According to Biernbaum, “It’s easy for privately held CPG companies to make missteps. I talk to them like a friend in the business. It’s important that they know what they really need and want to know. That includes answers and practical knowledge about everything from the NACDS Marketplace, ECRM and all the major retail chains.”

The Coffee Talk series will take place in St. Louis, near the St. Louis Airport, making the summit easily accessible for entrepreneurs coming for all over the U.S, and Canada. Biernbaum, known as a hands-on senior marketing and sales VP for growing niche brand companies, holds the key to the Pandora’s Box of answers of what it takes to make it in today’s competitive consumer goods retail landscape.

A portion of the Coffee Talk will focus on retail. Topics and discussion points will include: What are the most practical ways to approach the mega-billion giant retailers who exert such enormous power and influence over which brands fly or flounder. What are the common mistakes and pitfalls for how these retailers are approached? What do they expect from you when you walk in the door? What types of meetings really work, and what types of meetings really do not? What are the real motivators? What are the real turn-off’s that you might not notice until several months later? What are the politics, the nuances, and infrastructures that drive decisions with each retailer, specifically? What are the real preparations needed for successful appointments? What is worthwhile, and what not? What is the real substance I need? How important is my product? What prevents many new innovative products from getting chosen, even with great pricing and good margins? What are the roles of the buyer, the category manager, and where does senior management come into play?

According to Biernbaum, a CPG’s relationship with its broker can be one of the primary cornerstones of its success. Most reputable brokers in each market are very knowledgeable and helpful, and have good relationships with retailers in their markets, and many retail buyers prefer that CPG’s use brokers for any number of reasons. However, it is absolutely essential and critical to your company’s health that you have a completely realistic understanding about brokers, and the entire broker process, immediately and upfront. At the Coffee Talk session, Biernbaum will have an in-depth discussion about brokers, covering topics ranging from hiring, reliance, expectations, appointment and door-opening, and the 6 common mistakes most companies make with brokers.

One of the biggest blunders Biernbaum has seen companies make is in their own planning. Biernbaum’s Coffee Talk will address critical elements for success including the real cost associated with launching new items; competing in categories dominated by giants; return on investment with trade advertising; and a crash course in key CPG industry terms.

In addition, Biernbaum will provide tips on activities and things to look out for before, during and after each tradeshow or conference to maximize each experience.

Manufacturers Urged to Consider Consultants


SAN DIEGO — “Niche manufacturers are an important part of NACDS Marketplace, but these smaller companies typically are new to the industry and have a great deal to learn when it comes to successfully bringing their products to market.

Looking to help inform these fledgling companies on the critical role of a sales and marketing consultant, a panel comprised of representatives, suppliers and one retailer gathered for an insightful discussion at NACDS Marketplace:”

“It is estimated that each year more than 30,000 new items are introduced into the packaged goods world. But the reality is that many of these items do not achieve success due to a lack of understanding of the commercialization process.”

“A manufacturer may come up with a great product, but if it’s not prepared and doesn’t have a sufficient marketing plan in place, the product is likely to never see the light of the shelf.”

“Smaller manufacturers aren’t the only ones facing hurdles. Fearful of being stuck with a surplus of product they can’t sell, retailers are growing increasingly cautious about whom they do business with and what they will demand of prospective clients.”

“We expect manufacturers to be involved every step of the way,” said panelist Tracy Blais, divisional merchandise manager of consumer health care for CVS Caremark. This is why it is becoming increasingly important that niche players work with a sales and marketing consultant.”

“Many small start-ups have an entrepreneurial spirit, but things may get harder and we are there to help you. Treat the consultant like a member of your team.”

SKU Rationalization

David Biernbaum heading a Task Force Group to address retailer’s senior management about (SKU) over-rationalization.

All Clients, Associates and Industry Friends:  

To help reverse the current retail trend for omitting small brands, licenses, specialties and niche products from retail POG’s, I am teaming up with four distinguished colleagues (other consultants and industry leaders) on addressing the topic of SKU “over-rationalization.”  My colleagues have strong backgrounds in economics, consumer behavioral research and retail.

Great news! Firm appointments and meetings are now set with CEO’s, presidents and senior merchandising VP’s at five major national and two major regional retailers. These presentations and meetings will be held in privacy, in off-site locations May through August.

Some of the sub topics to be addressed include:

  • Short and long-term economic implications likely to result from elimination of specialty brands and niche products.
  • Predictable long-term impact on profits that can be anticipated from product assortment “sameness,” retailer to retailer.
  • Consumer behavior and why SKU rationalization might be overlooking certain human elements.
  • Alternative approaches within and outside the process (for consideration).

CM’s, buyers and senior buyers have encouraged me to pursue this process.  Once we succeed in getting the message across at the senior level (I’m confident we will!), rest assured it will help to enable CM’s to re-open certain channels they already know are good for their business.  In some key instances, buyers and CM’s have helped with suggestions on how to arrange for the senior level meetings.

The objective is to motivate the next level of thought and consideration with regards to SKU rationalization and how the process has already had some erroneous results for retailers, with regards to small brands, specialties and niches.  This discussion doesn’t aim to address specific items; however, to help make the points, I do intend to site a few carefully selected examples beyond my client company’s brands.

Consumers want choices; retailers want destination.  We are encouraging retailers to consider using a scalpel, instead of a sledge hammer, in applying the SKU rationalization process.  We have a powerful presentation and we’re excited to advance this purpose to the benefit of retailers, consumers, small brands and our collective client companies.

David Biernbaum & Associates /Australian Dream, TriCalm, and SmartMouth ad, Pg. 54 DSN
David Biernbaum & Associates / Australian Dream Ad, Page 54 DSN
David Biernbaum & Associates / TriCalm write up Page 50 DSN
David Biernbaum & Associates / TriCalm ad Pg. 54 DSN Daily
Australian Dream including Back Pain Cream write up. DSN Daily
Page 54 DB/Australian Dream ad – DSN Daily