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RMMC Speaker to Reveal What Big Brands Know

January 29, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


What if you could sit in on a meeting when billion dollar brands make their plans to go to market? At the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS, general session speaker Gerry O’Brion will show you how to use big company strategies to grow businesses of all sizes. His strategies work in any business, regardless of their budget. His general session – Grow Any Business Like a Billion Dollar Brand- will be held on Monday April 29th, 2013 at 9:00 am. A follow-up breakout session - What Big Brands Know: The Business Blueprint – takes place the same day at 11:30 am.

These presentations are packed with information, strategies and case studies about companies that are doing it right. It is a fun, thought-provoking dialogue that generates real action by the participants. Among the things you will learn are: the one thing that matters to all business, five things to do before you start marketing, getting customers to choose you, game changers for growth and reinventing your business when things get bad.

O’Brion is a nationally recognized speaker, author and marketing expert who helps companies thrive. He has worked on several billion dollar brands, and has translated his experience into strategies for any business. The sessions will help you develop an action plan to make your business stronger now and over the long term, look at your business from a fresh perspective, reexamine how you are different from your competitors and understand why that matters to your customers.

O’Brion began his career in marketing at Procter & Gamble, working with brands such as Crisco, Tide, Mr. Clean and Spic & Span. Next, he managed Coors Light, and then became VP of Marketing for Quiznos. He was most recently VP of Marketing for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

You can use the same strategies as billion dollar brands to grow your business. The strategies big brands use are not complicated, and you can learn them by attending RMMC. These sessions are a perfect example of the Learn, Change, Grow theme on display at The 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) to be held on April 27-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit the official conference website to get more information and to register.

RMMC Keynote Will Address the New Rules of Retail


The retail industry is tough and getting tougher. Driven by constantly evolving technology, globalization and a saturated marketplace, consumers now have total and instantaneous access to whatever they desire, creating an unprecedented level of consumer power and expectations. The impact of these changes is so profound that all traditional strategic success factors, and the business models necessary to execute them, will become extinct. To help the members of NARMS to Learn, Change and Grow, keynote speaker Robin Lewis of The Robin Report will present The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace at the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS.

The annual at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry get together will take place on April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale. Lewis will take the main stage at 3:30 on Sunday, April 28.

Using profiles and case examples of industry giants, Lewis will reveal why some retailers are tremendously successful at reaching increasingly elusive and demanding consumers, and explains the new mandate, essentially the new rules for retailers.

Lewis is the founder and CEO of The Robin Report. He is an author, speaker, and consultant for the retail and consumer products industries. He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation and strategic presentations: among them are Kohl’s, Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne, VF Corp., Charming Shoppes, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, and Sara Lee. Previously, he was Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he developed and launched a global retail consulting practice.

He is the co-author of The New Rules of Retail, published by Palgrave- McMillan Publishing in 2010, and is often quoted in various trade and consumer publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Time Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Brand Week, and Advertising Age, as well as on CNBC and MSNBC.

The Lewis keynote address is just one example of the value-packed agenda being put together for RMMC. This is a chance to not only take in some valuable information, but also have your voice heard as the Association prepares to meet the challenges of the future. You can find out more about RMMC and register by visiting the official website. Group rates are available so you can bring your whole team.

Putting Center Store Front and Center

January 3, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


CPG manufacturers in all categories and channels are always looking for ways to differentiate their products to gain additional sales and market share. There was a time when this drive to draw attention lead many to concentrate their promotional activity to the perimeter of the store. The center store was seen as a place to stack it high and let it fly, but not a place to truly innovate. But according to the latest issue of Times & Trends by SymphonyIRI, there is a new emphasis on promoting center store categories.

According to Times & Trends, center store has outperformed industry averages for two years garnering two-thirds of CPG spending and 70 percent of unit sales. In spite of this fact, promotional activity is declining in 58 percent of center store categories and 6 of the top 10.

The report says that center store has rebounded due to changing consumer rituals like preparing meals at home and using home based health and beauty products. The center store is the focal point for trip missions and the basis for popular shopper loyalty programs. Advanced analytics and shopper marketing data have made it possible to promote and differentiate in the center store. It all revolves around understanding the needs of key shopper groups and merchandising to meet those needs.

SymphonyIRI suggests three courses of action for trading partners: Continue to assess new growth opportunities and threats. Explore the feasibility of collaborative marketing and merchandising plans. Closely measure and monitor strategy execution.

The members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry provide services that directly support these strategies. NARMS members can quickly execute shelf-level initiatives that support shopper needs such as new product cut-ins, category resets, store remodels, product sampling and demo programs and mystery shopping/audit services.

For a deeper understanding of the SymphonyIRI Times & Trends report, download your free copy by clicking here. Another opportunity for deeper understanding and insight is coming up on April 27-30 at The 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS. Click here to find out more and register today.


Sponsorship Prospectus Outlines RMMC Promotions

November 15, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, RMMC2012, What's in store


As you can probably tell, momentum is building for the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS slated for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The official conference website is on-line and registration is now open. And by the way, did you know we have group rates and early bird registration deals? The event is a gathering point for current and prospective members of NARMS, retailers, manufacturers and other companies who provide goods and services to the at-retail merchandising industry. This highly engaged group of trading partners presents an exciting opportunity for you to reach out by partaking in the many RMMC sponsorship and promotional programs.

Supporting RMMC promotes brand identity and visibility of your company to more than 300 attendees specific to the retail services industry. Whatever your objectives are, or your budget, the NARMS International team can develop creative opportunities for you to reach your target audience. Here is your chance to connect with new businesses, increase brand and product exposure, enhance relationships with your customers, elevate your company profile within the industry and cultivate relationships through networking.

Click here see the RMMC Sponsorship and Promotional Prospectus or visit the official website. There is something for everyone including sponsorships of networking lunches, receptions and dinners. Support of programming is also available through General Session, Seminar and Breakout opportunities. And do not forget about the chance to display in the exhibit hall or sponsor the NARMS Annual Golf Tournament with proceeds benefiting Enactus. You are going to want to act early as several sponsorships, including the RMMC Mobile App, are already spoken for.

Your support of sponsorships and promotions make the RMMC possible. Visit the site, download the prospectus and contact the NARMS International team to find out how you can take a leadership position and enable the theme of Learn, Change, Grow.


RMMC Website and Registration Now Available


Learn, Change, Grow. Those are three powerful words and they accurately describe what awaits the attendees of the 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). The annual NARMS event is slated for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. A big and exciting milestone took place yesterday as registration went live on the official RMMC website. The 2013 RMMC will offer retailers, retail service providers, manufacturers, members of NARMS and non-members the opportunity to learn, collaborate, network and gain insight into the future of retail.

You can visit the official conference website by clicking here or following the tabs on The website features everything you need to plan your trip to Scottsdale in April. You will find a welcome from Conference Chair Ron Apel, general RMMC information, conference registration, hotel reservations, sponsorship opportunities and how your company can participate as an exhibitor at the trade show.

The site also features the conference agenda tab already filled with engaging keynote speakers, networking opportunities and informative educational breakout sessions. The breakout sessions offer four tracks discussing trends and important issues relating to Operations, Sales and Marketing, Human Resources and The Changing World.

All retailers, manufacturers, retail service providers, support service companies and anyone whose company has an interest in expanding their knowledge about retail services are encouraged to bring their departmental staff and executives and take advantage of this opportunity to learn and network with well-established industry leaders.

It is time to mark the date and register. Although the site and registration is an exciting development, the real magic happens when you attend and bring your voice, viewpoint and energy to our annual at-retail merchandising and marketing forum.

New Support Services Supplement Association

October 18, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


It has been a very busy two weeks at NARMS as preparations are in full swing for the 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). There has been a flurry of new members and several changes designed to better align NARMS with the ever-evolving at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry. With the assistance of some new Support Service members, the Association has also added a few new offerings which will provide our members with resources they need in their day to day business operations.

Last week we announced NARMS Health Exchange, which can be found on the Deals for Members page. The exchange is brought to you in large part through the efforts of Support Service member Insurance First. Their expertise is based on a well-trained, experienced staff who can tailor a comprehensive insurance program for your specific needs. Plus, you have the added benefit of working with agents who are fellow NARMS members and understand your needs. Please go to www.narms-exchange to find out more information and preferential rates for NARMS members.

With this development in mind, Rob Dooley will be hosting the next installment of the NARMS Webinar Series on Tuesday, October 23. The topic will be the Affordable Care Act and how this will impact your business. You can register for the webinar by visiting the Members Area on

Another big development is that Choice Screening has joined NARMS to provide its members with special rates for vital background checks and screenings. A formal announcement will be made once the Choice Screening Exchange page has been established. For those of you who are looking for a reputable company to provide your background checks and screening services, please contact Choice Screening, listed on the Members page.

NARMS recently changed the name of the Associate Member division to Support Service members. These recent additions to member services are clear evidence of the importance of this division for our members, and the reason for the name change. For more information or questions, please contact Fiona Lipscomb, Director of Member Relations & Communications.

NARMS Webinar Series Returns with NARMScertifyU


If you missed the sessions at the 2012 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC), or if you would like hear more about the official on-line training tool of NARMS, you will want to tune in to the next NARMS Webinar. The highly popular Webinar Series makes its return on Tuesday, June 5 at 11:00 AM CDT with NARMScertifyU: What’s in it for U? (Members only)

The topics for the last few weeks in this blog and in Top Shelf have been data and developments in the retail world that support the importance of excellent in-store execution of merchandising and at-retail marketing initiatives. The margin for error for retailers and manufacturers is shrinking and the need for trained field reps is at a premium. NARMScertifyU is a valuable resource to augment your current training program and to help your field reps enhance their skills and marketability.

This webinar will give you a brief overview of NARMScertifyU and the value that this service can add to your company. We will discuss the goals and objectives of NARMScertifyU, what the industry experts are saying, and of course, how to get started. In addition, we will discuss how using the Recruiter to filter for NARMScertifyU candidates will ensure you find qualified employees faster.

Fiona Lipscomb, NARMS Director of Member Relations and Communications, will be facilitating the webinar, and will be joined by Heather Johnson and Scot Maurath from NARMSCertifyU to answer all your questions via the ReadyTalk webinar chat tool.

Trading partners are raising their game at retail. NARMS members and their field reps need to keep pace, upholding the very highest of industry standards. The session is complimentary to NARMS members as a value added membership service. We encourage you to share this invitation with anyone who might gain value from this information-sharing opportunity. Click here to register now!


Association Welcomes New Board Members

May 15, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2012, Top Shelf

One more piece of Association business to tell you about today that comes out of the 2012 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). At its annual business meeting, NARMS announced four new directors to the board and thanked departing members for their years of service. This new slate of directors will join the existing board in shaping a new direction for NARMS and providing leadership during a transition that will see a new headquarters staff and a change of location to Broomfield, Colorado.

The gathering recognized the outstanding contributions of departing Board Chair Mary Jo Bastuba of Nintendo, departing Vice Chair Ethan Charas of Stratmar Retail Services and Phil Karl of Performance Sales & Marketing Associates. The current Executive Committee of the Board of Directors will feature new Chair Steve Donzelli of Chuck Latham Associates, new Vice Chair Ed Martin of The Beam Team, new Secretary Jim Hall of Riteway Sales & Marketing and new Treasurer Gregg Morrison of TouchPoint 360.

New members elected to their first term on the board include John Gillis of Action Retail Services, Stefan Midford of Natural Insight and Julie Nichols of Nichols and Associates. Jerry O’Brien, of the University of Wisconsin Kohl’s Department Store Center for Retailing Excellence was elected to his second term.

Jim Fulk of RMSe will fill the vacant seat of Kelly Hampton, who recently resigned from the board. He received the next highest amount of votes and fills the opening based on provisions in NARMS By-Laws. Fulk will fill the last year of the term and will have the opportunity to be elected for a second term. Meeting attendees also took some time to thank Hampton for her service and leadership.

The NARMS Board of Directors will next meet in Broomfield on June 19-20. In the meantime, please contact them or the NARMS staff with any concerns, questions or ideas that you may have for the very exciting weeks, months and years ahead. The next election will take place via ballot just prior to the 2013 RMMC and the results will be announced at the annual business meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 27-20, 2013.


2013 RMMC Taking Shape

May 1, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2012, Top Shelf


One of the many exciting developments to come out of the 2012 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) was the announcement and further information about the 2013 event. If you were not able to attend in Tampa, there are three things you should know about the 2013 RMMC. The event will take place at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, the dates are April 27-30, 2013 and Ron Apel has been named Conference Chair for the event.

The choice of location is in large part because of the feedback given by members concerning environment, price range and travel considerations. The Scottsdale Plaza Resort has received many accolades for its outstanding service and quality accommodations throughout the years. The resort is recognized as one of the premium meeting facilities in North America, is reasonably priced and is located just a few minutes from the Phoenix airport.

Ron Apel, CEO of Ex Sell Sales and Merchandising Canada, has been named to the role of Conference Chair for the 2013 RMMC. He is a serial entrepreneur and brings a tremendous about of energy and enthusiasm into this new role. Ron and the NARMS International team are very interested in your thoughts and ideas about RMMC and NARMS membership in general. In fact, a paper survey about your NARMS membership that was circulated in Tampa is now available on-line. If you have not already done so, please take five minutes to click here and add your thoughts.

It is not too soon to set aside the dates of April 27-30, 2013 to engage in the industry and the Association. The NARMS team is seeking attendance from at least one representative of every member company to ensure that your voice is being heard. You can keep track of the conference by frequently visiting the 2013 RMMC Conference Center at More details will be available in the weeks and months ahead.


RMMC Seeks Input

April 24, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2012, Top Shelf


With the 2012 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) in the rear view mirror, the event was held last week in Tampa, the time to gather fresh perspectives of what NARMS members want out of their conference is now. Conference attendees are being asked to fill out a brief on-line questionnaire available by clicking here.

Prior to conference, a call was made for members to actively engage, be challenged, and sit face to face with peers as we build and re-organize NARMS while they attended the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry showcase event. NARMS leadership and 2013 Conference Chair, Ron Apel of Ex-Sell Sales & Merchandising, are now asking that you take a few minutes to add your comments, suggestions and ideas on how NARMS can improve upon your experience. The information that you provide will be invaluable as we begin preparing for the 2013 event. The 2013 RMMC will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The early reviews from the 2012 RMMC are encouraging, but the association needs a voice from every member company to continue to improve the experience and the value of the event. Your voice, ideas, input, point-of-view, experiences and opinions are crucial to the vitality of the conference and The Association.

The challenge for the balance of 2012 will be to clearly define what it means to be a member of NARMS and further validate the value of your membership, participation and leadership to your customers and clients. When you participate in the process, you can proudly display the NARMS logo on your website and sales material knowing that the brand stands for the highest possible standards. Please take the five minutes to fill out the post-RMMC questionnaire today and strike while the iron is hot.

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