The Modern Customer Podcast

The Modern Customer Podcast is a show exploring the intersection of customer experience, social customer service and content. We will also dive into related leadership topics. The show is hosted by Forbes contributor and customer experience strategist Blake Morgan and features guests that include practitioners, authors, influencers and other tastemakers.
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Sep 20, 2016

How important is it to organize your data around your customer? It turns out that variation in customer demographics can be a powerful thing, and you want to make sure you are taking that diversity of customer into account when building customer programs. Today on the Modern Customer Podcast Zoher Karu ebay’s Chief Data Officer talks about the importance treating different customers differently. He recommends integrating different internal and external data elements together and explains the art and science behind understanding customers. At eBay Karu believes every customer is different and your customer strategy should reflect that. Learn more in this episode of The Modern Customer Podcast.  

Zoher Karu is Vice President and Chief Data Officer at eBay where he works to drive more personal and relevant experiences on eBay Marketplace properties. Prior to joining eBay, Zoher served as Vice President of Marketing Analytics and Insight at Sears, leading efforts to drive customer behavior, loyalty and growth, both in-store and on-line. Zoher holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. 

More About Our Sponsor Plantronics:

Plantronics offers one of the industry's most complete families of corded and wireless products for unified communications. Widely recognized for their sound quality, reliability and comfort, Plantronics' audio solutions help companies extend the benefits of IP communications throughout the extended enterprise, fostering better business communication and efficiency regardless of where professionals are working.

Sep 12, 2016

Peter Strebel serves as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales responsible for creating and driving innovative branding, communications, marketing and business development strategies to increase awareness, capture market share and build revenue for the brand. Strebel stewards Omni’s centers of excellence including revenue management, global sales, e-commerce, customer loyalty, reservations and call center, branding, advertising, communications, web and digital marketing and market research. Previously, Strebel was the senior vice

president of operations and oversaw the development of brand-wide property standards, guest rooms and other operational areas for the brand’s growing convention collection and resort portfolio. He also worked directly to support Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Omni Nashville Hotel, Omni Parker House, Omni Berkshire Place, The Omni Homestead Resort and The Omni Grove Park Inn.

A long-term Omni veteran, Strebel rejoined Omni in 2009 as area managing director and general manager of the Omni Berkshire Place. In his role as area managing director, he oversaw all marketing, sales and operational aspects of Omni properties in the Northeast. During his previous tenure at Omni, he had a successful 10-year career in sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately leading to his appointment as vice president of sales and marketing.

What You Will Learn In This Podcast:

  • How Omni Hotels differentiates itself with so many disruptions coming to hospitality How customer experience is defined at Omni Hotels
  • Who drives customer experience at Omni Hotels
  • How is customer service organized at Omni Hotels

More About Our Sponsor Plantronics:

Plantronics offers one of the industry's most complete families of corded and wireless products for unified communications. Widely recognized for their sound quality, reliability and comfort, Plantronics' audio solutions help companies extend the benefits of IP communications throughout the extended enterprise, fostering better business communication and efficiency regardless of where professionals are working.

Sep 6, 2016

The role of the Chief Customer Officer is not an age-old role. It’s a unique new role that’s set up differently at every organization. One example comes from MetLife who has seasoned industry executive Claire Burns running customer strategy. Burns serves as the Chief Customer Officer for MetLife which covers 110 million customers and 65K employees. The global company has an extensive and diverse product and distribution channels. Burns leads transformational change – tasked with shifting from a product centric corporate strategy to a customer centric corporate strategy. Burns, reporting to the CMO, has a “matrixed” managed team of 50 change agents around the world who are responsible for implementing these customer-centric programs.  Burns’ task is aligning the entire company around the customer. She helps the company decide what kinds of products they need to create. Burns also evaluated what services are going well and what ones aren’t. She ensures the company is treating its customers as an asset—helping the broader organization gain clarity with their priorities and ensure they align.

More About Our Sponsor Plantronics:

Plantronics offers one of the industry's most complete families of corded and wireless products for unified communications. Widely recognized for their sound quality, reliability and comfort, Plantronics' audio solutions help companies extend the benefits of IP communications throughout the extended enterprise, fostering better business communication and efficiency regardless of where professionals are working.


Aug 29, 2016

The Dallas Mavericks are famous for a few reasons. They are the 9th most valuable basketball Franchise in the NBA valued at $1.4 billion dollars. The other unique aspect of the team is Mark Cuban their highly involved and enthusiastic owner. The Dallas Mavericks Chief Technology Officer--interviewed in this podcast--is used to hearing from Cuban whether it’s about engaging digital fans or a customer complaint Cuban found on social media. Management of the team make customer experience excellence a habit. The Dallas Mavericks continually invest in technology in addition to other leadership development practices such as the Disney Institute to maintain a strong level of quality throughout the Mavericks fan experience. Today’s Modern Customer guest, Chief Technology Officer Ken Bonzon talks about how he started his career with the Dallas Mavericks 17 years ago and the many transformations he's seen the team go through. Fan engagement has always been a priority for the team, and now with technology engaging partners and fans has become even easier. Learn about what the Dallas Mavericks are doing to engage fans and maintain brand relevance in this podcast.

Aug 22, 2016

Amazon repeatedly tops customer experience lists in addition to every other category for innovation. So what’s the secret? John Rossman was an early employee with Amazon and started with the initial leadership team in the early 2000s. In his book The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind The World’s Most Disruptive Company provides an inside-look at what makes Amazon so successful. Today Rossman serves as a Managing Director at consultancy Alvarez & Marsal. At a time when Amazon rarely talks to the press Rossman’s book looks at all the reasons why Amazon remains competitive and the decision-making that makes the company consistently high performing. Don't miss these critical tips in today’s modern customer podcast.

Aug 14, 2016

Why does it seem like start-ups are having all the fun lately? All too often big companies will launch an incubator or start-up environment in their company only later to close it once the company starts to feel nervous about their growth. In today’s Modern Customer Podcast we learn from Michael Docherty the author of Collective Disruption: How Corporations & Startups Can Co-Create Transformative New Businesses. In the book Michael reveals how the smartest corporations are learning to partner and co-create with startups for transformative innovation. The book provides established companies with a practical framework for plugging into the startup ecosystem to fuel and incubate new businesses. As CEO of Venture2 Inc., Docherty and his organization work with leading companies to transform their innovation capabilities, build innovation ecosystems and accelerate the commercialization of breakthrough new products, services and business models. He is a frequent speaker on innovation and corporate venturing and an active supporter of the entrepreneurial community.

Aug 8, 2016

Some of today’s most innovative brands are content publishers that are engaging customers with content in addition to finding smart ways to monetize their websites. Take PopSugar who are tapping into big data, machine learning and predictive analytics to make better decisions about how they engage with customers. PopSugar—a site that’s attracted more than 100 million visitors worldwide and 1.5 billion monthly content views—has more than one hundred editors creating content driven by site analytics, to discuss the impact that predictive analytics has had on its content strategy, readership numbers and conversion rates. A millennial publication focused on fashion, beauty and fitness—PopSugar turned to Adobe Analytics to make sense of its user data—including search and social behavior—to evolve and refine its content strategy.  Listen to this podcast with Chris George SVP, Product Marketing and Sales Strategy at PopSugar. In this role, Chris has launched The Bakery, PopSugar's full-service creative shop; PopSugar Insights; and SNAP, PopSugar's native advertising platform.  Chris joined from SpinMedia where he served as EVP, Marketing Solutions managing all aspects of revenue and sales solutions. He’s also held management positions at Fox Interactive Media where he oversaw advertising products, sales development and market intelligence for MySpace and others. He holds a BA degree in Advertising from Michigan State University.


Aug 1, 2016

A new study from “The Math, the Magic and the Customer” found that inundated with troves of analytical data - today’s marketers often mistake the “algorithm” for the “person”.  Today’s marketers seek to have gotten so ROI-centric on every campaign according to Bain they are missing out on some of the magic of engaging with and understanding customers. The report says that “Humans, after all, are pesky creatures. We make decisions with our hearts as well as our heads. Our wants and needs can’t always be reduced to, or predicted by, data.” Today’s guest on The Modern Customer Podcast is Laura Beaudin, partner in Bain & Co’s San Francisco office - leading the firm’s Digital, Customer, Strategy & Marketing - as well as Telecom & Media practices could offer your listeners a fresh approach on how important it is to not get lost in the data and maintain connection to the customer as a “person”.  I thought this might make for an interesting show topic as it addresses a dilemma facing marketers today and offers proven strategies to deal with it. To access the report click here.

Jul 25, 2016

Are we living in the experience economy? In today’s episode of the Modern Customer Podcast I interview Joseph Pine, co author of The Experience Economy –a book that predicted we are living in the Experience Economy. The book was updated and re-released—and almost twenty years after its initial publishing it still provides excellent fodder for the customer experience conversation. It was the original book to hit on the subject of customer experience. The book provides a well-researched discussion of how businesses won’t survive by doing what they’ve always done. Businesses must look to some of the major inspirations such as Disneyland, Hershey's Chocolate World and other exciting experiences to engage the customer. To simply provide a product or service is not enough. In this podcast we revisit the principles of The Experience Economy. We see how businesses stack up today when it comes to providing the ultimate experience as defined by Joseph Pine in his book.

In this podcast you will learn:

What is a customer experience according to The Experience Economy?

Are we living in the experience economy today?

What can businesses do across their business to improve the customer experience?

Jul 19, 2016

Most of us hate flying. From delays to TSA lines to smaller and smaller seats on flights—flying is not what it used to be. Many of us enjoy the ease of using Uber on the streets but when it comes to the skies, the airlines—no matter how terrible they treat customers—appear disruption proof. Until now! Enter Surf Air, an All-You-Can-Fly private membership that provides business and leisure travelers with exclusive, hassle-free air travel. Today we talk airline industry disruption. Today on the Modern Customer Podcast we’re joined by Surf Air CEO Jeff Potter who talks about the Surf Air customer experience. Starting his career as an airplane cleaner, Potter eventually worked his way up to becoming President and Chief Executive Office of Frontier Airlines and a member of their Board of Directors during Frontier’s greatest growth period. He also held the Chief Executive Office title with Vanguard Airlines in early 2000. As CEO of Surf Air he oversees all operation and is instrumental in helping Surf Air to expand into new territories. His combined stellar aviation background and luxury product experience as Chief Executive Office of Exclusive Resorts makes him an invaluable part of Surf Air’s success.

In this podcast you will learn:

What is Surf Air?

How does Surf Air create a unique and exclusive environment for guests?

What are the disruption opportunities in the airline industry? 

Jul 11, 2016

Remember Mary Kay or Avon? These companies put bread on the table for hard-working women and their families. In fact today’s modern woman cannot always work a 9 to 5 job, and that’s precisely why Stella & Dot founder and CEO Jessica Herrin set out to create a company that was flexible enough for the modern woman to build a business for herself without working 9 to 5. As she says, “9 to 5 just doesn’t flatter.” Herrin is a successful serial entrepreneur having started the company known to many now as, the first company to put wedding registries on the web (it was sold to The Knot in 2006). Her second company was Stella & Dot. Stella & Dot’s business model—where women host parties within their homes and sell the Stella & Dot products (mostly jewelry and accessories)—is catching on like wildfire.Engaging communities is an important aspect of customer acquisition—today a company’s share-ability factor is everything because customers talk. Jessica Herrin is also a CEO on fire recently starring in an episode of “Undercover Boss” where she does things like spend a day undercover working in their “Delight Center” (contact center) and as a jewelry maker. She has a new book out called “Find Your Extraordinary: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success On Your Own Terms.” 

Listen to our podcast to learn about:

How Stella & Dot provides an experience for both sellers and customers
How companies can learn from the Stella & Dot business model
Stella & Dot’s approach to customer acquisition and customer delight

Jul 5, 2016

Niels Aillaud, Head of Digital Marketing and Chief Digital Officer of Whirlpool knows the importance of customer reviews and takes them very seriously. Whirlpool, an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, manages a wealth of solid brands such as KitchenAid, Maytag and many more—Aillaud is working to track all conversations about the various products and services within the Whirlpool portfolio. Whirlpool’s stock has been steadily increasing for the last almost 40 years. Clearly they are doing something right. Our guest today on The Modern Customer Podcast Niels Aillaud Niels Aillaud is responsible for Digital Strategy and Innovation for Whirlpool Corp. today. For the last 18 years, Niels has leveraged his deep understanding of technology and the evolution of consumer’s behavior to expand his clients’ success in the digital realm. Prior to Whirlpool, Aillaud was responsible for Global Digital Marketing at Logitech. Before that he led all digital marketing initiatives for LG Mobile, where he was the recipient of multiple awards (Webby, EFFIE, OMMA, Cannes Bronze Lyon).

 In this podcast you will learn:

Whirlpool’s approach to social customer reviews
How a to launch a company-wide data program
Whirlpool’s approach to customer journeys

Jun 27, 2016

Historically we've always looked for ways to evolve how we use our money. We've been transacting for thousands of years and we're getting savvier on how to enable consumers to transact with greater ease. Clearly mobile payments are becoming bigger. Skip Allums, Lead Designer at Paypal and today's guest on The Modern Customer Podcast calls it a rising tide.

In this podcast we address questions such as how do we make mobile payments more convenient and safe? Consumers are increasingly weary of their financial privacy and interested in how their data is being used. Designers need to think about the customer journey and how we're mapping the experience of the customer from the absolute beginning. Some companies are moving quickly with mobile payments. For example in Q1 of 216 the money consumers loaded on their Starbucks cards and app surged to $1.2 billion, up 22% since the third quarter last year, according to Starbuck's filings. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are all leading the charge today but it's only the beginning. Mass adoption of mobile pay hasn't happened yet but Allums believes it will happen in the near future. 

In this podcast you will learn:

Good mobile design
The mobile payment landscape
Best practices of mobile commerce


Jun 21, 2016

Today on the Modern Customer Podcast we're joined by David Edelman, global co-leader of McKinsey's Digital and Marketing & Sales Practices, based in Boston. For more than 20 years, Edelman has specialized in helping marketing executives manage the strategy, organization, and infrastructure transformations required to become "digitally adroit" leaders. From creating digital centers of excellence, to developing marketing technology architecture plans, to redesigning entire go-to-market approaches, he has led work that is both strategic and highly tactical.

A frequent contributor to leading publications, and a Top 5 LinkedIn Influencer, Edelman has also spoken or participated in panels at many top CMO and industry gatherings. He also sits on the advisory boards of a couple of small agencies and startups in the social and video markets.

What you will learn in this podcast:

  1. The one challenge sitting on every CMOs' desk today
  2. Why marketing technology has gotten far too complicated and what you can do about it
  3. The one major customer experience challenge facing retailers today
  4. The new consumer decision journey
Jun 13, 2016

General Mills is a 150 year old company. You have definitely heard of their famous cereal brands such as Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and even their new cereal brand Tiny Toast. You surely grew up eating Cheerios, Betty Crocker cakes, Hamburger Helper and Häagen-Dazs ice cream. You might not know that today they also own Annie’s, Epic (amazing jerky), Larabar and Cascadian Farms. They produce and market more than 100 brands in 100 markets and there is one woman at the marketing helm of this enormous operation. Her name is Ann Simonds and she is the Chief Marketing Officer of General Mills. From content to social media to traditional advertising Simonds has a lot of responsibility. But that doesn’t stop her from taking the time to do things such as make frequent trips to the grocery store to watch her customers in action. In this podcast you will learn about how Simonds takes the roof of the house of her customers to get to know what their needs are. 

What you will learn in this podcast: 

  1. A day in the life of the CMO of General Mills
  2. The number one challenge sitting on every marketer’s desk today
  3. General Mills approach to social media and customer engagement
  4. Why General Mills launched the #WeNeedTheBees campaign
  5. The various marketing approaches and customer personas for different brands, for example Annie’s, Larabar, Epic or Cascadian Farms versus Betty Crocker, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Haagen Dazs
  6. Advice Ann would have given herself at the beginning of her career
Jun 6, 2016

For today's Modern Customer Podcast we are joined by Erin Walline, the new Executive Director of Global Customer Programs for Dell. With a unique background in product engineering and user experience (UX), Erin looks to apply human-centered design philosophies to business strategy and operations across internal organizations, ensuring Dell’s customers have a seamless experience at every touchpoint. 

After receiving her Ph.D. in Engineering from Texas A&M University, Erin started as a user experience engineer with Dell 13 years ago. Members of her team have unique background ranging from cognitive psychology to anthropology and UX design.

In this podcast you will learn: 


How to drive customer experiences through company culture
How to use both qualitative and quantitative data to improve your customer experience
How to build a customer journey
How to build influence as a customer experience executive 

May 31, 2016

B2B marketing is not for the faint of heart. Translating technical products and services and turning that into engaging content is not the easiest. Being a marketer in today’s complicated digital environment takes courage, patience and persistence. Being CMO isn’t for everyone—the average length of stay for a CMO is 18 months, not a lot of time to prove your worth. It’s important to turn results around fast and today’s podcast guest Susan Ganeshan knows how to do exactly that. Ganeshan has been CMO of text analytics and customer experience management vendor Clarabridge for two years and contributed to some of the major success they’ve had. Before that she held senior roles at a few different software companies and while there, she mentored four different individuals who all eventually rose to the rank of CMO. Ganeshan believes all tech marketers should be able to give a demo of any product their company is selling including the major components of the technology they’re supporting. Ganeshan believes that marketers fail when they can’t get the right metrics and measurements out of their campaigns. She has success to draw from and lessons learned, and in our podcast we talk about some of the major top of mind issues facing modern marketers today.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The number one challenge sitting on every marketer’s desk today
  • How to approach a global marketing strategy
  • First steps to building a high level marketing strategy
  • Susan Ganeshan’s one personal business secret


Disclosure, Clarabridge has been a client of Blake Morgan’s.

May 23, 2016

There’s never a dull moment at Yahoo! The company is in the news daily with rumors on who will purchase it, what Marissa Mayer is up to, and it’s been like this for years. You can imagine it might affect the employees that work at Yahoo from day to day. However according to Yahoo’s SVP of Global Operations John Devine, this is not the case. With a redefined approach to customer care that is directly impacting the development of Yahoo’s core products. Instead of just being reactive to user problems, this program is designed to channel the feedback, wants and needs of 1B+ users to product teams in a meaningful way that evokes material changes. Today’s guest on The Modern Customer Podcast is leading the effort of enriching the company’s product roadmap through user feedback.

In this podcast you will learn:


Who Yahoo’s modern customer is

How the company manages the external noise internally

The ingredients of Yahoo’s company culture

The strategy for Yahoo's VOC program

Marissa Mayer’s management style


May 16, 2016

Most of us can't even conceptualize life before digital. In the “old days” people looking for a hotel would drive down the road. If the hotel was all booked up, they would drive on down the road to the next hotel. Enter Hilton, a 96 year old brand that has innovated at every turn. In the 1950s Hilton wanted to make it easier for customers to book rooms and created the world's first central reservations office where customers could book over the phone, telegram or teletype. The office consisted of a team of eight “agents” who would write on a chalk board to book reservations. How times have changed! 

In this week’s modern customer podcast we talk with Mark Weinstein, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Loyalty and Partnerships for Hilton Worldwide. There is much change to the travel industry, and Hilton has had to stay on its toes. The demographic of their travel has shifted with people traveling at younger ages due to increased accessibility—it’s simply much easier to get around than it used to be (see above paragraph around how one would find a hotel in the old days). There are market shifts such as the sharing economy that have altered the hotel industry. Hilton has created numerous programs in conjunction with the sharing economy including a partnership with Uber. It might make your head spin to think about Hilton’s scale, with 13 brands, spanning more than 4,500 hotels across over 100 countries and territories. That said, they are a fantastic case study in thinking about how today’s biggest companies are tackling the complex modern digital landscape.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Hilton’s customer engagement strategy (including social and mobile)
  • Hilton’s approach to surprise and delight
  • Hilton’s thoughts on Airbnb
May 10, 2016

You might have heard of @Veronica because she has 1.76M followers on Twitter. While she frequently speaks on topics like listening to your customers on social media she rarely uses social to complain herself. The only time was when she hosted the Season 6 Premier of Game of Thrones on Facebook Live and her dress showed up with a hole in it. As a writer, producer, and speaker, Veronica’s primary goal has been to educate both savvy and mainstream audiences about how technology can improve and enhance their lives. A guest on this week’s Modern Customer Podcast she gives golden advice to brands on how to make a fan in a moment of failure.

-Brands that are doing social media right
-Why brands fail at engaging with their customers on social media
-How brands can maintain authenticity on social media with customers


May 2, 2016

When it comes to industries where brand advocates play a key role, perhaps no industry does influencer engagement play a bigger role than in sports. Superstar athletes play a key role in driving engagement to the brand—we see it every day especially on social media. TaylorMade-adidas Golf company has seen a sales conversion rate of almost 3.5 times higher than the overall site average thanks to brand advocates. For TaylorMade the order value of customers who engage with advocates is 50% higher than the site average.Today on the Modern Customer Podcast we get advice from Chief Marketing Officer Bob Maggiore of the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company. Bob oversees brand, product & consumer marketing efforts for TaylorMade Golf, which include advertising, public relations, social media, experiential, design and eCommerce functions. A 20+ year veteran of the golf industry, Maggiore, 46, has overseen nearly every key product launch since 2000. TaylorMade has been the number one driver brand played on the PGA TOUR for 15 years and counting, and its Tour staff includes Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, all of which are currently ranked in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • TaylorMade-adidas approach to influencer engagement on social media
  • The CMO’s role in developing a customer strategy
  • How a CMO new to the role can get started



Apr 26, 2016

When Chris McCann President and Chief Executive Officer of 1-800 FLOWERS.COM was sitting in the F8 keynote with Mark Zuckerberg, he had no idea Zuckerberg would be including 1-800 Flowers in the presentation. The reason 1-800 Flowers was everywhere in the press is the announcement of the chatbot release. 1-800 Flowers has always been on the brink of technology innovation. They were the first to allow customers to call them to make an order for delivery in the early 80s. They were the first retail company to have an ecommerce presence on the web in 1992 when they partnered with AOL. Now they are one of the first to take advantage of the Facebook chatbot release. Facebook will now allow businesses to deliver automated customer support, ecommerce guidance, content, and interactive experiences. 1-800 Flowers uses a few different technologies to run its large ecommerce operation that includes brands such as Harry & David and seven more.  

In this podcast you will learn:

Understand the process of launching the Facebook chatbot for 1-800 Flowers.  

How 1-800 Flowers ensures the quality of suggestions delivered by the chatbot

Learn about 1-800 Flowers customer service strategy  


Apr 18, 2016

You don’t hear the word simplicity very much when it comes to customer experience. But according to Siegel+Gale CMO Margaret Molloy simplicity is the key to running a strong operation. Molloy is responsible for all marketing, communications, and business development initiatives globally. She is a modern Business-to-Business CMO with 15+ years as a marketing leader, a must-follow marketing minds on Twitter (Forbes). Molloy has led marketing organizations at Siebel Systems—where she was a member of the Siebel Systems CEO’s Circle—and served as vice president of Marketing at Telecom Ireland US (eircom). She has her MBA from Harvard Business School.

In this podcast you will learn:

The one customer experience challenge sitting on every CMOs' desk today

The changing role of PR and advertising as consumer behavior changes

Golden advice for personal brand building

Apr 11, 2016

This is the 2nd post in a two-part series featuring Fidelity thought leaders. Find the first post here.

It seems that every innovation story you hear today comes out of a start-up. Big companies are often described as dinosaurs, slow with trouble pivoting. So what can big companies do to ensure they too make it a habit of creating an environment for disruption? Big companies today would benefit from thinking about what they can do to prepare for a new environment where business changes at ever corner. What can big companies do to make themselves more nimble, better able to pivot and competitive in the marketplace? Evan Gerber, VP of Digital Strategy and Mobile at Fidelity knows a thing or two about disruption. He believes big companies can be just as innovative and disruptive as small companies—they just need the right approach.

An avid technophile and self proclaimed device geek, Gerber is fascinated by the interplay of business, technology, and consumer behavior. Evan's first engagement in the mobile space was over a decade ago, and he has been at the forefront of developing customer experiences across multiple devices ever since.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Key patterns or trends that disruptors offer
  • The conditions for an organization to disrupt
  • How can brands move faster to be the disruptor, not the disrupted
  • How large brands can leverage their size to cause disruption


Mar 29, 2016

Imagine a small rural village in Sweden. It’s nighttime and a new dad drops the only remaining bottle of baby formula on the floor as his hungry son wails. The closest grocery store will take at least 40 minutes round-trip. That was the moment that technology expert Robert Illiason started thinking about alternatives. He realized living in a rural part of the world, where shops close early puts a strain on customers. He came up with the idea for Näraffär (meaning “shop nearby”), the first unmanned grocery store where customers can buy small items such as baby food at any time of night or day. The store is run using a mix of cameras, apps and other technology which he describes as fairly simple to set up. In this podcast you will hear from Illiason, who is an IT consultant specializing in databases and business intelligence, mainly working with automating processes and data flows. He has worked with customers such as Ericsson, TeliaSonera and, mainly, IKEA. He is also a writer and who keeps his finger at the tech pulse for several Swedish IT magazines.

In this podcast you will learn:

The key components of an employee-less store

Surprising insights into customer behavior

Future predictions around retail technology



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