40 Under 40 2018 | Aaron Bernstein

Aaron Bernstein’s co-workers define him as a "pioneer of new technologies" that have helped redefine the role of communications, PR, and marketing in the world’s largest company by revenue. He manages and delivers corporate research and analytics all across Wal-Mart’s industry, especially for corporate strategy, the C-suite, and its tech incubator.

Bernstein has developed a reputational strategy model for Wal-Mart that has been shared with the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and has been instrumental in building and enhancing the company’s digital advocacy and influencer communications program.

More specifically, he reinvented its approach to corporate reputation campaigns by implementing advanced statistical modeling techniques to reach shoppers more effectively. The development of this "persuadable shopper score" has allowed Wal-Mart to reach an audience of 27 million persuadable customers with corporate reputation campaigns, resulting in positive brand shifts and millions more in sales. At a time when corporate leaders are shining a light on the importance of aligning values with the bottom line, Bernstein has been doing this for years.

In addition, his advanced research approaches are demonstrated in Wal-Mart’s The American Family Today report, which speaks to the top trends expected to shape the life for American families. This report has become a platform for the company to convene community leaders, lawmakers, and stakeholder groups to discuss the topics that are shaping life for families across the country. The event has become so important for Wal-Mart that its president and CEO Doug McMillon participated.

Prior to working with Wal-Mart, Bernstein served as manager of public and industry affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Similarly, he provided strategic public affairs counsel to energy, environmental, financial services, and telecommunications clients at Dittus Communications.

- Bernstein began his public affairs career by helping grow an environmental nonprofit organization called the Clean Beaches Council that advocated for coastal stewardship and sustainability.

- In 2017, he received the ABBI Award for Addressable TV Campaign for the Most Innovative Use of Data in a TV/Video Campaign. In 2010, he received the Public Affairs Council Grassroots Innovation Award.

- Bernstein is a member of the Insights Association. This year, he was named a recipient of the Retail Innovator Award.

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