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Jesse Dunbar

Jesse Dunbar
Director Of Customer Strategy
Best Buy
1 year in the industry

Black Leaders In Consumer Tech Award Winner 2021

Tell us about your career so far.

My career spans in a variety of industries with a focus in three distinct areas. Consumer Experience, Strategy and Product Development. I leverage those focus areas to arrive at the heart of the “what” “why” and “how” as it relates to a product or experience for the consumer. I’ve worked in Healthcare for the majority of my career and recently in the Financial Services industry, Retail, Biotech and Consumer Electronics. I’ve created and implemented products to impact the health and well-being of seniors, individuals living with hypertension and socially isolated populations. I’ve also developed and stood up innovative ways of working in Fortune 500 companies including Human Centered Design, Innovation Engineering and Lean Start-Up.

Describe your current role.

I’m currently leading customer strategy efforts for Home Theater and Subscriptions and Membership Services categories at Best Buy. Essentially, pulling in primary qual/quant data and secondary data to help inform the strategy for TV’s, Audio, Hardware Subscriptions, Warranty and Repairs with the customer at the center. I’m typically working with category leaders in helping determine what their priorities are and creating the strategic plan for the next fiscal year. Our main goal at Best Buy is to be customer obsessed in all that we do by starting with an outside in approach that helps to develop these strategies, as our North Star is to build Brand Love among our customers.

What could the CE industry do to improve on diversity and inclusion?

The CE space could take some lessons from Best Buy in how they show up from a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion perspective. Our current DEI strategy is to fill one out of three new non-hourly corporate positions with BIPOC employees. Additionally, one out of three new, non-hourly field roles will be filled by women. Also in the communities we serve our goal is to reach 30,000 teens annually from disinvested communities across the nation, including building a network of at least 100 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to teach skills and build a talent pipeline for a modern economy. Lastly, we’re providing $44 million to expand college prep and career opportunities for BIPOC students, including adding 16 scholarships for HBCU students and increasing scholarship funding for Teen Tech Center youth. We’re getting better but still have ways to go and could learn from other organizations in this space.

What would you tell non-black professionals in the CE industry who want to support the inclusion of black people in the industry?

Be a true ally for Black talent. Elevate BIPOC voices, talk about and advocate the great work they’re leading in the CE space when they’re not around.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

This goes across categories but the ability to bring in the customer voice rooted in data in all projects before arriving at solutions and strategies.

What technology are you most interested in at the moment?

All things voice controlled A.I. So think of your smart speaker at home (i.e., Google Home, Alexa, etc.). Voice-controlled A.I. will keep getting smarter and more capable of handling nuanced commands since A.I. is becoming easier to implement.

What’s the top trend in CE for you right now?

We’re focusing on the home being the HUB, largely due to the pandemic as consumers perspectives of home and tech have shifted tremendously. A few trends that come to mind…the new office chair X-Chair’s X-HMT, flashy and high tech but treat yourself when you’re in it at least eight hours a day. Also, bringing OLED technology to the computer monitor screens, something LG is leading.

What’s your favorite gadget right now?

I’ve learned that electronics with the greatest value are ones that provide the highest utility and ease of use. I’m really enjoying my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Its seamless user interface, intuitive nature, software features, camera capabilities and let’s be honest, this thing is the command center of my world.