The retail graveyard is littered with once powerful brands that used to command strong market share and intense customer loyalty.
The current retail scene is filled with brands in–or on their way to–the intensive care unit, as they struggle to re-ignite comparable store sales and reverse declining margins.
Just this past week, former retail juggernaut the Gap announced they were closing one fifth of their US stores in yet another bid to restore their former luster. Will many of those customers that lose a nearby Gap location truly miss them, or will it be merely a minor void, quickly filled up by a myriad of other stores selling roughly similar merchandise with an equal or superior experience?
The brands that thrive in a world where mediocrity is readily apparent to all will maintain a relentless focus on their core customer segments. They will build deep insight and leverage that insight into value propositions that engage customers in unique and powerful ways. They will treat different customers differently. They will track the critical measures unique to each segment that correlate with strong share of wallet and compelling customer advocacy. They will aggressively attack any weaknesses in these measures.
And by doing so, they will build and retain relationships with the customers that matter.
The ones that would miss them if they were gone.
The retail graveyard and intensive care unit is filled with companies that failed to take these steps.
I hope you’re better than that. I hope you will act while you still have time.