In today’s retail world there are a few truths I hold to be self-evident:
- Folks don’t need or want much more stuff, so we had better not count on overall spending growing much, if at all.
- With just about anything available anytime, anywhere, anyway, competing on scarcity of information and access is no longer a viable strategy for most brands.
- Engaging in a price war is not likely to end well–unless you are Amazon.
- Consumers are overwhelmed by information and the distracted customer has become the norm. The new battleground is for share of attention.
- Mass marketing is becoming less effective by the day.
- No customer wants to be average.
And yet so much of the product we see, the stores we visit, the websites we surf and the marketing we encounter, looks awfully familiar.
Our Boards encourage us to adopt best practices, and by the time we do, the industry leaders are on to something entirely different.
We pick the tried and true, because it seems safe, when it is precisely the opposite.
We choose average because it’s easy to manage and seems to scale. Until it doesn’t and we are left to wonder what the hell happened.
For most of us, the only way to win going forward is to eschew boring and average. We must know our customers better than the competition and use that information to treat different customers differently. We must commit to being intensely relevant and utterly remarkable. We must amplify our signal amidst the noise.
Let somebody else can make the cookies.