e-commerce · Innovation · Retail

E-Commerce May Be ‘Only’ 10% Of Retail, But That Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

It seems as if those who spend a lot of time worrying about the future of retail have fallen into one of two camps. There are the “retail apocalypse” proselytizers who would have us believe that virtually all shopping will eventually be done online, that most brick-and-mortar stores are doomed and that anyone who says otherwise… Continue reading E-Commerce May Be ‘Only’ 10% Of Retail, But That Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

Innovation · Inspiration · Leadership

The price of waiting

It's typically not difficult to calculate the cost of starting something, of moving ahead, of taking the plunge. Perhaps it's a new IT project or a marketing test. Possibly it's a decision to try a pilot concept or invest in a promising technology. Or maybe we're considering taking the next big step in a hopeful… Continue reading The price of waiting

Being Remarkable · Growth · Retail

Slow motion crises

In the world of retail it's pretty rare that brands get into trouble over night--much less over a matter of months or even years. What will turn out to be the deathblow for Sears started with Walmart in the 1980's, and was followed by Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy chipping away at Sears core… Continue reading Slow motion crises

Customer Growth Strategy · Engagement · Growth · Innovation

The upside of denial

Is there any? If your experience is anything like mine, you know how seductive denial can be. Denial is the temptress that helps us avoid pain. Denial keeps us in our comfort zone like a warm bath at the end of a long day. Denial creates the sense that defending the status quo is working… Continue reading The upside of denial

Being Remarkable · Growth · Innovation · Retail

The problem with saying “no”

During the past 25 years Sears had at least three opportunities to transform itself by entering the home improvement warehouse business (I worked on two of them). This was probably the only way Sears was going to ultimately survive and unlock the value of its franchise Kenmore and Craftsman brands. Each time the answer was "no."… Continue reading The problem with saying “no”

Growth · Innovation · Leadership · Retail

Overplaying our hand

We're told to hyper-focus on our core customers. After all, doesn't most of our profit come from a small group of loyalists and "heavy-users"? We're admonished to double-down on our highest ROI marketing strategies. Surely if a moderate amount of email or direct mail or re-targeting is working, more must be even better, right? And… Continue reading Overplaying our hand

Customer Growth Strategy · Growth · Innovation

Oh, they’re not a competitor

Shortly after I became the head of strategy and multi-channel marketing at The Neiman Marcus Group I was asked to lead a strategic planning session for our senior executives. One of the exercises I suggested was a deep dive on our opportunities and vulnerabilities against each of our key competitors. As I reviewed my overall… Continue reading Oh, they’re not a competitor

Being Remarkable · Brand Marketing · Branding · Customer Insight · Innovation · Leadership · Retail

Dead brand walking

The business graveyard is filled with brands that have gone from the lofty heights of recognition, stature and profitability to flagging relevance and, ultimately, complete extinction. For every long-standing, legacy brand that continues to thrive (think Kraft or Coca-Cola) there is a former high flier that is now gone (think Borders or Oldsmobile). Sometimes companies are… Continue reading Dead brand walking

Customer Growth Strategy · Growth · Innovation · Leadership

Maybe it’s a fact

"If you have the same problem for a long time, maybe it's not a problem.  Maybe it's a fact." -Yitzhak Rabin "Facts are simple and facts are straight Facts are lazy and facts are late Facts all come with points of view Facts don't do what I want them to" - Talking Heads, "Cross-eyed and Painless" I'd wager that the… Continue reading Maybe it’s a fact

Customer-centric · Digital · Luxury · Mobile · Omni-channel · Uncategorized

The showroom of death

Maybe you have noticed that e-commerce has been growing far faster than brick and mortar retail. That's been true for years and it's not changing any time soon. Maybe you have noticed the explosion in comparison shopping sites that allow customers to easily search for the merchant with the best price. The number and quality… Continue reading The showroom of death