And What About Love?

Googling the phrase “retail profits” returns 58,400 web pages and the search for “retail sales” returns 2,040,000 but the phrase “retail love” only has 1,600.

I don’t know exactly why but saying “retail love” out loud sounds really strange. You should try it too. Sounds silly, right?

I confess I’ve never used it when talking to a client and I trust IBM doesn’t use it in their pitches either. For that matter I am certain Forrester has never written a paper that addresses the topic. But why are we are so ashamed of it? Why is love for customers, love for a product such a bad idea? This might be explained by the fact that ‘simplicity’ gets a smaller consulting fee than ‘complexity’. IBM makes money by presenting complex, mission critical, rule changing, curve jumping eCommerce solutions. Ditto for EasySpeak with search, Visual Sciences with analytics and SAP with business rules. These, and the rest of the industry, don’t make a dime preaching love.

But are retailers sitting with fair weather friends? Why is it that these ‘advisers’ get brilliant insights only after a retail concept is already a success? Who are these experts who preach market segmentation, category extension, product/customer life-cycle management, etc?

When Kevin Plank started Under Armour he had no clue what ‘stretchable sports performance wear’ market meant, how could he, it was not invented yet. When Darius Bikoff had the idea for vitaminwater no consultant would have advised competing in the already saturated nonalcoholic-beverage category, no consultant would have spoken to him, period. But now, these companies are market darlings and everyone wants to advice them on their next phase of growth.

The point of this Blog entry is simple. At the very end of the day the only thing that truly matters is that your customers enjoyed shopping at your store. If they did you wouldn’t need the wisdom of market pundits because you would have, in your possession, the wisdom of crowds.

Related article: Why we sell

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