Road to Mediocrity

Retail businesses you should not buy

Part 1 in a series of retail businesses to avoid.

Reason #1: Not having a proposition.

There is a lot of marketing talk around mission, vision, brand purpose etc. And most of the talkers have their heads up their arses.

They are wrong because they are answering the wrong questions.

What your proposition is all about is not what you want to be or where you are going.

A proposition addresses a PAIN POINT for the consumer. The key success is all about identifying the need, then finding a path to that need. And a business that does not fundamentally do that, is doomed to fail.

Your proposition = product x price x brand. That is, your proposition is your offer (product + price) wrapped up in youir brand.

Why do so many retailers fail?

For decades, the only ‘pain’ that retailers took away for their customers was the pain of travelling further afield to find their product. Strategically, retailers survived because their competitive difference was their location.

The advent of the internet made geography near irrelevant. It therefore stands to reason that if they don’t solve a customer’s pain in any other way, there is no further reasons for the customer’s patronage.

You may have the only upmarket ladies footwear store in a particular shopping centre, and that will get only so much trade. The reality I that the customers carry another 100 stores in their pocket – even as they browse your racks.

The solution is not big data. The solution is not robotics. The solution is not a better brand. Or more likes on social media.

The solution is find out what pains the customer and to offer a solution for that.

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