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Winning the Game of Retail

Written by Jack Uhazie, Principal

winning the game of retail 2

The retail environment can sometimes seem like the crowd at a game who is either cheering for your victory or booing you off the playing field. As retailers struggle to stand out in a recovering post-recession marketplace, it has become more important than ever to understand who your customer is and what drives them to make a purchase.  

Like any game, there are rules and regulations set in place that can improve your odds of success. How well a retailer plans, prepares and delivers their products will have a lot to do with whether they are successful.

Here are a few thoughts to consider on your way to home base.  

Know Your Audience

Identifying who the players in the marketplace are and how they shop can help decision makers in retail to better tailor and allocate resources so as to be the most effective at launching not only new products, but also marketing existing products to potential new users.

Some great examples of companies defining their audience and catering to them can be seen with Charles Schwab, American Express, Uber and Bose Sound System. These companies have successfully caught the attention of a particular segment of the population known as “Affluent Millennials” and have won their attention by providing useful content. For instance, Bose Sound System won over affluent millennials through empowerment and attention to the entrepreneurial spirit of affluent young adults. By creating an environment in which the quality of the product speaks louder than the actual brand messages and by offering clear proof regarding their brand story, they are creating more unique and meaningful brands and brand experiences. This is due in large part to the attention the company had paid to creating an engaging platform for young adults with high incomes.

Influence Outcomes

In the game of baseball, a batter’s ability to recognize objects and, even more so, his ability to follow an object once he makes contact is what separates a good batter from a mediocre one. Likewise, the retailer’s ability not only to locate their target market, but also to follow through and influence future purchasing habits is critical to success.  

Cognitive psychologist Jeremy Wilmer of the University of Pennsylvania states, "Our experience of the world normally appears quite seamless, but in fact our brain sees many aspects separately and knits them together into one experience of the world."

It is vital for retailers not only to provide a great product, but also to deliver a unique and memorable shopping experience that connects their customers to them. This can be seen with such retailers as Apple, who not only delivers a premium product, but has also created a unique retail experience that allows consumers to test out their latest products before they hit the market. The forethought that Apple has placed on product delivery has contributed greatly to their success and made them a destination store for shopping centers all over the world.

Become Memorable

In the future, retailers should be careful to build a reputation of trust and solidarity through social media campaigns and store experiences which do not appear too flighty or light-hearted. It is important to create distance from the reputational damage suffered by global brands who might be seen as the providers of mediocre services and products. Retail brands should look to become a source for bridging social divisions and for giving people a reason to connect with their family and friends. By providing opportunities to connect with others through shared experiences and opportunities, retailers can begin to define and set themselves apart from their less socially-conscious competitors.  

Retailers have come to a crossroads. Either adjust their game to meet the needs of the new generation or sit back and remember the good old days when they used to be on top.

winning the game of retail

Jack Uhazie
| Principal
Mid-America Real Estate-Michigan, Inc.

38500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 100 | Bloomfield Hills, MI  48304
Phone: 248.855.6800 | Fax: 248.406.0560 | Web Design
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