Sunday, April 27, 2008

Some Things to Think About

A few days ago I posted about Steven Little's book. Another tip of his (to better understand your market and business) is to subscribe to as many magazines as you can in order to scan your environment, your customer's world, your industry, etc.

I read a lot of magazines. Well, skim a lot, reading parts. And in the last few days I've run across some interesting statements and bits of content that got me thinking about the work of college stores. Just some things to think about:

-- Innovation is the pre-requisite for sustained growth.

-- Price only becomes an issue if you don't win loyalty on experience and/or product.

-- Retail Experience means nothing if it's not unique.

-- Consider these examples of "retail purpose in action":
- Communicating an iconic brand: Target
- Celebrating customer service: Nordstrom
- Creating a proprietary language to tell the business' story: Starbucks
- Delivering a exciting product: Nike

Gleaning these statements from my casual skimming of 3-4 magazines this weekend told me several things:

1) Steven is right. We should all increase the scope of our reading to stay better informed about our industry, our businesses, our customers, etc.

2) We don't have to commit hours and hours to reading in order to find thought-provoking ideas and tidbits that can spark new ideas for our personal and professional lives.

3) Inspiring ideas and engaging concepts don't always come from industry publications. I'm not knocking industry publications. But rather encouraging you to open your mind to new sources of information and inspiration.

So if you've been wondering how to justify that subscription of Simple Life, Entertainment Weekly, or Popular you go!

Tony Ellis, CAE

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