retail reality | October 20, 2011

Doug Stephens: How Companies Can Survive the Consumer Power Shift

In a recent keynote, Retail Prophet founder Doug Stephens—one of the world's only retail industry futurists—offered a panoramic vision of retail to come. Armed with smart phones and other net tools, consumers are now capable of finding out everything about a product within a click or two. Retailers need to know how to navigate this changing power shift.

We are, Stephens says, in the midst of a historic revision of retail in terms of information (what consumers know about brands), destination (where they go to buy things), and redefinition (what the purpose of a physical store serves). A good recap of Stephens' enlightening speech can be found here.

In a recent visit to Lavin's Toronto office, Stephens offered suggestions on how retail—specifically bricks-n-mortar retail outlets—could survive. A galvanizing example of physical retail done right is the Apple store, which redefined the customer-brand relationship by changing the aesthetics—and, more deeply—the function of what a retail store could be. The Apple stores, to paraphrase Steve Jobs’ famous maxim, “thought differently.” (Video above)

Doug Stephens' research and insights have helped major organizations—such as Air Miles, Home Depot, and Disney—understand exactly how mega-trends in demographics, economics, technology and media are forever altering consumer and brand relationships. His eye-opening talks will ensure your company doesn't end up left in the dust of a new retail era.