retail | March 17, 2013

Doug Stephens: Win—Don't Buy—The Consumer's Attention [VIDEO]

"In 1965, all you needed was 3 commercials in prime time to reach 80 per cent of the audience," retail speaker Douglas Stephens says in a recent keynote. "No wonder ad guys were doing so well." The old mass media allowed average brands to achieve above average results, he says, because all you had to do to ensure repeat business was buy ads. Today, however, you need 117 commercials in prime time to potentially reach 80 per cent of the audience. Not only that, but adding all of those extra commercials doesn't even guarantee that your audience won't time shift or fast forward through your ad with their PVR—meaning you aren't guaranteed an audience anymore.

Even if you could guarantee that kind of viewership, most brands can't afford to buy that much advertising. So what happens now? Stephens, the founder of Retail Prophet, argues that "you can't go out and buy the consumer's attention anymore—you have to win it." This is something that many companies don't understand. The way to combat this shift, he advises, is to do something to "earn the difference" in price, and provide consumers with something truly unique. Whether that means providing your clientele with novel products they can't get anywhere else, or creating an in-store experience that is unique to your brand, it's important to make it worth the trip for the consumer. Only then will shopping at your store become more important than price-shopping.

As a leading voice in the future of retail and sales, Stephens can help your brand uncover the next big thing before it hits. Not only does he possess a keen insight for the future, but his decades of experience in retail give him an insider's view of the industry. In his new book, The Retail Revival, Stephens chronicles the transformation of the retail practices of the past into the rapidly evolved ones of today. He also uses this knowledge to explore the world of innovation. In his talks, he not only helps companies keep up in a quickly changing industry—but provides valuable strategies for staying ahead of the game, as well.

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education | March 14, 2013