It is a very long way from the product drawing board to an exciting store full of inspiring stock and enthusiastic staff. The journey is complicated logistically, commercially, geographically and emotionally, and involves the passing of the product baton between many hands.
First and foremost the outcome in terms of product proposition must be commercially complete incorporating all the processes and parameters that deliver an assortment plan that learns from past experience as well as future predictions. Logistically that plan must be delivered on-time, in sequence and coordinated to present the perfect proposition complete and in its utmost glory at the most commercial moment.
No mean feat indeed and as with many things in life getting the not so exciting foundations in place first allows the enjoyment and satisfaction to flow later, which as both individuals and consumers is what we live for.
Modern retailers, if not complete masters, are well on the way to mastering the commercial and logistical hurdles of putting stock on the shop floor but in this hyper-competitive retail landscape efficiency is no longer enough to deliver the gains that could once be guaranteed.
Brand excitement and emotional connection are what drive sales success. Excited and emotional people are what inspire retail profit. A passion for product and for experience that flows from the drawing board to the till, from the boardroom to the stockroom is what has become the secret to commercial performance.
“The Flow of Retail Passion” is the source of modern retail success.
So let’s look at what retail passion is. It is a belief in the business that you work for, not only in what it produces and sells but in how it produces it, how it treats its people, how it views the wider world and how it benefits its customers over and over again.
Modern retail is the commercial outpouring of a passion for life, the lives of employees and the lives of customers. “The Flow of Retail Passion” is all about people because only through them will passion be transferred to the product, the places where you work and sell and to the final customer experience.
It is no coincidence that many new successful retail businesses have emerged from this wider passion, for whilst it is possible to introduce commercial practice to complement entrepreneurial enthusiasm it is much more difficult to introduce passion into a hollow production process.
However, just as commercial and logistical supply chain continuation is incredibly difficult along the complex journey that the product takes to arrive at the store the emotional journey that keeps the inspiration behind the assortment alive and intense is equally challenging where the trials and tribulations of the physical journey, not to mention the time it takes, can easily suck the life and meaning from the original concept.
So first we need to have inspiration in the product and the concept.
We need product designers and buyers who cannot wait for the reality of their designs to see the light of a sunny retail day. We need manufacturers and craftsmen who delight in the process of production. We need marketing teams fully engaged and fuelled with enthusiasm to communicate the inspiring stories behind the brand and the product. And we need inspired store managers and sales assistants where the opening of every cardboard box delivered is an exciting adventure and an opportunity to wax lyrical to the first customer they see.
From beginning to end…from conception to consumption…nurture an inner pride that translates to a public passion, so that the flow of enthusiasm continues well beyond the selling process.
As part of your core business processes measure and monitor passion as though it were as tangible as gold coins because that is what passion will surely produce.
Be careful always to ensure that the initial passion exists at the beginning of your journey, monitor with care how that passion ebbs and flows through the stakeholders you entrust, examine how and why the excitement escapes, and evolve and solve the practical problems that cause your dreams to stall at every crucial step.
So what about you?
Are you an established retailer that’s lost its passion for life?
Or, are you a new business looking to convert a passion into a product and a retail space?
Isn’t it time your re-discovered your merchandising mojo, your retail passion, and felt it flowing through your retail veins again?
VM-unleashed works with a variety of retailers not only to create commercial assortments but to deliver emotional propositions.
The objective of our work?
To discover where passion can be generated within a retail business, how to grow and communicate it through the organisation and ultimately deliver it for the customers’ delight.
Learn more about how to put the retail passion back into your business…