“To Command or to Educate…that is the question?”
It’s not just large retail business with wide geographic portfolios that need to think about how they manage their stores. Even the owner of a single store, when away from the helm for a day or so, must consider whether the stick or the carrot is the way to manage staff and drive sales productivity.
For most businesses it’s nowadays a balance of compliance and education.
From a brand perspective it is important that the brand is communicated consistently and correctly, and not just in terms of visual identity and display but through customer service and interaction. Standards must be set, expectations communicated and delivery monitored.
However from a human perspective not everyone responds to the stick and a non-cooperative shop worker can be more damaging to a store that an uneducated one. Hence the principle of education based on the premise that if store personnel understand why they are doing things, and they are given a little bit of lateral freedom they will deliver the brand…and then some.
It is today a difficult balance. Stronger brand image in a crowded market-place against a wider more diverse portfolio of store and staff cultures.
The cavalry to the rescue appearing over the hills of this wider retail geography is that of technology. It is allowing both the speed and the interaction of communication between head office and stores to be revolutionised.
With the digital stick brands can send high quality and time relevant instructions to stores, monitor delivery and give constructive feedback until every brand detail in every brand store is of the appropriate standard.
And with the digital carrot the same technology can nourish the store appetite for information and inspiration about the brand, the product, the market and the “buzz” around the business.
VM-unleashed helps in this transformation with the “walking before the digital running!”
What is the current state of brand delivery, the skills, awareness and attitude of store personnel?
What elements of the store delivery should be dictated, and are we correct in what we are asking to be done?
What is the scope, the capacity for education, and what subjects, content and messages should we be communicating.
Communication technologies allow more information to be dispersed to stores at a faster rate than ever before. Make sure it’s correct!
So now, what about you?
Do you have the correct balance of compliance & education?
Are you in need of a store communications transformation?