For as long as I have been in this industry, I have watched the companies I worked for battle with the sales vs. margin dilemma. On one hand, you want to grow your market share, take as much as you can from your competition and drive the top line. On the other hand, you can back off that a little and work on getting better margin at the cost of sales. To get both at the same time is very hard to do.
I understand the benefit to both sides and depending on where your company is, one will make a lot more sense than the other. So the million-dollar question is, how do you get both? (more…)
Walmart is the largest company on Earth. It has a brilliant strategy in terms of its distribution model, placement of stores, data analysis, and, above all else, making absolutely sure it is the low-price retail leader. I believe it was Walmart that coined the acronym “EDLP” – or “Every Day Low Price.”
So why has Walmart chosen to go with everyday low prices when most of its competitors focus on big sales events? Companies like JCPenney and Sears try to drive traffic by using strong advertising for big sales under every banner they can think of: Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, you name it. They all compete against each other on the same platform and philosophy of being on sale pretty much year-round. I understand why they do this. If you read some of the research out there and simply observe consumer behavior in terms of how people react to sales, it is easy to understand the approach. How has Walmart been successful flying in the face of this tactic? I don’t pretend to be an expert on the topic but I do have a few thoughts. (more…)
The theory of four distinct stages of competence was developed in the 1970s by Noel Burch of Gordon Training International, a global human relations training organization.
Of these four stages, the one I want to talk about is the unconscious incompetent, or the person that doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
Tell me if the following sounds familiar: You are in a meeting with your colleagues to create the next big product. You debate the different approaches you could take and during the meeting, you hear the opinions of several in the group. You finish your meeting and make a decision based on the group’s consensus of what is the best idea or even default to the strongest personality in the room. Does this really make sense? (more…)
One of my favorite motivational speakers of all time is Zig Ziglar. It was Ziglar who said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” I have tried to live by that mantra my entire professional career and, like most, there are times when I have lived by it and times when I haven’t. (more…)
There has been a lot of activity on the power foundation, or adjustable bed, front lately. Tempur-Pedic continues to drive interest with its great marketing campaign; Serta just launched iComfort which features a power foundation, to incredible reviews; and my company continues to experience strong growth within the category. Despite these successes, the power foundation business is not anywhere close to being what it could be. How do we, as an industry, continue to drive the product?
For me, it is all about the “want vs. need” paradigm. Very few actually NEED a bed that articulates into different positions, but when they actually EXPERIENCE the product, they WANT it. (more…)