The thing that everybody does


This is the secret recipe for creating regional centres that should dominate their trade area:

  1. Add a town square
  2. Create a community hub
  3. Consolidate mainstream fashion
  4. Introduce international fast fashion (at any price)
  5. Strengthen youth fashion
  6. Create an authentic fresh food market
  7. Add a supermarket
  8. Extend the cinemas
  9. Expand fast food (multi-cultural)
  10. Create casual dining destination (near the cinemas)
  11. Improve parking
  12. Improve signage
  13. Enhance the ambience
  14. And get me JB HiFi on the line now…

This post is not about shopping centres or landlords nor is it about lack of innovation. I use shopping malls merely to make a point, and because most retailers can relate to this scenario.

When shopping centres fall victim to the ‘sameness’ syndrome it is because they follow what everyone else is doing.  When retailers start ‘doing what everyone else is doing’ they also become the same as everyone else. You are what you do: nothing can be more logical than that.

When ‘THE THING EVERYBODY DOES’ becomes the default strategy, bland SIMILARITY is the result.

For a long time geographic differentiation was the saviour of mediocre retail. That is, you were the only XYZ shop in that centre or the only corner shop in that particular suburb and if anyone wanted what you had, they had to get it from you.

The mobile phone changed that because the consumer has every conceivable option in their pocket. Geography is now rarely a competitive advantage.

Since you have lost that advantage, you must redefine and execute a new point of DIFFERENCE – not because the strategy text books demand so, but because THAT is the reason why customers visit you.

The things everybody does’ as strategy will result in mediocrity at best and failure at worst. You must find your own way.

The good news is that there are dozens of ways in which you can differentiate yourself meaningfully and successfully.

(This 2min video powerfully illustrates the power of conformity and group think which is a different but related topic.)

Go make 2014 a winning year…


GANADOR (Google the meaning :-))

Win-win results in business-to-business relationships between retailers and all suppliers/partners.