Tom Dougherty

President and CEO, Stealing Share
Tom Dougherty is President and CEO of brand company Stealing Share. He has developed brands across all industries positioning them to grow and steal market share. Tom's unique perspective and opinions are often sought and quoted by The New York Times, FOX Business and CNN as well as many industry journals.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    Will more promos fix Dick’s Sporting Goods pricing challenge?

    The foundation of brand preference is differentiation. It creates importance and increases margins. Dick's problem is not simply a pricing issue. It is a brand preference problem.You don't increase a brand's relevance simply through promotions. Has anyone at Dick's asked why the customer will only choose to shop there (a destination experience at that) when they run promotions?This is indicative of a fundamental issue in retail today. A total misunderstanding of branding.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    How should vendors respond to Walmart’s reluctance to raise prices?

    It is a conundrum. The Walmart brand promises lower prices ... always!If the brands Walmart markets had the same adherence to their own brand promises the dialog here would be quite different. So the real culprits here are the individual brands that have left the fight for preference in the column of distribution. What are you willing to give away? The answer seems like a bottomless pit to me. You need Walmart MORE than Walmart needs you.With one important exception. Apple.Walmart markets Apple products within pennies of the Apple store itself. This is because Apple has invested in its brand and it carries greater preference than any single distribution channel.So, stop eating your young and invest in a brand promise that is emotional and not simply rational.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Does the internet know us better than we know ourselves?

    The danger is in believing that because we know what actions consumers have taken that we understand why they do what they do.So online data gives you a detailed record of previous actions. How do you ascertain WHY they did what they did? Great research is dependent on two things. The methodology and the insights that the researcher brings to the questions asked.Our expertise is in understanding human behavior so that we might align brand positioning with the underlying REASON why a choice was made. These fundamental questions remain regardless of the projection ability and confidence in the means by which the data was created.What I see is an increasing dependence on analytics and statistical experts. As if knowing numbers will provide you with insights as to how to influence behaviors.I love the data provided by online sources of consumer navigation. But I also know that there is a difference between information and knowledge.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    Is agile fulfillment the solution to retail’s renaissance?

    Is this a choice between two values? Clearly retailers need to have both. If survival of the fittest is real (as you describe) then agility and scale need to join forces.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2017

    Will ‘doubling down’ on tech help McD’s disrupt the fast food business?

    Disruption is by far the most exaggerated marketing term in circulation today. An overstatement and a cliché. Drop it.McDonald's has created a mature market and is beginning to adjust to their lack of brand distinctness.Technology will help them by reducing the human interaction that McDonald's FEEDERS seem to covet. So I would expect a bounce in preference. But it will be short lived.Fast food is a level game today. So far the players have not recognized what brand identification truly represents. So they each try to out-menu the other players. As if ANYONE ever chose any of them based upon how GREAT the food is. My God.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2017

    Can in-store experiences save retail?

    I so agree with this article that I am at a loss for words. Retailers don't want to see the writing on the wall and won't transition to a different model. Sears should have become Amazon. The catalog was an ancient form of online sales. But they never understood what they had permission to be.Is the savior analytics? Numbers won't point the way out of this whirlpool of a drain. It's time to invent something new. The opportunity to reinvent is fast slipping away. Ask Macy's.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    Will dropping prices on cosmetics drive traffic to department stores?

    "The logical end to defensive warfare is surrender." -- NapoleonThe model needs to radically change. Discounting cosmetics to encourage shopping in other departments is a silly idea. You attract customers whose main interest is cost cutting. Hoping they will see something they did not intend to buy and then the retailer expects them to pay full price. What's next?
  • Posted on: 07/24/2017

    Why is Amazon paying full-price for third-party inventory?

    Smart of Amazon. It is the direct route to monopolizing sales. Be willing to sacrifice margins to increase over-all sales. What is the definition of failure in the vocabulary of Amazon? Low margins or product availability? The answer to stealing share is breadth of choice. Margins will follow the brand. Not vice versa.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2017

    Are retailers measuring omnichannel all wrong?

    I'm a big believer in research. But the omnichannel metrics are not pinpointing causality. They measure correlations at best and are not purposeful.Retail needs to recognize motivations and not just transactions. The problem with most research is we try very hard to shoehorn the things we measure into behavioral predictors.The future belongs to the retailer who understands the belief systems of the shopper and not simply the transactions. And there is a built-in bias to this system. Isn't it possible that the customers that we spend the most time with are self-selecting? Meaning we spend more time with those who appear more willing and eager? It is worth thinking about.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2017

    Will Backstage shops draw customers to Macy’s mall stores?

    "The logical end to defensive warfare is surrender." -- Napoleon BonaparteSomeone needs to explain to me how the Backstage concept will help Macy's pay the bills for their expensive overhead.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2017

    Will Amazon’s Prime Day set a new sales record?

    Even if new Prime memberships are leveling off, each added member is a customer nearly locked away from the competition. The issue here isn't the great deals, it's the loyalty Amazon engineers. If competitors simply offer their own deals (and their own day), that's not nearly enough. They must offer something greater than that because Amazon is quickly becoming the default choice.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2017

    Has CVS gone too far with its health kick?

    Absolutely. This was a long-term strategy that will eventually pay off. Before, the CVS brand meant nothing. Now it at least stands for something. The world of large drug stores is void of meaning, which is why location becomes so overly important. There's no other reason to choose. At least CVS have given consumers a reason to choose.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2017

    Can fitness classes wake up retail store traffic?

    My word. This is akin to plugging the hole in the dike with a flashlight. It just illuminates the problems with many retail brands. Sales are falling, brands are less relevant and Amazon is eating their lunches. So let's become a gym!The ONLY way this could work is if the brand of that retailer suggested wellness. Saks isn't that. In fact, it makes just as much sense for Saks to put in a basketball hoop. Or a swimming pool. This tactic simply ignores the real problems that retail brands are facing.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2017

    What happens when you put a c-store on wheels?

    By itself it doesn't solve anything. But it does tap into the new belief that technology should be used to bring the world to me, rather than me experiencing the world as it waits for me. However, drones and Moby Mart-like concepts have too many difficulties to overcome, as outlined here. The delivery concept mostly likely to stay is in the Amazon Fresh lane, where issues of shoplifting and collisions are not factors. Automated delivery just isn't realistic. Yet.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2017

    Will putting a spotlight on associates help boost Kroger’s business?

    Pffft. This idea always sounds great but it does nothing to increase preference. Why? Because it's all about Kroger. Not about the customer. People say they would prefer a brand that's involved in the community. But that's not the reason why they go into a preferred store to buy groceries. Good intentions are sweet. But don't mistake them for the reasons shoppers choose.

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